Rare and original RAF Hospital Smiths Type II white dial wall clock c. 1942
It is highly probable that this beautiful RAF Smiths white dial clock was hung in an RAF Hospital or similar medical facility during WW2. This is due to the surround of the clock being painted white so that any dirt or dust which may harbour bacteria may be easily seen and cleaned.
Until recently it was widely believed that the white paint found on the surrounds and casings of such clocks was not original and must have been applied by a new owner post war. This has since transpired to be incorrect following the true purpose of the white paint being established.
Type II white dial clocks began being manufactured in 1942. Due to U-Boat attacks hampering Britain’s shipping lanes in The Atlantic, the importation of raw materials became severely limited. As such, an austerity clock was produced using cheaper materials than that of its Type I predecessor. The mahogany casing was replaced by tiger oak or ply and the heavy cast brass bezels were replaced with thin spun brass bezels. The expensive fusee movements were replaced with a cheaper and more robust Smiths Astral movement.
It is believed that very few of these cheaper austerity clocks survive. This is partly due to the small numbers that were produced and the lower quality of their construction when compared to the fuse clocks which were built to pre-war standards.
Such examples of these special RAF Smiths white dial hospital clocks are rare and are very seldom offered for sale.
The clock for sale is in great original condition and would make a superb addition to the home or workplace.
The clock for sale is in lovely original condition having been sympathetically serviced by one of our highly skilled and experienced horologists.
The dial has aged beautifully and remains in good condition. As expected, there is some light crazing and marks to the dial with evidence of historic minor surface repairs in places. These dials were susceptible to rust and as such can often be found in a very poor state of repair.
The white painted tiger oak surround and outer casing of the clock is solid and stable and is in reasonable condition. The casing has numerous scratches and marks which are commensurate with age. The original rear panel to the casing which houses the movement was missing when the clock was originally acquired by us. A suitable replacement has been hand made and fitted by our expert horologist.
The brass spun bezel retains its original wartime black matt finish which is often stripped off when these clocks are being restored.
The movement is stamped with the letters AM (Air Ministry) with crown and the makers marks of Smiths Coventry Astral 1942. The royal cipher of King George VI and Smiths makers mark is also visible on the reverse of the surround.
The clock is sold complete with a winding key (replacement) and comes with a free six-month warranty.