Beach background
Municipal School of Jewellers & Silversmiths

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND

Born in Bolton, 1970, Roger Smith’s special talent for the mechanical was revealed from a very young age.

While fascinated with the workings of machines he showed little interest in the rest of the school curriculum so, when he reached the age of 16, he enrolled on a course at the local Manchester School of Horology.

He was ‘hooked’ from day one.

Dr Geroge Daniels CBE
George Daniels

It was here that Roger first met Dr. George Daniels CBE (1926 - 2011), widely regarded as the greatest horologist of the last 250 years.

Dr Geroge Daniels CBE

The Space Traveller

Dr Daniels was a visiting speaker and during his presentation, he revealed his hand-made pocket watch to the students in Roger's class.

This was the pivotal moment in his life. Roger knew that he had witnessed true greatness and, beyond his vocation, he had now discovered his destiny.

Roger had now discovered his destiny...

Dr Geroge Daniels CBE

...to hand make a watch.

Dr Geroge Daniels CBE

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND

Roger began his first pocket watch during his spare time, two years later he had completed his first working pocket watch, aged just 22.

Once completed he took the pocket watch to the Isle of Man to present it to Dr. Daniels.

Dr Geroge Daniels CBE

To Roger’s initial dismay, Dr. Daniels advised him to go back and start again because, although the watch functioned, it looked ‘handmade’ and not ‘created’.

It was here, with this distinction, that Roger realised what was at the heart of Daniels’s philosophy;

Dr Geroge Daniels CBE

“A watch should seem to have simply appeared from thin air, without any sign of the maker, other than the realisation of their aesthetic.”

Dr. George Daniels

Dr Geroge Daniels CBE

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND

Despite the unprecedented achievement of creating a working pocket watch at such a young age, Roger had also stumbled at the ultimate test.

Flying back to Manchester, Roger took stock and soon came to terms with this setback. Now he understood the truly monumental nature of the challenge in front of him and the brutal and ‘binary’ truth of the watchmaker:

Perfection... or failure.

Dr Geroge Daniels CBE

Roger spent the next five and a half years making, and remaking, his second pocket watch until he had perfected all 34 of the requisite skills comprising Daniels’ Method.

Dr Geroge Daniels CBE
Isle of Man
Underline
Dr Geroge Daniels CBE

THE ISLE OF MAN

Roger took the pocket watch back to Dr. Daniels, after a lengthy and close examination, the watch passed the great master’s test. And so had Roger.

In his seven-year journey, Roger had become the complete watchmaker and realised it was a path he was always meant to have taken alone.

Dr Geroge Daniels CBE

Rather than an apprentice, Dr. Daniels sought a collaborator with sufficient mastery of the watchmaker’s craft. Shortly afterwards, in 1998, he invited Roger to move to the Isle of Man and work with him on the now legendary ‘Daniels Millennium’ series.

This was the finest ‘finishing school’ Roger could have wished for, and he worked with George Daniels until the completion of this series, three years later.

Roger W Smith
Roger W Smith

Having happily settled in the Isle of Man, Roger harboured dreams of setting up his own workshop and in 2001, Roger W. Smith Ltd was incorporated.

Roger produced his 'Series 1', comprising 9 rectangular cased watches fitted with a retrograde calendar complication.

Roger W Smith

Roger's ambitions were to completely disrupt horological standards by creating his own completely handmade production wristwatch.

And so the Series 2 was born.

Roger W Smith Series 2

Series 2

Roger Smith's first edition of the Series 2 is arguably the most important watch in the history of the company being the first production watch by a British watchmaker in modern times.

Roger W Smith Series 2

Almost every one of the watch’s 225 parts were created in the Roger W. Smith studio, including the cases, dials, hands and most importantly, the most technically advanced escapement in 250 years – the Daniels co-axial.

The Series 2 fully established Roger’s unrivalled skill as an absolute master. It also became a mechanical embodiment of Roger’s watchmaking manifesto, namely to create a means of telling the time which is an object of beauty and art that, if properly maintained, will last forever.

Roger W Smith

In 2009, Roger embarked on what would become his final collaboration with George Daniels, to produce a series of 35 wristwatches appropriately numbered to commemorate the 35th Anniversary of Dr. Daniels' invention of the Co-axial escapement.

The Anniversary
35th Anniversary

These Anniversary pieces are as exquisite as they are rare and their design is set firmly in the English style as perceived by Daniels and Smith – flawlessly frosted plates contrasted with hand-engraved silver and gold dials, blued screws and a wealth of detail.

The Anniversary
35th Anniversary

The watch epitomised their shared quest for perfection in the English approach to watch making. Fully entrusted with the design and development of the watch by George Daniels, the Anniversary watch also represented a watershed moment in Roger’s career...

ISLE OF MAN

Nearly twenty-five years after meeting George Daniels, the great master had passed the baton to Roger to continue his work.

The year was a coming of age for Roger, but was also very poignant. Dr Daniels' approval of the Anniversary watch design was his final swan-song.

He passed away just a few weeks later in October 2011, aged 85.

The Great Britain Campaign

LONDON 2012

In 2012, while enjoying the wonderful spectacle of the London Olympic Games, Roger had no inkling that this would eventually lead to perhaps his most famous unique piece. But it did.

This incredible spotlight that the Olympians had shone on Great Britain had inspired national pride, celebration of multiculturalism and a realisation that pillars of the country's reputation needed to be built upon.

The GREAT Britain campaign was born on this legacy.

To promote the very best of Britain to the world. Roger was invited by the Prime Minister’s Office of Communications to become an ambassador for the campaign, exemplifying as he does British innovation, creativity and craftsmanship.

Roger quickly realised that this could also be a perfect opportunity to raise awareness of British watchmaking. So in 2013, he decided to create its standard bearer...

British Flag

THE GREAT BRITAIN

The GREAT Britain would be based on Roger’s Series 2 watch, but would became famous for having perhaps the most complex dial ever made by hand.

British Flag

THE GREAT BRITAIN

Roger poured all his accumulated knowledge in developing a movement which was also one-of-a-kind and featured his latest evolution of the single wheel coaxial escapement.

British Flag

THE GREAT BRITAIN

Curated by the WatchClub in London, The GREAT Britain has subsequently toured the world on trade missions and international expos, appearing as a centre-piece of the Shanghai Festival of Creativity in 2015.

British Flag

THE GREAT BRITAIN

By 2014, Roger began to reflect on the horological achievements of the past decade and the accumulation of knowledge from his production watches and unique pieces, as well as arguably his peak of artistic excellence, the Open Dial watch.

A realisation began to dawn, and a new imperative; to create the first range of truly British watches for nearly fifty years, since Smiths Industries ceased production of their watch editions in the 1970s.

So after a two-year development cycle, Roger announced his intent at the 2015 Salon QP by showing prototypes for a Series 1, 2, 3 and 4 plus the latest addition to the range (in 2018) the Open Dial Series 5.

As ever, the core of the watches is Roger’s very latest version of the co-axial escapement. Having successfully lightened the escape wheel by 23% in The Great Britain watch (resulting in further improvements to timekeeping), Roger now embarked on scaling the escapement down by up to a third in order to explore further benefits to timekeeping and new opportunities to develop his aesthetic.

The completely revised Series 1 (now a time-only piece) and new Series 2 watches are accompanied by Roger’s first new production watches for a decade; the Series 3 (which has a calendar movement) and the Series 4 (a more complicated calendar watch), which completes the range. As before, the Series 5 is an Open Dial version of the Series 2 functions.

A New Era

THE ISLE OF MAN

During 2017 and 2018, Roger realised a long-held ambition, to build a purpose-designed workshop in which to work with his team of superb craftsmen and women.

The spacious and eco-friendly facility was fitted out and completed during the summer of 2018 and, apart from providing a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to the Daniels Method of watchmaking also honours the memory and work of George Daniels with a dedicated working museum celebrating the great master's work.

It was during the reconstitution of the original Daniels workshop that Roger discovered what was presumed a long-lost prototype of enormous significance.

A Rolex Oyster which was the original proof-of-concept used by Dr Daniels’s to show a sceptical watch industry that his original co-axial escapement could not only achieve mass production, but that mechanical watches were still a vital and evolving quantum of horology.

In refurbishing what looks on the outside to be a standard Rolex Oyster (case ref.16030), Roger has also restored this triumphant work to its rightful place in the pantheon of historic watches.

OBE

In 2018, Roger received the greatest honour of his life and career so far, when he was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s birthday honours list.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, LONDON

The Queen’s Honours recognise the achievements of a wide range of extraordinary people across the United Kingdom and, in demonstrating the breadth of service given by people from all backgrounds, Roger has been recognised for ‘outstanding services to watchmaking’.

Municipal School of Jewellers & Silversmiths

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND

The new year had started with a wonderful moment in Roger’s life and career, as the Chancellor of Birmingham City University conferred on him a Doctorate, honoris causa.

This honour has come at a pivotal moment in Roger's career as he has re-evaluated his core beliefs and philosophy of horology, focusing on the future potential of mechanical watchmaking. Set against the sheer scale of Roger Smith's ambitions into a new era of innovation, Rogers journey...

Just Begun
Beach background
1970

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND

Born in Bolton, 1970, Roger Smith’s special talent for the mechanical was revealed from a very young age.

While fascinated with the workings of machines he showed little interest in the rest of the school curriculum so, when he reached the age of 16, he enrolled on a course at the local Manchester School of Horology.

He was ‘hooked’ from day one.

George Daniels

It was here that Roger first met Dr. George Daniels CBE (1926 - 2011), widely regarded as the greatest horologist of the last 250 years.

The Space Traveller Watch

Dr Daniels was a visiting speaker and during his presentation, he revealed his hand-made pocket watch to the students in Roger's class.

The Space Traveller

This was the pivotal moment in his life. Roger knew that he had witnessed true greatness and, beyond his vocation, he had now discovered his destiny.

Roger had now discovered his destiny...

...to hand make a watch.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND

Roger began his first pocket watch during his spare time, two years later he had completed his first working pocket watch, aged just 22.

Once completed he took the pocket watch to the Isle of Man to present it to Dr. Daniels.

To Roger’s initial dismay, Dr. Daniels advised him to go back and start again because, although the watch functioned, it looked ‘handmade’ and not ‘created’.

It was here, with this distinction, that Roger realised what was at the heart of Daniels’s philosophy;

A watch should seem to have simply appeared from thin air, without any sign of the maker, other than the realisation of their aesthetic.

Dr. George Daniels

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND

Despite the unprecedented achievement of creating a working pocket watch at such a young age, Roger had also stumbled at the ultimate test.

Flying back to Manchester, Roger took stock and soon came to terms with this setback. Now he understood the truly monumental nature of the challenge in front of him and the brutal and ‘binary’ truth of the watchmaker:

Perfection... or failure.

Roger spent the next five and a half years making, and remaking, his second pocket watch until he had perfected all 34 of the requisite skills comprising Daniels’ Method.

Isle of Man
Underline
1998

THE ISLE OF MAN

Roger took the pocket watch back to Dr. Daniels, after a lengthy and close examination, the watch passed the great master’s test. And so had Roger.

In his seven-year journey, Roger had become the complete watchmaker and realised it was a path he was always meant to have taken alone.

Rather than an apprentice, Dr. Daniels sought a collaborator with sufficient mastery of the watchmaker’s craft. Shortly afterwards, in 1998, he invited Roger to move to the Isle of Man and work with him on the now legendary ‘Daniels Millennium’ series.

This was the finest ‘finishing school’ Roger could have wished for, and he worked with George Daniels until the completion of this series, three years later.

Roger W Smith

Having happily settled in the Isle of Man, Roger harboured dreams of setting up his own workshop and in 2001, Roger W. Smith Ltd was incorporated.

Roger produced his 'Series 1', comprising 9 rectangular cased watches fitted with a retrograde calendar complication.

Roger's ambitions were to completely disrupt horological standards by creating his own completely handmade production wristwatch.

And so the Series 2 was born.

Series 2

Roger Smith's first edition of the Series 2 is arguably the most important watch in the history of the company being the first production watch by a British watchmaker in modern times.

Almost every one of the watch’s 225 parts were created in the Roger W. Smith studio, including the cases, dials, hands and most importantly, the most technically advanced escapement in 250 years – the Daniels co-axial.

The Series 2 fully established Roger’s unrivalled skill as an absolute master. It also became a mechanical embodiment of Roger’s watchmaking manifesto, namely to create a means of telling the time which is an object of beauty and art that, if properly maintained, will last forever.

Watch
Roger W Smith

In 2009, Roger embarked on what would become his final collaboration with George Daniels, to produce a series of 35 wristwatches appropriately numbered to commemorate the 35th Anniversary of Dr. Daniels' invention of the Co-axial escapement.

35th Anniversary Watch
35th Anniversary

These Anniversary pieces are as exquisite as they are rare and their design is set firmly in the English style as perceived by Daniels and Smith – flawlessly frosted plates contrasted with hand-engraved silver and gold dials, blued screws and a wealth of detail.

35th Anniversary

The watch epitomised their shared quest for perfection in the English approach to watch making. Fully entrusted with the design and development of the watch by George Daniels, the Anniversary watch also represented a watershed moment in Roger’s career...

ISLE OF MAN

Nearly twenty-five years after meeting George Daniels, the great master had passed the baton to Roger to continue his work.

The year was a coming of age for Roger, but was also very poignant. Dr Daniels' approval of the Anniversary watch design was his final swan-song.

He passed away just a few weeks later in October 2011, aged 85.

Great Britain The Great Britain Campaign
2012

LONDON 2012

In 2012, while enjoying the wonderful spectacle of the London Olympic Games, Roger had no inkling that this would eventually lead to perhaps his most famous unique piece. But it did.

This incredible spotlight that the Olympians had shone on Great Britain had inspired national pride, celebration of multiculturalism and a realisation that pillars of the country's reputation needed to be built upon.

The GREAT Britain campaign was born on this legacy.

To promote the very best of Britain to the world. Roger was invited by the Prime Minister’s Office of Communications to become an ambassador for the campaign, exemplifying as he does British innovation, creativity and craftsmanship.

Roger quickly realised that this could also be a perfect opportunity to raise awareness of British watchmaking. So in 2013, he decided to create its standard bearer...

British Flag

THE GREAT BRITAIN

The GREAT Britain would be based on Roger’s Series 2 watch, but would became famous for having perhaps the most complex dial ever made by hand.

British Flag

THE GREAT BRITAIN

Roger poured all his accumulated knowledge in developing a movement which was also one-of-a-kind and featured his latest evolution of the single wheel coaxial escapement.

British Flag

THE GREAT BRITAIN

Curated by the WatchClub in London, The GREAT Britain has subsequently toured the world on trade missions and international expos, appearing as a centre-piece of the Shanghai Festival of Creativity in 2015.

British Flag

THE GREAT BRITAIN

By 2014, Roger began to reflect on the horological achievements of the past decade and the accumulation of knowledge from his production watches and unique pieces, as well as arguably his peak of artistic excellence, the Open Dial watch.

A realisation began to dawn, and a new imperative; to create the first range of truly British watches for nearly fifty years, since Smiths Industries ceased production of their watch editions in the 1970s.

So after a two-year development cycle, Roger announced his intent at the 2015 Salon QP by showing prototypes for a Series 1, 2, 3 and 4 plus the latest addition to the range (in 2018) the Open Dial Series 5.

As ever, the core of the watches is Roger’s very latest version of the co-axial escapement. Having successfully lightened the escape wheel by 23% in The Great Britain watch (resulting in further improvements to timekeeping), Roger now embarked on scaling the escapement down by up to a third in order to explore further benefits to timekeeping and new opportunities to develop his aesthetic.

Series 1

Series 1

Series 2

Series 2

Series 3

Series 3

Series 4

Series 4

Series 5
(Open Dial)

Series 5

The completely revised Series 1 (now a time-only piece) and new Series 2 watches are accompanied by Roger’s first new production watches for a decade; the Series 3 (which has a calendar movement) and the Series 4 (a more complicated calendar watch), which completes the range. As before, the Series 5 is an Open Dial version of the Series 2 functions.

A New Era
2018

THE ISLE OF MAN

During 2017 and 2018, Roger realised a long-held ambition, to build a purpose-designed workshop in which to work with his team of superb craftsmen and women.

The spacious and eco-friendly facility was fitted out and completed during the summer of 2018 and, apart from providing Roger and his team with state-of-the-art horological facilities dedicated to advancing the future of mechanical watchmaking, the building also honours the legacy of George Daniels with a working museum to celebrate the great master’s work.

It was during the reconstitution of the original Daniels workshop that Roger discovered what was presumed a long-lost prototype of enormous significance.

A Rolex Oyster which was the original proof-of-concept used by Dr Daniels’s to show a sceptical watch industry that his original co-axial escapement could not only achieve mass production, but that mechanical watches were still a vital and evolving quantum of horology.

In refurbishing what looks on the outside to be a standard Rolex Oyster (case ref.16030), Roger has also restored this triumphant work to its rightful place in the pantheon of historic watches.

OBE Roger W Smith OBE

In 2018, Roger received the greatest honour of his life and career so far, when he was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s birthday honours list.

2019

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND

The new year had started with a wonderful moment in Roger’s life and career, as the Chancellor of Birmingham City University conferred on him a Doctorate, honoris causa.

This honour has come at a pivotal moment in Roger's career as he has re-evaluated his core beliefs and philosophy of horology, focusing on the future potential of mechanical watchmaking. Set against the sheer scale of Roger Smith's ambitions into a new era of innovation, Rogers journey...

Just Begun