Today, we’ll delve into a special watch that has gone up for sale in Hong Kong. A Roger W. Smith Series 2 is our subject, and as we’ll see, it’s a very special prototype version. This is a slightly different topic than what we’re used to, but I think it’s highly worthwhile. After all, Smith’s watches rarely come onto the market, and when they do, we get an opportunity to see a truly special piece.

I’ll start today’s article on an available Roger W. Smith Series 2 with a few anecdotes. First, this watch was brought to my attention by Charlie Dunne at Wind Vintage, and I appreciate the heads-up. Normally, a watch that is on offer for a minimum of $1.15 million isn’t in my wheelhouse, but this struck differently. I can appreciate Haute Horlogerie, but it’s so far outside of my budget that I don’t spend a lot of time on it. In the case of Roger W. Smith, though, there’s a difference.

Image: Wristcheck

Memory Lane

You see, a few years ago, I attended Salon QP at the Saatchi Gallery in London. I was there with Balazs and Robert-Jan, and it was a great time. We met our colleague Sky and several other folks from the watch world. Among the brands at Salon QP, there was always everything from the truly affordable to the wildly bespoke. What I recall was seeing and briefly meeting Roger Smith (he surely won’t remember me) and how taken aback I was by how friendly he appeared. We certainly didn’t abuse his watches, but he wanted us to handle them, and he explained them in such an understandable manner. It was a joy, and it was in stark contrast to the reps from a high-end brand one aisle over who repeatedly told us not to touch their watches during photography. So, yes, manners matter, and therefore, I’m happy to scrape the surface of today’s focus. The Roger W. Smith Series 2 in Hong Kong is unobtanium for 99.9% of us, but it’s certainly worth a look.

Image: Wristcheck

The Roger W. Smith Series 2 in white gold

The Series 2 in our article is currently available at Wristcheck in Hong Kong with offers being accepted until September 22nd. If you follow the link, the backstory of the owner of this watch is told in great detail. Essentially, there was a dinner 13 years ago with well-known collector Mr. Phillip Pon and some of the great contemporary watchmakers. Apparently, Mr. Pon stated that the only watch he was missing from this group of watchmakers was a piece from Mr. Smith. At the dinner, Roger unveiled a watch he had created especially for Mr. Pon, and that’s the watch that is currently on offer today.

The Roger W. Smith Series 2 that we see before us is a special watch indeed. The good folks at Wristcheck provided some significant details about the watch, which was made in 2010:

  • This is Roger Smith’s Second Open Dial watch and the first in white gold
  • His first Open Dial watch in a 40mm case and his first watch in general with a 40mm case
  • 1 of only 2 pieces with this style of chapter ring
  • 1 of 10 Open Dial watches with Mark 1 movements (44-OD & OD-01 have “Open Dial Series 2” numbering but Mark 2 movements)
  • 1 of 5 white gold Open Dial watches with Mark 1 movements

So yes, there are some lovely attributes of this watch that make it unique.

Image: Wristcheck


Roger Smith is known for his close association with watchmaker George Daniels, the creator of the famed co-axial escapement. The Roger W. Smith Series 2 contains a hand-wound movement that improves upon the original Daniels design. It is the single-wheel version of the co-axial escapement along with a free-sprung Quadrajust balance. Note the stunning hand-engraved floral patterns on the reverse side of the watch.

Image: Wristcheck

The open-worked dial on this Series 2 is, obviously, a naked version of other models from Smith. To be honest, I love this watch, but I also deeply admire Smith’s engine-turned dials. Regardless, the benefit of the open dial is that the gold chatons, blued screws, and all of the inner workings of the watch are on display. The blued main hour and minute hands with Roger’s signature arrow tips sit proudly above it all. At 6 o’clock, there is a running seconds sub-dial. The display at 10 o’clock is a traditional “up/down” indicator where up denotes that the watch is fully wound. Naturally, the chapter ring and other indicators were all engraved by hand.

Image: Wristcheck

A prototype

This white gold 40mm Roger W. Smith Series 2 is a prototype. Perhaps this is the reason that it lacks the “R.W. Smith” signed plate below 12 o’clock that was seen on later models. Here, Smith’s name is engraved into the front of the main plate between 12 and 2 o’clock along with the serial number “No. 02-OD,” where “OD” refers to the open dial. The back of the main plate contains a similar set of engraved information along with “Isle of Man,” which denotes Smith’s studio location. As an aside, the watch will come with several original alligator straps, a handmade wooden box, and authentication documents.

Image: Wristcheck

Final thoughts on the Roger W. Smith Series 2

Last year, Phillips listed a similar Roger W. Smith Series 2. At the New York auction in June 2022, a platinum version of the watch from 2017 sold for $840,700. The watch is different, though, with Roman numerals and the aforementioned logo at 12 o’clock. Still, it’s a barometer if nothing else. For me, the price is far outside of my comfort zone, but it’s lovely to see a watch like this from a great creator in the spotlight once again.

For more information on the Roger W. Smith Series 2, visit Wristcheck.