Smiths Astral Movement

On a recent trip to visit Bob Gardner I noticed sitting on a shelf this lovely Astral movement by Smiths. Produced in 1942 and stamped as such and exhibiting a lovely AM motif I couldn’t help asking if it was for sale.  To my surprise it was .  The movement is in non-running condition but as a tiny exhibition piece it truely is lovely.  

Smiths produced clocks for the RAF after winning the contract from Elliot and SM&Co and produced clocks using the Astral movement instead of the Fusee style that the other companies had adopted.  Their clocks are of far poorer quality due to the austerity of the war.  Dials are of a thinker grade metal, usually tin and their cases are normally made of ply. At some point I will find such a clock to highlight the differences.  

Thanks again to Bob for a great day.



RAF Hospital Clock

Here we have an SM&Co made small mantle clock.  Dated 1939 on the movement the clock retains its pendulum lock.  The clock case has been painted white by the RAF for use in a hospital or medical centre on an RAF station.  The clock is in stunning condition and makes a lovely alternative to the usual wooden finish of other RAF pattern clocks.





Grimshaw Large mantle clock.

Here is a simply stupendous large mantle clock produced in 1936 by clockmakers Grimshaw.  The clock itself is in amazing condition apart from the dial glass which was sadly smashed during transit by the courier and is currently away to be replaced hence the missing bezel.  Written on the inside of the door is the later stores code applied in the 1950s.

An amazing clock showing brilliant craftsmanship , an amazing grain to the wood and lovely detailing to the dial.


Stockhall and marple Large Mantel clock.

I recently purchased two more Large mantel clocks, both of which are in stunning stunning condition.  The first one is an example produced  by SM&Co in 1939.  The movement bears the serial number 10605 followed by company signature then date and AM and crown motif.

The case is in stunning condition and the dial is still nicely silvered.  

There isn’t really much more that can be said of these clocks other than Wowsers!  

In a previous post I featured another large mantel clock also produced by SM&Co.  The case for this one is now away being restored due to its poor condition .  If it returns in the same condition as this one then I shall be extremely happy. 


Elliot type 3 wall clock.

Towards the end of ww2,whilst austerity still existed, the RAF obtained sufficient funds to purchase the Elliott 7779 clock.  This had an oak case and a springer rather than fusee movement. By omitting the fusee to equalise the torque in the spring, the movement would run for 12 days with accurate time keeping for the first 8.  

The movement type is not the only difference with earlier Elliot type 1 clocks.  The hands were also of a different style.  The rear box was smaller to cater for the smaller tapered springer movement. The box was also screwed down rather than pegged. Movements were also numbered but not date stamped. 

According to Bob Gardner or aeroclocks, serial number ran from 1311 to 9347 suggesting a run of some 8000 clocks.

Below is an example of a type 7779 clock that I acquired recently at auction.

In un-restored condition and as was, the RAF emblem on the dial has been wiped off but its footprint can still be clearly seen. Returning this emblem is on my to do list.  In great condition just needing a little tlc.