This watch, sometimes called the Pre Tropical, combines three great English watch companies – JW Benson, Smiths and Dennison.


We have taken our lead here from Smiths Watches website, who list this model with the roman numeral dial as circa 1953.  It would make sense that the Tropical was a little bit later than the Pre Tropical.


JW Benson started out in 1847, and were quickly established as one of the best watchmakers in London.  The held royal warrants for Queen Victoria and the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII).  There premises were bombed during WW2 and destroyed, so when they restarted production they had to improvise and chose to partner with two other top firms.  For the case they employed Dennison, whose Aquatite cases were among the best – as used in 1953 by Sir Edmund Hilary to climb Everest.  And to power the watch they went to the Cheltenham factory of S. Smiths and Sons, but rather than taking one of their off the shelf movements they modified the Calibre 400, adding a jewel to the centre wheel and upgrading the balance.  The combination is a winner.

This watch has a very clean dial.  The hands are good but the minute hand has lost some lume.  The movement is running well and the cruciform movement protector is still there.  The crown is a later replacement from TAG Heuer, and while we have tried to find a more suitable crown that fits we have not been able to find one.  The base metal case has marks, as they all do, and if you do not like that then this is not the correct model watch for you.  The leather strap is new, and could be swapped for a different colour if preferred.

This watch will be supplied with our branded presentation box and our Certificate of Authenticity.

Please see the HD video for more detail.  All photos and videos are part of the description and are of the actual watch unless mentioned.  We do not photoshop any pictures, and the images are copyright of and should not be used without permission.


Width with crown  38.2 mm

Width without crown  33.4 mm

Between lugs  18 mm

Lug to lug length  41.1 mm

Case Thickness  11.1 mm

All sizes are approximate.

Included with this watch is a 2 month guarantee and free delivery to UK addresses.  If you live outside the UK we can still deliver to most countries.  Please see our Worldwide Shipping information, or Contact Us.   Payment can be made by most credit or debit cards, bank transfer or PayPal.

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