Smiths Trademarks

Names and Trademarks

The first synchronous clock movements were produced around 1931

Early form. Note Smith not Smiths The black dial on this early movement has the logo "Smith electric" as shown to the left. Note the name is given as Smith, though the plural "Smiths" is used in later clocks. See FAQ file.
click for picture of similar logo on an 8 day marine clock

The early synchronous movement had an embossed trademark "SEC" over a zigzag arrow headed wire on the back of the bakelite casing. The back casing also has "Smiths English Clocks Ltd" and "Synchronous Electric Clocks Ltd" printed on it. See FAQ file. for more about the SEC trademark.

From 1937 dials carry a logo of "Smith Sectric" or "Smiths sectric" as shown to the left. See FAQ file.

The word Sectric was a trademark used consistently after about 1937 to denote a Smiths synchronous electric clock, though in later clocks the logo was not always used.


Frequent design changes were made during the early days of the synchronous movement until a smaller movement called the "Bijou" was introduced, with the trademark "Sec" and "Smiths English Clocks" in raised letters on the casing. This movement remained in general use for several years, though there were minor modifications.

Smiths obviously considered that trademarks and Tradenames increased sales. Click on the Tradenames below for more information


Astral, Enfield, Empire, Smith Alarms, Sectronic, Special ranges by main dealers, Tempora, Timecal




This sticker was used in a sales campaign started November 1950. The "cerise ring" then continued in use for several years, probably as a price sticker for their dealers use.

This is the company name on a clock dated after 1956 when the name was changed to Smiths Clocks and Watches Ltd.



The floating balance was introduced by Smiths in 1956 but clocks fitted with this balance appear to have been identified only by the wording "Smiths 8 day floating balance" applied to the back of the case.

After 1966, when the main group name was changed, literature such as catalogues used a panel logo.

When battery clocks were in production those clocks with Smiths own movements have cases marked "Smiths Industies Limited". Smiths also used movements supplied by other makers and such movements often show the makers logo but the dial is normally marked "Smiths"

Smiths had a logo for the tuning fork movements but did not always use it.

The plastic cover of the tuning fork movements shows the manufacturer as "Smiths Industries Limited, clock and watch division". The early models had "Jeco" on the cover plus an added "Smiths" sticker.



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Astral and Empire

Astral and Empire were originally the trademarks of a company called Williamson who established a reputation for an excellent movement, itself called Astral. Through sundry amalgamations and purchases the tradename passed to a company called English Clock and Watch manufacturers Ltd which was purchased by Smiths in 1932. Smiths thus acquired the Astral and Empire tradenames.

Smiths used the "Empire" tradename extensively for their watch products.

"Smiths Astral" was used for many years in connection with high quality marine clocks such as the 6123 and 8123. They also made a range called "Smiths Empire" with fewer features.

In later years Smiths used "Astral" as a tradename for their range of quartz controlled clocks.

Shortly before the company ceased production they were using the Astral and Timecal tradenames almost indiscriminately, using the names for ranges of clocks of several types.


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The strange case of Smiths and the Enfield Clock Company.

The early history of the Enfield Clock Co was very competently documented in an article in Clocks Magazine dated March 1980 by the late Rita Shenton, a clock historian of distinction,

The company was formed in 1929 to manufacture clocks in the manner of the German factories. C Schatz, the main force behind the company obtained suitable premises and brought in machinery and a core of workers from Germany.

The first movements were shown and sold to the trade in Feb 1932 but towards the end of 1933 it became apparent the amalgamation or outright sale of the company was inevitable due to the low prices at which competing German products were available.

Smiths then stepped in and bought out the shareholders, but allowed the directors to remain and the company continued production from its premises at Pretoria Road Edmonton.


For a long time I did not understand why Smiths, who had themselves only started clock manufacture in 1931 should allow Enfield to continue as a competitor. Acquisition of the company is understandable, especially with hindsight, as Smiths adopted that policy frequently as the company grew, but to allow a competitor to continue trading under his own name seemed odd.

My present theory is that Smiths had been purchasing strike and chime movements, or possibly complete clocks from Enfield, so that when the company seemed likely to fail Smiths bought it.

It seems quite possible that the quantity of clocks that Smiths were then buying would not be enough to keep Enfield viable, so the decision was made to allow them to continue to trade independently, though doubtless Smiths would have ensured priority supplies.

Enfield developed new lines and were well established when the war started. During the war they continued to make some clocks but were mostly on war work.

In the late 40's the Smiths group, never one to let things slide, reviewed their position and decided to close down the Edmonton factory, make the successful 2" movement at Cricklewood and move the other production of Enfield movements to a factory in Wales.

I can only judge from advertisements, but it is at about this time that "The Enfield Clock Co" ceased to advertise independently and became just another part of the Smiths Group.

An Enfield advertisement in the March 48 Horological Journal adds "A Smiths of England product" to their usual header and by December 48 the header was Smiths Enfield "All British Clocks". By September 50 the header was "Smiths Enfield Clocks" and I believe that Enfield ceased to advertise independently after that. In the 1951 catalogue there is a page headed "Smiths Enfield Strike and Chime Clocks and another for Smiths Enfield Cathedral Strike clocks.

In my listing of Smiths Models I have not included any Enfield Clocks until they start to appear in the Smiths Catalogues.


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Special Ranges by Main Dealers

Richard & Tucker Nunn Ltd. was one of Smiths two main dealers. Grimshaw Baxter & J J Elliott Ltd. was the other. They both showed a full range of Smiths Clocks at exhibitions, but in addition showed further ranges which used Smiths movements in cases of better quality. Here is an example of the TNG version of the Stuart using chinoiserie decoration, very popular at the time, and a standard Smiths model. These special ranges were not included in Smiths catalogues though the movements are marked "Smiths". I have only been able to include those I found in advertisements.

In January 1959 the amalgamation of the two firms was announced and they adopted the name "Tucker Nunn & Grimshaws Ltd".

Smiths Tempora

"Tempora" may have been originally introduced as a tradename for a range of special clocks offered by Richard & Tucker Nunn Ltd.

After the amalgamation of the two firms they continued to use the name Tempora for some of their special ranges as shown by advertisements as far apart as 1966 and 1978.

This is why numerous different clocks and movements carry the Tempora name on the dial.

The gallery has only a few examples, taken from the dealers advertisements.

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Sectronic

In 1963, when Smiths produced a battery operated movement using transistors, they named it the "Sectronic". This, which became known as the Mark I had an unusual moving coil/fixed magnet construction. The Mark II also had a moving coil but was of slightly simpler construction. The name was sometimes also used, it seems, for their later battery movements with a moving magnet.


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Timecal

"Timecal" was originally the name of one particular model of alarm clock, but Smiths felt it had the right ring to it, and thereafter used it as a tradename for a range of models with an alarm feature.

Shortly before the company ceased production they were using the Astral and Timecal tradenames almost indiscriminately, using the names for ranges of clocks of several types.


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"Smith Alarms"

Somebody dreamed up the trade name "Smith Alarms" and this was used as a logo on some alarms and pictorial clocks from roughly 52 to 55. (even though the company name was by that time normally written as "Smiths")







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