ROGER SMITH

22.05.2018
How often do you come across technologies or products with a revolutionary potential that can really surprise you at exhibitions or prizes?
Whatever the infinite press releases say, I personally find anything truly innovative extremely rare.
What trends are awaiting us soon, judging by the nominees presented here? How successful do you consider last year?
In general, trends are something from the field of fashion, they have little relation to watchmaking. As usual among the nominees there are both quite delicious specimens and products that are unlikely to withstand the test of time.
To what extent does current economic situation affect independent manufacturers?
The ups and downs of global economy are more likely to affect the brands targeting a broader consumer market. For independent masters, the main reference point should always be the improvement of their skills.
Manufacturers of which countries, apart from Switzerland, have made the most impression on you lately?
On the one hand, there are plenty of examples around when citizens of other states make a brilliant career in the industry. However, later they tend to move to Switzerland, which means they feed the local tradition rather than develop that of their own.
To what extent does the non-Swiss origin of your watches affect the marketing strategy?
What the Swiss do is unique, our timepiece products are unique too. Comparing these two categories is pointless.
What, then, you consider to be the distinguishing features of British watchmaking?
First, innovation: after all, 75% of inventions in the watch mechanics belong to the British. Then, the quality of assembly and, of course, the clarity of design concept.
How many copies do you make per year, and where is the boundary between the classical approach of the old masters and the industry?
We make ten copies a year. As for the dividing line between the industry and a watch-maker in the classical sense, everything is simple here - manual production of every component. No compromises! Manual assembly and manual production are not the same at all. What in your opinion is the most important chorological achievement of the XXI century? It is gratifying that mechanical watches in the ХХI century still cause interest and admiration in a fairly large number of people. You will see, with the proliferation of smart devices and other consumer electronics, an understanding of their beauty, the craving for them as art objects will only grow. A case in point is the recent record set by the George Daniels’s Space Traveler watch auctioned at 3.2 million pounds. It can be said, this is the main breakthrough.