This film is part of Free

Time of Change

A tale of two employees, their fathers miners, who started at the Anglo Celtic Watch Company (“The Tick-Tock”), Ystradgynlais, on leaving school.

Promotional 1967 21 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales


Exposition of the recent, and apparently successful, rationalisation that has taken place at the Anglo Celtic Watch Company factory in Ystradgynlais. Footage of design, development and manufacturing processes is leavened with a tale of two employees, Selwyn Morris, Assistant Chief Draughtsman and member of the Ystradgynlais Male Voice Choir, and Pamela Clist, a watch assembler, who is preparing for married life with a miner. Narrated by Wynford Vaughan Thomas.

"The Tick-Tock" factory in Ystradgynlais was part of the Clock & Watch Division of Smiths Industries Limited. The factory was opened in 1947 and at its peak there was hardly a household in the Upper Swansea Valley that did not have a representative on the workforce. When it closed in 1980, it had produced over 31 million timepieces, all of which were covered by an exceptional lifetime guarantee: free replacement, whatever had happened to the watch (a miner’s fob watch with brass casing, for instance, was received back at the factory for replacement, having been crushed flat underground by a tram – some of the workings, made of tempered steel, were still intact).