‘Watchmakers: The Masters of Art Horology’ - the international exhibition arrives at New York, featuring work by Roger W. Smith and George Daniels.02 May 2018
Watchmakers: The Masters of Art Horology, is an international traveling exhibition of watches by some of the world’s finest independent watchmakers and horologists. Created by Rome’s Maxima Gallery and the brain child of gallery director Claudio Proietti this exhibition is the first of its kind to perfectly juxtapose the style, ideals and ethos of an art exhibition with the world of horology.
“Claudio Proietti has been curating and managing some of the world’s largest private collections of contemporary art in Europe for many years. Having fairly recently discovered the world of mechanical watchmaking, he had the insight to realise that master watchmakers are actually very similar to the artists on display in his galleries” explains Roger. “We often describe our work as ‘mechanical art’ and so when Claudio first approached us to participate in his vision, it resonated. In fact for such a noted figure in the art world to recognise watches as works of art feels significant.”
Nevertheless there were reservations. “I was filled with enthusiasm to support the grand imperative of the exhibition but equally hesitant that, due to the rarity of our pieces, we might not have any watches available to show for the duration of the exhibition, which rapidly began to grow in its global scope and ambition!”
Fortunately, we were able to secure the GREAT Britain watch, which is not being shown publicly in 2018 outside the Watchmakers: The Masters of Art Horology tour. A collector also managed to step in and lend one of the extremely rare Daniels Anniversary pieces, securing a rightful place for this collaboration with Roger Smith which was the final horological work by the great George Daniels.
Claudio Proietti remarks; “I am really honoured by Roger W. Smith’s presence at the “Watchmakers” exhibition. His creations befit this exhibition for their craftsmanship and the love he infuses in all his work. Multi-relief dials, hand-made guilloché, floral hand-engraved movements, Co-axial escapements, applied blue steel index and hands... All these details are the essence of high artisanal watchmaking, and Roger W Smith is one of the keepers of a centuries-old tradition, that otherwise would be lost. I am grateful to both Roger Smith and the UK Prime Minister’s office that we are able to show The GREAT Britain watch, together with the superb Anniversary No. 1 by George Daniels, who is universally regarded as the father of modern independent art horology”.
Roger concludes; “Watchmakers: The Masters of Art Horology feels like a seminal event in modern horology. It’s the moment when independent watchmaking is recognised as an art-form”.
The photographs show the successful opening of the exhibition in Rome in April. Although the demands of our new studio prevented Roger from attending New York, we hope that some of our friends in New York enjoyed this rare event.
Next stop on the tour will be in Hong Kong (24-28 May) and finally at Phillips’ beautiful gallery at Berkeley Square, London on Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st June, where Roger will be in attendance.
We would like to thank Claudio Proietti for his dedication in realising this exhibition and Irene Moccia from Maxima Gallery for all her help and assistance in making our participation possible.