The new year has started with a wonderful moment in Roger’s life and career, as the Chancellor of Birmingham City University conferred on him a Doctorate, honoris causa.17 January, 2019
In attending the 2019 graduation ceremony, Roger was introduced to the assembled distinguished guests and graduands by Professor David Roberts, who is the University Orator.
Professor Roberts gave an informed (and highly entertaining speech), citing Roger’s work as ‘an example of the desire to do what you do with the highest degree of invention and perfection’.
For Roger, the award of a doctorate culminates an incredible few months in which he has also been awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE).
As with his OBE, Roger believes very strongly that this award is a reflection on a revitalised and optimistic British watchmaking sector. He remarked that he was receiving his doctorate “At the very moment when Britain’s watchmaking sector is itself graduating - back onto the world stage”. He went on to say:
“These are exciting times for British horology and our place, back at the leading edge of global watchmaking, is rightful”.
In his acceptance speech, Roger also offered his own reflections and advice to the graduands, who he referred to as “our creative future”. Roger reflected on the enormous benefit his own career had enjoyed by firstly identifying a “life’s work”, and then identifying a mentor to help nurture that objective, suggesting that “A great boss or mentor, early in your career, can actually help to define it. And a bad one can help derail it.”
Prior to the ceremony, Roger had also enjoyed a tour of Birmingham City University’s superb facilities in the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media, as well as giving a lecture on mechanical watchmaking to the Horological students.
In this, Roger gave rare insights into his approach to advancing mechanical watchmaking through developing his Single Wheel Co-axial Escapement. In comparing the technical virtues of this to previous escapement designs, he also emphasised the imperative for mechanical watchmaking to continue striving for improvements in efficiency, performance and longevity.
In summing his two days at Birmingham City University, Roger said “I admit to being completely bowled over by the occasion”, he said “and I feel greatly honoured”.