British Watchmakers’ Day – Andrew Canter, MrWatchMaster
Paul Sweetenham, Farer Watches, with Guild Chair Shuajb Berisha.

British Watchmakers’ Day – Andrew Canter, MrWatchMaster

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Sell out event showcasing the Best of British

The Alliance of British Watch and Clock Makers, British Watchmakers’ Day, was billed as the first major live event dedicated to British watch and clock brands and took place at Lindley Hall in Westminster on Saturday 9 March.

The event was for British brands operating in the horological industry. There were 44 brands exhibiting including, Accurist, Adley, Alkin, Arken, Backes & Strauss, Beaucroft, Brooklands, Bōken, BVOR, Christopher Ward, Clemence, Duckworth Prestex, Edward Christopher, Elliot Brown, Escudo, Farer, Fears, Fink, Freese, Geckota, Great British Watch Company, Harold Pinchbeck, Helicon, IOTA, Isotope, MHD, Mr.Jones, Marloe, Monro Adventure, Nite, Nomadic, Olivier Meylan, Omologato, Pinion, Pompeak, Roger W. Smith, Schofield, Sidereus, Sinclair Harding, Studio Underd0g, Thomas James, Vertex, William Wood and Zero West.

Perhaps the highlight of the event was the sale of Special Edition watches created by exhibitors, which were exclusively available to attendees of the day. The stand-out examples were a unique Series 1 (reserve price £297,500) from Roger W Smith, who is Chairman of the Alliance; The Great British Watch Company auctioned a ‘Dirty Dozen’ watch (which sold for £5,200); Christopher Ward produced C1 Bel Canto 9324 limited to ten pieces (cost £4,995); StudioUnderd0g, 02SERIES field watch limited to 25 pieces (costing £800);William Wood Fire Exit limited to 300 pieces (costing £1,495); Fears Brunswick 1924 Edition limited to ten pieces (costing £3,950); and Mr Jones Indefatigable Sphinx Piece Uniques limited to four unique pieces (costing £2,500).
A proportion of the sales from these limited pieces was donated to the Alliance.

The event was free for Alliance members and was sold out many months before – to say that it was eagerly anticipated was an understatement. Prior to the day, there were some who didn’t
believe there was such a demand for British made watches – how wrong they were!
Arriving on time at the venue on a bright and sunny Saturday morning, I was struck by the crowd lining up outside the venue. There was a palpable buzz of anticipation and excitement. I overheard conversations in the queue from those waiting patiently to see the exclusive watches ‘in the flesh’ and have the chance to be ‘up close and personal’ with the great and the good of British Watchmaking, including Roger W. Smith, Mike France (Christopher Ward), Nicholas Bowman-Scargill (Fears) and many other founders.


Christopher Ward.
Paul Sweetenham, Farer Watches, with Guild Chair Shuajb Berisha.

In the end we waited for around 30-minutes to enter. If there was a buzz outside, this was multiplied many times on entering the Exhibition Hall, with hundreds of people taking in the many watches on display. The layout was good and gave enough space to navigate each of the brands.

Every stand was busy and there was also great interest in the exhibition of Roger W. Smith timepieces. Roger spent time with visitors explaining the workings of the movement that power his stunning watches.
It wasn’t just about watches. The clock makers were well represented by Sinclair Harding and Thomas James.

It was wonderful to see the exquisite clocks presented and the incredible craftsmanship involved in creating something so beautiful.
It was a brilliant and enjoyable day, with some extraordinary timepieces and the ‘Best of British’ on show. There was an overwhelming sense of positivity among everyone I spoke to, with the majority saying they would like to see this becoming an annual coming together of the British Watch and Clock making industry.

Colin Andrews, Great British Watch Company
Thomas James.