Smith

Updated 20 March 2016.

The company now known as Smiths Group plc produced synchronous clocks from 1931 to 1979. They are usually marked SEC or Sectric on the dial. Movement covers are usually marked ‘Smiths English Clocks’, but later clocks have variations. For further information, and the history of the company, see the following book.

SMITH B. Smiths domestic clocks. Second Edition. Herne Bay: Pierhead Publications Limited, 2008.

The book includes descriptions of Smith synchronous movements, and extensive information on individual clock models, including a picture gallery. However, only about half the clocks I have seen are included in the book. Descriptions of Smith synchronous movements are also included in the following books.

MILES R H A. Synchronome. Masters of electrical timekeeping. Ticehurst, Sussex: The Antiquarian Horological Society, 2011.

PHILPOTT S F. Modern electric clocks. Second edition. London: Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons Ltd, 1935.

ROBINSON T R. Modern Clocks. Their repair and maintenance. Second edition.London: N A G Press Ltd, 1942.

WISE S J. Electric clocks. Second edition. London: Heywood & Company Ltd, 1951.

For a detailed history of the company, see the following book.

NYE J. A long time in making. The history of Smiths. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014

Special lubricating oil was available for motor bearings.

They also made clocks for other companies, and supplied movements for incorporation into clocks made by other manufactures. For information on these clocks see the Smith Variations page.

To view a clock listed below, and the lubricating oil, click on the link. If no link see POOK L P British domestic synchronous clocks 1930-1980. The rise and fall of a technology. Springer, 2015.

Model designations in the list, and in descriptions, are from Smith’s book, as are date ranges. The date range for a clock is the range of years during which it appeared in catalogues.


Smith Albury synchronous mantel clock


Smith Arundel synchronous bedside clock


Smith Autocal synchronous alarm clock S 4 Smith A


Smith Bounty synchronous wall clock


Smith Capri synchronous mantel clock


Smith Chalfont synchronous mantel clock


Smith Cleveforth synchronous mantel clock


Smith Creetown variant synchronous bedside clock

21 Apr 14 F
Smith Cromead synchronous mantel clock


Smith Darwin synchronous mantel clock


Smith Delhi de luxe synchronous wall clock


Smith Delta synchronous mantel clock

5 Apr 13 A
Smith Derbyshire synchronous wall clock


Smith Dickens synchronous mantel clock S 188 Smith A


Smith Durban synchronous wall clock


Smith Eltham synchronos wall clock S 198 Smith A


Smith Essex synchronous mantel clock


Smith Gibraltar synchronous chiming granddaughter clock (1)
19 Feb 14 A
Smith Gibraltar synchronous granddaughter clock (2)

5 Mar 16 B
Smith Gingham synchronous wall clock S 301 Smith A


Smith Grenfell synchronous mantel clock


Smith Heston synchronous bedside clock


Smith Huntingdon synchronous mantel clock


Smith Kendall synchronous chiming mantel clock


Smith Larkdale synchronous mantel clock S 11 Smith A


Smith Metoclock synchronous wall clock S 58 Smith A


Smith Nell Gwynne synchronous bedside clock


Smith Norwich synchronous mantel clock


Smith Oakely synchronous wall clock


Smith Phillipe synchronous carriage clock


Smith Prestwick synchronous time switch


Smith Radbourne synchronous mantel clock


Smith Ramsey synchronous mantel clock S 8 Smith A


Smith Sovereign synchronous mantel clock S 98 Smith C


Smith Sudan synchronous mantel clock 


Smith Surrey synchronous striking mantel clock S 97 Smith A


Smith Sussex synchronous wall clock


Smith Tapton synchronous mantel clock


Smith Tees synchronous mantel clock


Smith The Harbour synchronous mantel clock S 52 Smith A


Smith Woburn variant synchronous mantel clock


Smith Woodhaven synchronous mantel clock (1)


Smith Woodhaven synchronous mantel clock (2) S 201 Smith A


Smith synchronous mantel clock (1)


Smith synchronous mantel clock (3) S 62 Smith C


Smith synchronous bedside clock (4)


Smith synchronous mantel clock (6) S 110 Smith B


Smith synchronous mantel clock (7)


Smith synchronous mantel clock (8)

Smith synchronous mantel clock (9)


Smith synchronous mantel clock (10)


Smith synchronous mantel clock (11) S 45 Smith C


Smith synchronous mantel clock (12)


Smith synchronous striking mantel clock (13) S 75 Smith A

12 Mar 14 A
Smith synchronous mantel clock (14)

27 Jne 14 B
Smith synchronous mantel clock (15) S 263 Smith A


Smith synchronous wall clock (1) S 48 Smith A


Smith synchronous wall clock (2)

18 Apr 13 A
Smith synchronous wall clock (3) S 231 Smith A

Advertising clocks


Smith Approved Stockist synchronous wall clock S 165 Smith A


Smith Craven ‘A’ synchronous wall clock S 124 Smith A

Related Item


Lubricating oil S 132 Energol A

38 Responses to “Smith”

  1. Nick Arnold Says:

    I was interested to see your GEC-branded clock with an SEC (Smiths English Clocks) motor.

    I have one with an identical movement but it has “Genalex” moulded into the back in place of SEC.

    I also have a very similar one marked “British National Electrics Ltd”.

    All very odd!

    Nick.

  2. Nick Arnold Says:

    Futher to my last e-mail, my Genalex clock is very similar to the one you have listed in another section of your excellent site.

    Definitely the same, ubiquitous Smiths (“De Luxe??”) movement, but note that the mains input pins are fixed, not swivelling as in the original Smiths design.

  3. Nick Arnold Says:

    Should you be interested, you can see a portrait of the owner of mantel clock No 3 (S62) here: http://www.dinaspowisbowlingclub.com/PDF/Dinas%20Powis%20Bowling%20Club%20Centenary%20Booklet.pdf

    Fascinating and rare to know about a clock’s original owner.

    Nick

  4. Daniel Costigan Says:

    Looking for a motor for old mantel clock. Motor was Genalex 200-250v50~. Only other marking on it says “made under one or more Eng. pats 366710 387108 412336. Any idea where I might find one. Regards, Daniel

    • Les Pook Says:

      Spares for old synchronous clocks are difficult to obtain. They are only available second hand. Complete movements are occasionally listed on eBay. These are probably removed from clocks that have been converted to quarztz. There is usually no means of determining whether a listed movement is suitable for a particular clock, or if it is in good working order. This also often applies to complete clocks listed on eBay as suitable for spares/repair. I have never seen a Genalex movement listed on eBay. However, some Genalex movements appear to be identical, apart from maker’s marks, to the Smith BM7 movement. These movements have a swivelling two pin connector.

      • Daniel Costigan Says:

        Thank you so much for taking the time to pass on this information. Daniel

  5. Anthony Says:

    Thank you for creating this site. I have now found our family clock is a Smith model Gm 30 synchronous granddaughter clock.

    Ours has a plaque dated 1935.

    It keeps good time but the chimes have stopped. I think the spring must have failed, do you have any other details about the movement so I may track down or make a replacement spring.

    Regards
    Anthony

  6. Les Pook Says:

    Thanks for your comment. The plaque on your clock shows that the model was available much earlier than the date range given by Smith, which was based on catalogues.

    I haven’t got any further information on this particular type of movement. Horological suppliers sell springs in a range of sizes so it should be possible to obtain a replacement spring.

    If you would like more detailed comment let me know, and I will contact you privately.

    Regards

    Les

  7. Ray Says:

    Hi I have an old Smith Electric clock that I have not seen a photo of anywhere, what do I need to send you to help ID it

  8. Les Pook Says:

    If the clock is included in the second edition of Barrie Smith’s book ‘English Domestic Clocks’ then all that is needed for identification is a photograph of the front of the clock. However, there are many Smith clocks that are not included in Barrie Smith’s book, which is based on Smith catalogues. Some of these Smith clocks are ‘mix and match’ with features from two of the clocks in Barrie Smith’s book. I have not been able to identify other Smith clocks that I have examined.

  9. Colin Rutter Says:

    I have a platform movement Alexandra Clark wooden westminster chime clock.. Inside the rear door is written…..incorporating temporarily certain escapement parts of foreign manufacture. The clock looses time no matter how much i adjust the timing wheel. Can i get a new part to regulate the time. It is a SMITHS movement…has K7A 11 stamped on it… TWO JEWELS UNAJUSTED is also written on it.

  10. Les Pook Says:

    This is a Smith K7A ‘floating balance’ movement, dating from about 1960. Floating balance movements are sensitive to correct lubrication. I suspect that the clock needs cleaning and oiling rather than replacement of a part. I was interested to hear that Alexander Clark made clocks with Smith mechanical movements, as well as with Smith synchronous movements.

  11. Steve Says:

    Hi = great website. I have a Genalex exactly the same as the S 83 Temco C above. Were Genalex part of Smiths ? Its a lovely little clock and I hoped to be using it but unfortunately it doesn’t work. I am still interested in its history and will try to find someone who might mend it.

  12. Les Pook Says:

    All the Genalex clocks I have seen appear to have been made by Smith, but branded as Genalex. I do not know the origin of the trade mark, or who owned it. Smith made synchronous clocks for several other manufacturers, and also supplied movements to other manufacturers. Current electrical regulations make it difficult to find professional clockmakers willing to repair synchronous clocks.

  13. Steve g Says:

    Steve G from Lancs
    Hi we have just bought a smiths selectric clock today and i have just repaired it and it now runs and keeps perfect time ! It is the same as the s45 mantel clock on your site but the motor cover at the back does not have the plug fitting it has the mains wire going through the back cover and wired to the motor via two screws and washers ! Once taken apart and the dial and glass cleaned as well as the chrome trim polished it looks great just needed the case cleaning as the wood had been covered in some kind of varnish put on with a brush this has been removed using a special varnish remover ( not nitromoors ) and now has a nice french polished finish ready to refit the motor and dial back in once it is all together it will look and work as new ! this is the second smiths selectric clock we have and both are now fully working and will both keep good time ! Cant beat the good old Smiths British clock !

  14. jane grey Says:

    hi i have 2 clocks from my parents,one is made by W.H.May Nottingham.the other is similar says Bentima ?and has stamp of lady holding something like staff in her hand .both wooden mantle clocks.first one chimes on the hour and one bong on half hour.second chimes on hour and every quarter.just wondered if anyone knows a little about these clocks i would like to be able to tell my grandchildren.many thanks Jane

  15. David Wheatcroft Says:

    Hi.

    I have a Smiths Albury clock which does not appear to be electric.

    It states SEC Cricklewood, Smiths English Clocks Ltd, but has no sign of wiring but has a key to wind up.

    Has it been converted at some time do you know ?

    Regards

    Dave Wheatcroft

  16. Les Pook Says:

    Hello

    The Albury clock was made in both mechanical and electrical versions, with a date range of 1935-1939, so your clock is probably original.

  17. Paul Heyes Says:

    Hi
    I have a Smith Sudan synchronous mantel clock but the number differs from the one you’ve illustrated ie mine has 4631 asd against yours which is 6153. Is this significant?

  18. Les Pook Says:

    Hello

    They are serial numbers, which means that your Smith Sudan clock is earlier than the one described.

  19. Stan Burrage Says:

    Hello Les
    Last weekend I was lucky enough to find a modernist wall clock with a Smiths English Clocks movement in it. I haven’t seen this model before and since the body of the clock has no lettering on it, at all, I’m not sure whether it is a Smiths clock or just a Smiths movement fitted to a dial from some other maker. It is 12″ wide made of aluminium with black bars marking the hours. There is no glass but if there had originally been one it would have had to have been convex to clear the hands. Do you recognise this clock?
    Thanks
    Stan

  20. Les Pook Says:

    Stan
    From your description, it is probably an Arun, date range 1937 to 1939, which is unglazed.
    Les

  21. Stan Burrage Says:

    Les
    Thanks for confirming that Smiths did make a clock like this. I wonder if they stopped using aluminium in 1939 because it was needed for the war effort?
    My clock has white hands which don’t contrast well against the aluminium dial so I guess that they may have been painted. I haven’t been able to find a photo of a Smiths Arun on the internet to check the original colour. Do any of the reference books you list above have a picture? If so I will try to track down a copy.
    I guess that you haven’t been able to view the photos of the clock using the link I sent. I’ll send a different one.
    Thanks again,
    Stan

  22. Les Pook Says:

    Stan

    I tried your link again and this time it worked. The clock is not an Arun. The nearest match in Barrie Smith’s book is a black and white photograph of an F 11, date 1939. The hands are black, but of a different design. Smiths often used a mix and match approach to clocks. The white hands in your pictures look wrong: Smiths wall clocks usually have clear, legible dials. My guess is that the hands have been repainted.

    During the war the use of aluminium for ‘non essential’ purposes was indeed restricted so that it could be used for the war effort.

    Sorry about my original error.

  23. ronald hayles Says:

    I have what appears to be a smiths phillipe synchonous carriage clock. The front dial shows a logo an the bottom right as Smiths astral. Any details, please

  24. Steve Luigi Says:

    Hi, I have just picked up a ‘GEC’ electric wall clock which looks like the ‘Durban’ one in the picture above, but it has no ‘Smiths’ on the dial, just ‘GEC’ on the movement cover. Is this an earlier model please?

  25. Les Pook Says:

    Steve

    It’s a Smith clock marketed as a ‘GEC’, probably within the date range of 1937-1966 for a ‘Durban’.

    Les

  26. Steve Luigi Says:

    Thank you for that Les

  27. Nick Arnold. Says:

    Good evening Les,

    Could I pick your brains about a basket-case Smith timepiece that I rescued recently, which is fitted with their Type 1 movement. It’s obviously been fiddled with by somebody of little skill and been stored in a damp shed for a long time, but the coil has continuity and it’s all there.

    The hand-set knob is attached to the spindle with a LH thread, but is locked with a tiny grub screw. As you know, this is critical, as if the knob is merely screwed-on until it stops, the spindle cannot be fully depressed, and so the time can’t be set or the rotor started.
    Of course, the slot on mine’s been mangled by the aforementioned dabbler, and although I’ve managed to coax it out without damaging the knob’s thread, I need to source a replacement. It’s outer diameter seems to be about 1.65mm, so I was hoping a 10BA screw would be what I need. Does that sound feasible to you?

    Finally, how would you remove the little pressed-on pinion from the centre wheel’s arbor, which ultimately drives the hour wheel? when I’ve worked on these movements previously, I’ve successfully bashed them off with a small hammer and a nail, supporting the other side of the plate with a bit of plastic pipe around the centre wheel, but there must be a gentler and safer way!

    Apologies if my terminology is wrong – this is a newish hobby for me.

    Regards,

    Nick.

    • Les Pook Says:

      Nick

      Smith normally use BA threads so it is almost certainly 10 BA. I’ve never tried to remove that particular pinion from a Smith Type 1 movement, but have spent a lot of time trying to dismantle stubborn parts. A hand removal tool (Fig. 5(b) in my book) will shift some stubborn parts. A trick worth trying is to use WD40 as a penetrating oil to free stubborn parts. WD40 isn’t a good lubricant so it should be removed from dismantled parts. Good luck.

      Regards

      Les

  28. Nick Arnold Says:

    Thanks Les.

    10BA x 3/32″ grub screws seem to do the job perfectly.It’s nice to be able to swap one that’s been mangled during a past repair with a nice fresh one.

    As for hand removal tools, can you recommend a good one suitable for these, please? The cheapies on eBay are for much fatter arbors.

    Take care,

    Nick.

  29. Nick Arnold Says:

    Another quick Q if you have time, please: Do you use the same oil for the rotor bearings in the Type 1 as you do for the BM7 (DeLuxe) movements? The former are all-metal, whereas the latter are described as “Bakelized fabric” with steel end caps. Neither are sintered, like you see in later Bijous.

    I’ve been using a generous drop of thick, synthetic engine oil, but am a bit worried it will creep and make a mess of everything.

    N.

  30. Les Pook Says:

    I use a synthetic clock oil for everything with no problems. The synthetic engine oil should be OK.

  31. Les Pook Says:

    I usually use a either a home made pair of hand levers or a Bergeon No. 5797 hand removal tool. One way round the small arbor problem is to put a shortened drawing pin between the tool and the arbor.

  32. jules Says:

    i have a working smiths sectric westminster chiming clock, which i have cleaned up and oiled. i can’t find any model number or reference to the motor, which is wired directly to a mains cable from the bottom of the wooden case. the motor is almost silent when working, is it a later more efficient motor? thanks

  33. Les Pook Says:

    Probably not, these motors are very quiet when in good condition and become noisy as they wear. Yours appears to have had very little use.

  34. Jules Says:

    That’s good news, it also runs just warm for a large motor, (has to power the chimes and strike too.) What motor type is this? It is gold coloured, 6cm diameter, fixed to the back plate by 3 screws.
    Could you date the chiming clock and give model name if I sent a photo? Thanks

  35. Tony Edwards Says:

    I have just bought an oak ply ‘deco’ style’Smiths cricklewood electric mantle clock . I have seen many Smiths electric clocks over many years but none like this It strikes the hours and half hour on a coiled gong.Pat.No 387108/38.the back plate of the movement looks like a mechanical clock. Sec trade mark. I guess it has a rack strike though i have yet to take the movemnt out.The chrome bezel does not open, hand adjustment on the back plate

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