The End of Service?
Roger W Smith repairs a timehonoured practice
Roger W Smith is a British watchmaker known for its traditional techniques. Smith became interested in watches as a teenager, going on to hand-build pocket watches, earning awards from the British Horological Institute and becoming a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers. Given this, it’s perhaps surprising that Smith’s latest move involves cutting-edge nanotechnology, something he hopes will mean you’ll never need to have your watch serviced again.
In partnership with scientists from Manchester Metropolitan University, he has announced the development of frictionless nanomaterials that could replace the traditional oil-based liquid lubricants found in all watches. (Oils degrade over time, then watches need to be serviced to prevent damage from parts friction; in theory, a thin material coating applied to these parts could reduce friction completely.)
“Oil has been the enemy of every single watch out there,” Smith says. “Collectors tell nightmare stories about watches that have been gone for a year to be serviced. It’s the unpleasant-ish side of owning watches.”
Bad news for watch repairers, but good news for future generations who may be able to pass a watch down in the knowledge it will never need maintenance. rwsmithwatches.com