Back in 2015, master watchmaker Roger W. Smith created a unique watch called the Great Britain to celebrate his homeland. On the occasion of the watch’s exhibition at Phillips in London (as part of the larger “Watchmakers: The Master of Art Horology” show), Phillips sat down with Roger and this watch to discuss making watches with the “Daniels Method,” why the Great Britain was a unique challenge, the development of his career more generally, and, of course, his recent OBE.
Roger W. Smith is one of the greatest living watchmakers anywhere on planet Earth, making watches entirely by hand on the Isle of Man with a small team of compatriots. Fewer than two dozen watches are produced under his name each year, each one made to order to the exact specifications of the client. We were fortunate enough both to visit Roger in Episode 1 of The Road Through Britain and to have Roger sit down with us last year for an episode of Talking Watches. You won’t want to miss either.
As some addition background, Smith was commissioned to make the Great Britain watch back in late 2014, and it was made as part of a larger project put on by the British government to support the idea of home-grown craft. The piece was then loaned to the British government upon its completion and Smith hadn’t seen it in person since. The watch features a Union flag motif on the dial and extremely ornate finishing on the movement reminiscent of what you’d see on traditional British pocket watches. You can read our original report about the Great Britain watch here and see the full specs on Roger W. Smith’s website here.