Double honours for Roger Smith OBE

Isle of Man watchmaker Roger Smith has received two very special honours over the last few months.

In November, Roger received an Order of the British Empire (OBE) from Prince Charles, for Services to British Watchmaking, at an investiture at Buckingham Palace.

And in January 17 this year, he was awarded a Doctorate from Birmingham City University.

Roger is following in the footsteps of his mentor George Daniels, who received a CBE in the 2010 New Year’s Honours list.

He said: ‘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.’

‘I would like to think that all the work I have done in the past 30 years has resulted in Britain being able to redefine itself once again as a watchmaking nation. I therefore hope it is a recognition of which all my fellow British watchmakers can be proud.

2019 also got off to a ‘wonderful start’ for Roger, when the Chancellor of Birmingham City University conferred on him a Doctorate, honoris cause. He received the award at a Graduation Ceremony on 17 January.

Professor David Roberts, who is the University Orator, spoke of Roger’s work as ‘an example of ‘the desire to do what you do with the highest degree of invention and perfection.’

As with his OBE, Roger believes that this award is a reflection on a revitalised and optimistic British watchmaking sector. He said that he was receiving his doctorate ‘at the very moment when Britain’s watchmaking sector is itself graduating – back onto the world stage’.

He added: ‘These are exciting times for British horology and our place, back at the leading edge of global watchmaking, is rightful’.

Prior to the ceremony Roger enjoyed a tour of the University and gave a lecture on mechanical watchmaking to the horological students.

Roger added: ‘I admit to being completely bowled over by the occasion and I feel greatly honoured.’

Another first for Roger in the last few months is the move into a new purpose built workshop which has seen the arrival of  four talented new watchmakers into the business.

Top image:
Vice Chancellor – Professor Philip Plowden, Chancellor Sir Lenny Henry,

Side images:
Roger receives his OBE from Prince Charles.
Roger’s new workshops which are now complete.

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Roger receives his OBE from Prince Charles.Roger’s new workshops which are now complete.

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