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Rubberfingers 16th Oct 2020 9:38 am

Smiths Clocks Film
Hope I'm allowed to post this here, I know clocks do frequently crop up on here. A fascinating short film frrom Smiths in the 1960's showing the manufacture of the humble alarm clock. Practically every home must have had at least one Smiths clock in the 1960's and 70's.

merlinmaxwell 16th Oct 2020 11:46 am

Re: Smiths Clocks Film
Thanks, rather good.

Lloyd 1985 16th Oct 2020 1:47 pm

Re: Smiths Clocks Film
Really interesting to see how they were all made! And how many they churned out, there must have been millions of the things made! The speed at which they assembled them is quite something too.


chriswood1900 16th Oct 2020 4:05 pm

Re: Smiths Clocks Film
Thanks for the link I do enjoy these old style films, they are a window into a past time and an interesting bit of social history.

M0FYA Andy 16th Oct 2020 6:54 pm

Re: Smiths Clocks Film


AndyWithStuff 17th Oct 2020 5:04 pm

Re: Smiths Clocks Film
If you enjoyed that as much as me then fill yer boots with this lot, theres some fantastic footage in this archive.

Sideband 17th Oct 2020 5:48 pm

Re: Smiths Clocks Film
Just watched 'The Man On The Beat' from the link in the post above. Worth a watch and then comparing it with the police of today.....

Andrew B 17th Oct 2020 5:57 pm

Re: Smiths Clocks Film
Brilliant link Andy with stuff

McMurdo 20th Oct 2020 12:30 pm

Re: Smiths Clocks Film
thanks for the link!'s another film about Smiths Industries

PJL 20th Oct 2020 9:34 pm

Re: Smiths Clocks Film
The engineering effort and cost that has gone into designing and building all the production line machinery is remarkable. I guess today the parts manufacturing would most likely be outsourced and supplied on a JIT basis.

whiskas 20th Oct 2020 11:03 pm

Re: Smiths Clocks Film
A real factory! Awesome how they took care of pretty much everything in house

McMurdo 21st Oct 2020 11:04 am

Re: Smiths Clocks Film
There are still plenty of 'vertically integrated' factories around, as I believe the technique is called. For example one of my clients makes washing up liquid and they make the liquid, mould the bottles and print the labels all in house. When the appliance company Creda was here locally, their in-house press shop made all the hinges, catches, brackets etc on rows of metal presses, the wiring harnesses and looms were all made from scratch from rolls of wire etc

Hartley118 21st Oct 2020 12:46 pm

Re: Smiths Clocks Film

Originally Posted by whiskas (Post 1301782)
A real factory! Awesome how they took care of pretty much everything in house

It was after the 'clock & watch' era that I joined Smiths, but a number of my colleagues recalled that vertically integrated production capability. Even the smallest components were manufactured in machine shops full of precision Swiss automatic 'screw machine' lathes like these Petermann examples . The best Smiths watches were claimed to be the quality equal of Rolexes and Omegas.

There's an interesting link between the Smiths clock & watch business and today's electronic connectors. Smiths is today well known for its high reliability Hypertac connector. See for example

The Hypertac was invented in France in the 1950s by Francois Bonhomme to fulfil the need for a reliable electrical contact in the arduous rail industry. Smiths recognised the need for hi-rel connections in avionics and also that the manufacture of the precision turned components used the same familiar techniques as in clock & watch production. So Smiths in London became a licensee of the Bonhomme patents. Today Smiths owns the technology and its Interconnect Division has connector factories worldwide.


FStephenMasek 25th Oct 2020 7:31 pm

Re: Smiths Clocks Film
Thank you, that is an interesting video. Designing the machines to make the parts, designing the assembly system, and maintaining all of it were amazing achievements.

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