Roger W. Smith, world renowned master watch maker based in Ramsey (Isle of Man), England has created a unique commission timepiece, the Tourbillon Commission No 4, recently completed for a private client. The piece has a handmade, 42mm case of 18-carat red gold, with a silver hand engine-turned dial created from seven separate sections with hand-engraved numerals and lettering.
It displays hours and minutes, with seconds shown via the sub dial at 6 o’clock. All indicator hands are made of 18-carat red gold; shaped, carved, filed and polished by hand. The date, shown at 3 o’clock, has an 18-carat red gold framed aperture surrounding the hand engraved date numerals. The Up & Down indicator dial radiates from the 10 o’clock position, showing the state of power reserve in the winding barrel, while the classic one-minute tourbillon construction with free-sprung balance and four platinum timing weights utilises the Daniels co-axial escapement located at the back of the movement, its rotation directly driving the sub dial seconds hand on the dial side.
The watch is supplied with an alligator tan strap with an 18-carat red gold, hand-engraved buckle hallmarked in London, and presented in a Linley presentation box of English oak and burr walnut with matching hallmarked sliver plaque marked No. 4.
Smith, 41, who made his first tourbillon pocket watch aged 22, obsesses over every detail, inspired by English watchmaking masterpieces of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Every one of his timepieces is unique, every component fashioned lovingly by hand out of the finest raw materials, from the case, hands and dial through to the movement, including the balance and escapement, and created under his personal supervision at the Roger W Smith workshop in the Isle of Man, an island set in the middle of the Irish Sea now emerging as a world centre of bespoke horological excellence.
Roger W. Smith and Daniels London are the world’s only two bespoke handmade watchmaking companies to employ the George Daniels co-axial escapement, acknowledged as the greatest development in watchmaking for 250 years, a mechanism that delivers unequalled chronometric performance and longevity. But what truly distinguishes a Roger W. Smith timepiece is its unmatched aesthetic, achieved through Smith’s signature passion for excellence and purity of form.
Such skilled artistry comes at a price – upwards of £72,500 (+ VAT) – but for that the customer will have been involved in the process from commission to completion and become the owner of a precision work of art that says as much about them as it does about its creator, a timepiece ‘sculpted’ by a master craftsman dedicated to elevating watchmaking to an art form. The Roger W. Smith tourbillon and the Series 2 wristwatch are available by commission only.