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For sale we have an excellent Retro watch, manufactured for Kays of Worcester. It dates from 1971 and has a good mix of quality design and finishing. It has a classic Steel 60s C-shaped case, with a brushed sunburst bezel. The silver sunburst bezel catches the eye, with clear baton markers, balanced with the day-date window. It has luminous baton hands with aged lume in-fill, with a standout central second hand with red pointed tip. To the rear is the Steel screwback, with the AS 1916 automatic movement inside. It has a day-date function.

Presented on its unusual cut out bracelet, this watch blends the classic design of the 1960s, with the early 1970s. The cut outs on the bracelet remind me of the later and larger, Elvis’ sunglasses.

It comes complete with its original box and signed guarantee, dated 6th May 1971.


The dial is very clean and beautifully balanced. It has a silver satin tone with a sunburst finish radiating from the centre. The baton hour markers are thicker at 6, 9 and 12, balancing with the day-date window at 3 O’clock. The markers are mirror polished, with a black central strip. This matches the baton style hands, with the black painted centre. The lume plots are set at 6, 9 and 12 and are in good condition, having aged to a yellow tone. The central second hand is an appealing touch, with the red painted arrow to the tip. The dial is neatly signed K, Worcester, 25 jewels Incabloc.

The circular polished bezel surrounds the dial. With the top of the case subtly falling away with a sunburst finish. The sides have a polished bevel which catches the light and adds depth on the wrist. The case is well proportioned at 36mm wide, with the lug-to-lug measurement of 41mm. The crown to the right-hand side is easy to use, with its coin edge finish.


To the rear is the skrewback which is engraved as being all Stainless and Incabloc. Inside is the reliable and well-made AS 1916 movement, which operates at a frequency of 21,600 BPH. It has a jewel count of 25, with Incabloc shock protection. It has a non-quickset day-date function and is keeping very reliable time, within 10 seconds a day.


A well preserved and well-made example, with very enjoyable design touches. We see this as an ideal everyday vintage wear.



Kays of Worcester:

William Kay was originally employed as a jeweller’s assistant and worked for Skarratt & Co of Worcester. He started his own company “Kays of Worcester”, in 1890. They began by offering the Kays “Perfection” pocket watch, which was popular and sold in its thousands. They offered English lever movements, as well as Swiss Made examples since 1907. They also offered the Kay & Co “Workmans” watch. They were popular amongst the working man, as intended, during the troubled times of the early 20th century. Labour movement and Trade Unions were becoming more powerful, and Kays sought ot show solidarity with their customers. The company offered wristwatches up until 1994, with a range of examples available through catalogue order. Companies such as Avia, were commissioned to produced watches for Kays. The company also has a number of important and impressive clocks, including an example at Platform 1 of Paddington Station.


Full condition report below. Please see the images as these compliment and aid the description provided below.



The dial is original and is in very good condition. The hour markers are original, with mirror polished finish and black centre. The signing is in good condition and is clear. The lume plots are original with an aged tone.



The hands are original, of luminous baton style. It has a luminous in-fill towards the end, with black painted central section. The central second hand is original with red painted tip. They are in good condition.



The acrylic crystal is original and is in good condition, having been lightly polished.



The crown is original and functions as it should.



The case is Stainless Steel and is in good original condition. It has polished finishing with light surface scratching. The bezel has a polished sunburst graining, which is original and good with only light surface scratching.



The case back is formed of steel and is in good condition for the age. It is a screw back, with notches for case opening. It has light scuffing to the flat polished face. It is free of any major marks from poor opening. The engraving is good and clear.



The watch comes on its original cut out steel, partially expanding bracelet. It is in good condition with light surface scratching. It will fit any wrist size.



The movement is an AS 1916 movement. It is an automatic movement, which is shock protected, with a jewel count of 25. It operates at a frequency of 21,600 BPH and has a 44-hour power reserve. It has a day date function.


The movement has been recently serviced. It’s keeping time to +/- 10 seconds a day, with an amplitude of 290 degrees and a beat error of 0.2 m/s.


Case dimensions:

Case width: 36mm

Case width with crown: 39mm

Case length: 35.5mm

Case length lug to lug: 41mm

Case Depth: 12.5mm

Lug width: 18mm

1971 Kays Worcester Automatic Day Date steel watch AS 1916, box & papers

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