Roger was recently invited by the Prime Minister’s office to attend their inaugural Spring Showcase, designed to fly the flag for British food and consumer goods and showcase small independent businesses who are exporting their goods internationally.
The Spring Showcase was hosted by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and Downing Street was transformed into a ‘street market’ with stallholders from across the UK to champion best of British food businesses. The Prime Minister was joined by Cabinet ministers to support businesses who are seizing global opportunities for growth, jobs and investment. Roger was invited to represent both the Great Britain campaign ambassadors and as Britains leading watchmaker.
It was a rare opportunity to engage with the Prime Minister and to raise awareness of British watchmaking, said Roger. Moments like this are very important as we try to ensure senior policy makers recognise our sector’s resurgence and potential for further growth
In summing up the Spring Showcase, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Putting the best of British business on the global market is a vital part of growing our economy – with exports bringing £640.3 billion last year alone. Every corner of the UK is filled with exceptionally talented businesses and I’m delighted that today we have been able to showcase some of the best of what this country has to offer.”
As part of a lively chat with the Prime Minister, which included Nigel Adams MP (Minister without Portfolio), Roger also took the opportunity to talk about the creation of his iconic Great Britain watch.
Roger said: “It was definitely one of the more unexpected ‘wrist-checks’ I’ve done!”
The Phillips Watch Auction 6 in New York City saw two new record prices being achieved by watches built in Roger’s workshop – an outright record for a British wristwatch ($2.389m – Daniels Anniversary) and a new record for a Roger W. Smith ($870,400 – Series 5 ‘Open Dial’). These outstanding prices continue the exponential rises in price being achieved for Roger’s watches at auction and private sale
Leading the auction was the very first platinum George Daniels Anniversary Watch ever made, bearing the unique serial number “00.” Realising $2,389,500 (£1,951,299) it set a record, not just for any George Daniels wristwatch – and any British-made wristwatch – sold at auction.
The Anniversary watch series comprised a total of 47 watches which were made to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the co-axial escapement.
Poignantly, this series proved to be the final collaboration between Roger and George who wanted the Anniversary model to also be a celebration of his life’s work. With just four examples produced in platinum and serial number “00” being the first, the watch is an exemplar of the best in handmade, traditional English watchmaking.
With huge global interest in independent watchmakers it was no surprise that this beautiful example of the Anniversary, made by Roger in 2019, should set a new milestone both for Daniels and British watches.
A magnificent example of a Roger W. Smith Series 5 ‘Open Dial’ was another history-making highlight of the auction, achieving a hammer price of $840,700 (£686,604). Extremely rare, this Open Dial watch from 2017 was one of only four platinum pieces made by Roger in a series of 12 watches.
Commenting on the results, Roger said; “As ever, I take a keen interest when any of our watches reach auction and it is extremely gratifying to see this continued growth in appreciation and value for independent watchmakers. I think, like any watchmaker, my focus is always on my horological work, but it is tremendous to see that our watches represent such a strong investment for our collectors as well.”
A donation from the sale will also benefit The George Daniels Educational Trust, The Alliance of British Watch and Clock Makers, and the Horological Society of New York.
Michael Clerizo, the hugely respected writer (and George Daniels’s biographer) also hosted a fascinating webinar with Roger Smith and William Andrewes.