Roger Smith holds an extraordinary spot in the pantheon of free watchmaking, both on his own benefits and as the one who worked most intimately with the amazing George Daniels.
From his workshop on the Isle of Man, Roger turns out few unmistakable pieces every year; I’m lucky to consider as a part of my dear companions two colleagues who own variations of the Roger Smith Series 2, the subject of this version of Behind the Lens.
Roger Smith Series 2: front and back
While any Smith watch is uncommon, the specific Series 2 that you find in the photograph above is indeed one of a kind: it’s the solitary such watch in treated steel that Smith has yet delivered. My companion has made a training in the course of recent long stretches of getting an assortment of top-end free watches in steel, which comes near the visual whiteness of platinum without the chaperon weight.
While from an easygoing look the dial side of the Series 2, with its changed guilloche completes, unmistakable force hold, and deviated design, may be confused with a Breguet, after looking into it further its source becomes quickly clear. Specifically, the etched hands and particularly their three-dimensional bolts that show hours and minutes, are a dead giveaway.
And in everything from the conspicuously raised section rings, power save scale, and name plaque to the profoundly cut and finish filled numerals, the reasonable message here is one of hand-made development and confident dimensionality.
When we flip the watch over, any comparisons to the style of Breguet come to a dramatic end. As you can find in the photograph over, the development configuration is very natural, and the completing is in a customary English style with iced plates and basic edge shapes and slants as a distinct difference to the more colorful Swiss style.
I got in a difficult situation for certain people in an earlier article here by alluding to this style as “rural”; maybe the term was somewhat unforgiving, however I trust that you can perceive what I meant!
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the course of recent long periods of capturing watches, it is that the large scale focal point is an unforgiving device. Any small imperfection in the genuine watch becomes an enormous flaw when seen at full-screen sizes. Indeed, even with the decreased picture measures and transfer compression we use here at Quill & Pad, there’s no spot to hide.
In both the picture promptly above and the earlier dial-side pictures, a portion of the glitches with this specific illustration of the Series 2 become clear, including the unpleasant edges of the Romans VII and VIII, lopsided finish fill in a portion of the engraved numerals, and (somewhat less noticeable) non-uniform shade of the blued hands.
This is, obviously, where individual taste and survey setting come to the front: as seen with the unaided eye, to me the general impact is one of interpretive hand craftsmanship. Seen on my monster Thunderbolt screen, my impression is fairly less favorable.
In this development see, the key specialized thing to see is mostly up close to one side edge: the co-hub escapement, which was created by Daniels and improved by Smith. Obviously, you can likewise improve feeling of the plan and completing decisions made by Roger; straight-edged plates and scaffolds and straightforward shapes, iced surfaces, chatons and spans appended with profoundly blued screws.
Shooting the Roger Smith Series 2 in the wild
Shooting watches in the quiet of my home office with controlled lighting and a steady stand is incredible, however in some cases opportunity thumps in less ideal settings.
If your watch buddies resemble mine, they love to meet over dinners! That is incredible to the extent it goes, however in the event that you’ve brought your camera along you’ve presumably seen that most eatery lighting is merciless: excessively splendid or excessively dim generally, with glaring pinpoint spotlights, and normally including incandescent lights that toss an abnormal orange light that is practically difficult to correct.
And, regardless of whether you are holding the watch close by, wearing it on your wrist, or roosting it on a table being bumped by the elbows of your compadres, accomplishing a steady connection between the places of the watch and camera is practically inconceivable. Other than that, wonderful conditions, right?
Here’s a perspective on a similar watch as shot in a clamoring café with my simple to use camera. You can likely tell that I was fortunate: there was a window to one side projecting genuinely clean characteristic light from that side and producing some decent shadows that give the picture a high-contrast appearance. All things considered, a generous measure of post-handling was expected to change the white equilibrium so it didn’t look as though I was holding the watch in a tanning booth.
One pleasant thing about the splendid lighting at the eatery was its capacity to draw out the striking blue of the numerals on the Series 2 dial. Likewise, outside of the more clean light tent climate and at a more regular review size, the little blemishes in execution appear to dissolve away for a general impression of profoundly slashed, manly craftsmanship.
Roger Smith Series 2 on the wrist
At the day’s end, watches are made to be worn! Things being what they are, how does the Series 2 really look on the wrist? In my view, darned great, as seen below:
Two huge things I’m wanting to see from a watch when I see it looking out from underneath my sleeve:
- Visual interest: are there enough visual milestones and connecting with surfaces to make my eye linger?
- Coherence and amicability: all in all, does the presence of the piece bode well? Specifically, do different parts appear to mix well, and does the watch keep up the visual interest referenced above without being jarring?
For me, the Series 2 finishes both of these assessments very easily.
And the allure of the Series 2 works out in a good way past the vibe of its dial, obviously, with its co-hub escapement, its reasonable linkage to the custom of George Daniels, and the gave work that Roger and his group put into every single piece of the watch.
The Smith Series 2 a watch that I was charmed to have the chance to acquire and photo, and if the stars adjust in future I would be more than satisfied to add one to my own assortment. Presently I need to discover one of the Open Dial renditions to photograph!
For full data on the inceptions of this model, if it’s not too much trouble, visit www.rwsmithwatches.com .
Case: 40 x 13 mm, hardened steel, made utilizing the Daniels technique
Development: physically twisted type, 2.5 Hz/18,000 vph, power hold 36 hours
Capacities: hours, minutes, little seconds; power hold show
Cost: in 18-karat gold the Series 2 retails for $125,000
* This article was first distributed on April 10, 2015 at Behind The Lens: Roger Smith Series 2 .
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