It would be something cost effective and indistinct. The modern equivalent would be a Tissot.^ I thought that the person writing the article was waaaay off target - there's no way that Smiley would ever buy a gold Patek, even if he could have afforded it.
Smiley would wear a simple steel watch, in all likelihood - maybe even a Smiths, or a mid-tier Swiss brand that later died off as a result of the quartz revolution. Ann would probably buy him a gold watch - but it wouldn't be a Patek. More likely a Cartier or JLC Reverso engraved with her name (much like the lighter he inadvertently ended up giving to Karla).
One of the commentators has indeed, assigned him a Longines:
AMANI·4 hours ago·edited 3 hours ago
I consider Smiley to be a person who appreciates technology that is both useful and practical in its application. My Smiley owns an 1937 Longines 13ZN chronograph in yellow gold. His example, acquired a year later after the original release date of 1936, was chosen after careful consideration for its horological advancements in movement design and for the information conveyed through the manipulation of the chronograph function. The dial has a white face with red and blue text including a telemeter scale. The 3 O'clock sub-register has the standout markings for 3, 6, and 9 minutes indicating varying charges for telephone calls. At 37.5 mm it was a perfect daily companion that met sartorial prerequisites while also gaining admiration from associates who had an appreciation for horology and luxury timepieces of the day. The telemeter scale would have appealed to Smiley's intellect having studied historic wars and battle tactics and being fully aware of how the scale was applied in the field in WW1. The 3, 6 and 9 minute call charge bands would have recently been released and Smiley would have handpicked his example to ensure he had this feature on his wrist. In his line of work he would have been required on a regular basis to make calls from home and public phone boxes rendering this feature as indispensable. Smiley would have extracted the deepest pleasure upon executing the chronograph function while the timepiece was carefully placed by the poolside so as to measure his lap times. As a tinkerer, a former soldier (as referenced by Le Carré) and an expert on spies, Smiley would have carefully tailored all his personal items to meet his exacting standards.
In present times, a Rolex would be handy in case you needed to liquidate it quickly for ready cash or a passage out of country. But the problem there of course, new assets will automatically think they get one too.
I bought it complete with faux yet unique patina.did you buy it or are you just trying it on?