Last November I was fortunate enugh to attend the 2019 George Daniels lecture, given by Roger Smith at London’s City University. A lecture featuring these two names is clearly a must for anyone with an interest in British watchmaking.
You might think I have been a little slow in posting this entry, which I probably am. The reason was I was looking for suitable material to post. I did not think anyone would be intested in reading my memories of what Roger presented. After intermittent searches I have come across this video, of the whole lecture. All you miss was the glass of wine afterwards.
The key point coming out of this lecture is that in Roger’s opinion reliability and hence longer term accuracy is better acheived using lower frequency movements as this minimises wear. His presentation makes this conclusion seem very logical, but does seem to be at odds with the companies marketing high frequency movements as being the way forward.
From my position of minimal technical knowledge Roger’s position does appear to to make sense. My only real doubt about what he had to say was about his apparant dis-interest in using modern materials to reduce friction and hence wear in watch movements. I am sure he has good reasons for his views which are beyond me.
Having attended one of these lectures I really hope there are more in the future I can get to. They do really help casual enthusiast like myself understand what is going on “under the hood”.
Over the holiday period, at the suggestion of my wife, I reviewed my pile of magazines and brochures with a view to getting rid of most of them. As always happens in these circumstances you start to re-read articles or find things you missed the first time round.
One interesting booklet I found was the catalogue to the 2014 Salon QP. This reminded me of two brands that I saw there of which I have heard nothing since.
The first being Meridian watches that had always struck me as being in the vanguard of the new British watch resurgence. Their website has for sometime now just continued to announce the “new website – coming soon”.
The second being Valour watches with their aeronautical engine inspired “Sopwith” watch.
I have written to both companies to see if they have any news for us. I will let you know if I get anything back.
Then reflecting on the past year for Grinidgetime. I think 2015 was an important year if only because I have managed to keep the blog updated regularly, which was something I doubted I would manage. I have also really started to enjoy meeting the characters involved in the small British watch community. The highlight has to be shaking Roger Smith’s hand at the Salon QP. But also really enjoyed chatting over a drink with Piers Berry and Alexandre Meerson, both really interesting people.
On the other hand I have also noticed that the international watch blogger/forum world is less friendly and people can be very jealous of their followers and do nothing to encourage the idea of community that I thought I would find.
Anyway you live and learn. I am looking forward to 2016 and continuing to meet more interesting people and writing, hopefully, more frequently. I have also bought an English watch. 🙂
I visited the exhibition on Saturday which is probably the busiest day but it is not always so easy to find time. Despite the number of people you could get round and see what you wanted to see.
Unfortunately, some things/people I would have liked to see were not present this year, the most notable being Pinion and Robert Loomes which was a shame. As you can imagine events like this are not really the place to have a conversation especially on the busiest day. From my “day-job” I have learnt that the best strategy is to make a face to face introduction which can then be followed up on later. To this end I think I had a pretty successful afternoon, I did get to speak to Roger Smith (objective N0. 1), Richard Hoptroff and very briefly Alexandre Meerson.
As you can imagine the Roger Smith, stand was pretty well attended. You will remember from my previous post that Roger was showing his series of four watches for the first time, but “shock-horror” the watches were show watches not the actual working models.
I also managed to have slightly longer chats with the man I spoke to last year on the Schofield stand and try on their latest watch, the Signalman Silver Top (above) which as you can see is a pretty hefty piece. One feature I had not previously appreciated on this watch is the GMT sub-dial which could be pretty useful for international travelers.
Then I made an un-expected find, Dennison a revived British brand that is due for re-launch in February. Dennison famously made the cases for Sir Edmund Hilary’s Smiths Everest watch. THe revived brand will rely on Swiss movements – watch this space for more news.