Smiths Explorer Issue Greenland Expedition 1960 a.404 Wristwatch

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The Watch

Remarkably the Watch is still live and kicking and in pretty good condition for what it has seen and been through.
The Caseback has the wonderful "Greenland Expedition 1960" Smiths Issue engraving. Above that is "A.A Noble" I couldn't find any record of him on the trip, until one fateful Saturday evening, head over to the blog to read the full story! (below)
The Iconic stepped a.404 dial is in good order for its age. Interestingly the Movement has serial numbers 606 with a 12 underneath I have never seen a 12.15 with serial numbers like that before, looks like a date code for June 1960 or it could be a batch code and then just a 12, which was the 12th Movement of the Batch of likely 38. Fascinating, it likely is specifically numbered for the expedition, which would be very handy if they were testing things in the watches, oils, hairsprings or similar, maybe.
Please check out this blog post for the full story and to read a letter to us from a Explorer who was actually on the trip: here
You can view this Rarity in a video: here

The Specs

 Age:  1960
Reference: A.404
Serial Number: 606/12
Movement: Manual Wind
Calibre: 12.15
Timekeeping: Poor, Service Needed.
Service History: Unknown
Dial: Original Smiths Factory Dial.
Case: Chrome with Stainless Steel Caseback
Measurements: Without/With Crown: 33.1mm/35.5mm

Water Resistant?: No.
Hands: Original Handset.
Crystal: Possibly Original
Crowns: Replacement
Strap/Bracelet: On a tatty old period Strap.
Lug Width: 16mm
Getting Acquainted 
Bits that stand out:
- Uber rare 1 of only 38 provided for that expedition.
- Directly Issued to the Explorers by Smiths, this is not "explorer style" this is the real deal!!
- Overall Condition for its Nature is very nice.
-Fantastic Story.
-Very desirable oddly numbered Serial Number.
Nitty Gritty:
- Probably a Replacement Crown, it's my opinion that the Crown has been replaced at some point, however, who knows? The Crown is not correct for the bog standard Smiths A.404.
-Poor timekeeping, a Service is overdue.
-It seems that the setting bridge arm may be broken, this is a common problem with Smiths. The Watch winds and sets fine but can sometimes go back into the case very easily.
The Dial is in lovely order for its age and nature. There is some small discolouration around the sub seconds.
The Case is in nice condition really for the nature and age of the piece as we do commonly see a.404s absolutely battered, with a few age related marks and scratches but nothing to really write home about.
The Caseback has the wonderful "Greenland Expedition 1960" engraving. Above that is "A.A Noble" I cannot find any record of him on the trip, I have found 27 out of 38 names so far but Noble's is not amongst them, though obviously there is the chance that he is one of the remaining 11. The Noble engraving is of a different font to the Smiths issued engraving so it could be that it was added later by the next owner or maybe he wanted to engrave his name so it didn't get mixed up with one of the other 38 that were issued.
The Crown does seem to be a later replacement. Setting Bridge seems to have snapped.
Crystal is scratched and maybe a little discoloured.

Hands are in good nick.

It's being offered in completely untouched condition, a service will be needed if you plan on wearing.
Certainly one for the Serious collection, this extremely rare piece is 1 of only 38 ever in existence and issued directly to the explorer by Smiths themselves, a very very rare opportunity.