Whenever I think about a watch made by an independent watchmaker, a certain recollection comes to mind – one that could explain my passion for timepieces created by masters with diminutive production but gargantuan horological expertise. This particular story involves a watch brand, a trip to Switzerland, and what is normally a very casual thing: lunch.
Anyone who visits online watch forums with any frequency very likely comes across at least a few heated discussions of “finishing,” a topic that seems to fascinate, and divide, enthusiasts. What is it and why are opinions divided?
A George Daniels Co-Axial Anniversary Edition by Roger Smith arrives at auction for the first time in the September 19, 2016 watch sale of Robert White’s collection of cars, motorbikes, watches, airplane memorabilia, and other items at Bonhams in London.
The Isle of Man’s Roger Smith has long had an appreciation for triple calendar wristwatches, finding harmonious balance and purity in the triple calendar indications of day, date, and month. Having successfully redeveloped the George Daniels-invented co-axial escapement to be both smaller and more efficient, the time was right to introduce a new model: The Series 4 triple calendar.
“What, another watch?” she almost screamed in disbelief no sooner than I had opened the front door to our little love nest. Rewind to last week. I had been looking for a Roger Smith Series 1 for some time now, and Jones, my watch dealer, happened to finally locate one. I thought that I had played it pretty safe, so I really don’t know how she could have noticed. But then what happened next changed the rest of my life.
Roger Smith holds a special place in the pantheon of independent watchmaking, both on his own merits and as the man who worked most closely with the legendary George Daniels. While any Smith watch is rare, the particular Series 2 that you see photographed in this article is in fact unique: it’s the only such watch in stainless steel that Smith has yet produced.
Many of you are likely to have come across at least a few heated discussions of “finishing,” a topic that seems to fascinate, and divide, watch enthusiasts. Like many people, my starting point for serious watches was with a well-priced brand long known for its expertise in developing movements, justly viewed as offering good value for money – but not necessarily for the refinement of its movement finishing, at least on its less expensive pieces. What have I learned since then?
I simply went gaga over R.W. Smith’s latest creation when I first saw it. Commissioned as part of the British government’s GREAT Britain campaign, which is on its third year, Smith’s latest creation is appropriately called the GREAT Britain watch. Well, of course!