View Full Version : Smiths Clocks Pre 1950

08-08-2004, 12:54 AM
We've been repairing a windshield wiper motor on our Wolseley 10hp (1948) and discovered that the arm from the motor hits the clock. We then learned that the clock was the incorrect one for that model car. What we found odd was that we didn't know how to connect the clock to any power supply. Don't know if it's an electronic clock or a mechanical one (a wind up clock in a car is kinda silly). So basically HELP how does this blasted clock work? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hammer.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif

08-08-2004, 04:23 AM
I have no direct personal experience, but I might guess that it could be an automatic winder. If you open the back, (ill advised at best) you might see a counterweight that winds the clock from the movements of the car. I know this was popular in wristwatches, I am only grasping at straws for dash clocks.

Good luck.

08-08-2004, 11:07 PM
The Smiths clocks used in British cars in the twenties and thirties were indeed wind-up clocks. Since the cars produced immediatly after the war were mostly pre-war designs it wouldn't surprise me to discover wind-up clocks in many of them.

Some of their designs only needed to wound once a week or so.

If there's a number on the clock face you might be able to determine the original application.

Ken G
08-09-2004, 03:18 PM
Just to confirm coldplugs' remarks, my 1925 Rover has a Smiths wind-up clock, that runs for a week and keeps time excellently, and my grandparents for years used in their home a Smiths wind-up car clock mounted in a little stand.

Ken G, 1925 Rover 16/50 (San Francisco)

08-09-2004, 11:51 PM
My dad used to collect car clocks that you wind up. He has several including one that is wound by rotating the bezel. Most had a very long stem that would extend under the dash similar to a trip odometer reset.

Unfortunately, none of his are Smiths....

The neatest one I've seen could be snapped out of the dash and had a leather case to work as a travel alarm for salesmen.


08-10-2004, 06:43 PM
wind up clocks in cars from the late forties is not at all odd. Usually the dash clock is basically just a simple cheap alarm clock without the alarm in it, or at least the ones I have serviced have been. I am not sure if Smith's did this though or not.

08-10-2004, 09:04 PM
Thanks for all your remarks, we now know how the thing works, alas it will need a complete overhaul, costing nearly $100, but to have a working clock in a car make where it's traditional for them not to work...how cool would that be. Now just have to remember to wind the thing.
Slowly but surely we are piecing the jigsaw of this car together, the odd broken wire here, dirty contacts there, dirt and moisture build up over the years. So much for the 'restored car' i got...i'm still restoring bits of it. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/driving.gif