The British Horological Institute recently awarded Isle of Man based Roger W. Smith the Barrett Silver Medal in recognition of his “dedication to and successfully continuing the finest traditions of English watchmaking”.
During his acceptance speech, Roger Smith remembered his own studies for the BHI qualification at the Manchester School of Horology almost 25 years ago, remarking that his first day on the course was "the most enjoyable day in education that I had ever had" and from that day, he knew that he "had been gripped by this fascinating and multi faceted occupation of horology".
He originally moved to the island from Greater Manchester in 1998 to work with the late Dr George Daniels CBE, whom he describes as the 'greatest horologist of all time", and who inspired him to take up watchmaking.
Dr Daniels was awarded the BHI Gold Medal in 1981, the highest distinction that the institute offers for his outstanding horological achievement, writing and research.
Roger Smith, awarded the BHI Bronze Medal in 1989 after being voted the most outstanding student of the year at the Manchester School of Horolog, worked closely with Dr Daniels for more than 20 years until Dr Daniel's death in October 2011 at the age of 85.
He made his first pocket watch at the age of 22 and currently has a two-year waiting list for his watches, which start at £72,500.