21st November 2018
Buckingham Palace, London
On the 21st day of November 2018, our friend and master Watchmaker Roger W. Smith O.B.E. was honoured with the title: ‘Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire’ at the investiture ceremony in Buckingham Palace. It is the highlight of his career so far as he received his “gong” from Charles, The Prince of Wales.
There is still some way to go when collecting titles for Roger as he stood next to His Royal Highness Prince Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales, KG, KT, GCB, OM, AK, QSO, PC, ADC, Earl of Chester, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland!
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire was established more than a hundred years ago, on 4 June 1917, by King George V. It has been bestowed upon notable figures in Britain and the Commonwealth, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, and public service outside the Civil service. Roger has the 2nd tier of five classes of appointment.
The five classes of appointment to the Order are, in descending order of precedence:
- Knight Grand Cross or Dame Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (GBE)
- Knight Commander or Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE or DBE)
- Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE)
- Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE)
- Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE)
Roger W. Smith
For Roger, it is not just a personal accolade but one he is delighted to share as a significant recognition of British watchmaking, saying:
“To have an OBE is a huge honour for me and my family, but what makes it special is to know it has been bestowed for Services to British Watchmaking. That recognition is significant, and not just for me. Until George Daniels, there wasn’t even a current British watchmaker, let alone ‘watchmaking’, so, above all, I would like to think that all the work I have done in the 30 years has resulted in Britain being able to redefine itself once again as a watchmaking nation. I therefore hope that it is a recognition which all my fellow British watchmakers can be proud of”.
Roger was also able to share the celebration with watchmaking colleagues at the Roger W. Smith manufactory recently at a reception hosted by His Excellency, the Lieutenant Governor of the Isle of Man.
“That was also an opportunity for me to thank the many people who have helped me on a journey which has been tough at times, but ultimately rewarding. I really would not be here today without the generous support of people who believed that we really could return Britain to its place in the watchmaking world” — Roger.
Things are looking up for Roger W. Smith having completed the development of the five watches of the Series range; moving into a purpose-built workshop and taken on four talented new watchmakers into the business.
Felicitations and Congratulations, Roger!
Perhaps only a fellow Brit can understand the enormity of overwhelming emotion and British Pride that Roger felt at the investiture ceremony. We tender our heartfelt and purist compliments to Roger, Caroline and the team.
Almost no large brand can (honestly) boast of having an in-house manufacture movement but Roger W. Smith can claim that and more! In his workshop on the Isle of Man, between England and Northern Ireland, Roger and his team make nearly all of the components for his movements; they also make their own dials, hands and cases instead of outsourcing like most brands.
[Editor’s Note] Only Seiko makes everything from springs to dials, cases and watch glass!
In case you’re wondering about the price of one of his beauties, be astounded by the guide price of £250,000 (including taxes) for the Series 4; final price depends on your level of personalisation…
Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)
Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine.
He was former CEO of PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelogue ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.
Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).