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Meet the team
Dr. Roger W. Smith OBE - Chairman
Apprenticed to the great George Daniels, Roger continues on the legacy of the Daniels Method of watchmaking with his own individual style and his evolution of the Daniels Co-Axial escapement. In 2013, Roger was invited by then Prime Minister David Cameron to become one of the inaugural Ambassadors for the GREAT Britain campaign. He created the iconic "GREAT Britain" watch, with its extraordinarily complex dial and in recent years has introduced his Series 1, 2, 3, and 4 wristwatches with new complications, as well as his Series 5, open dial variant.
Roger is passionate about two particular goals - to relentlessly improve mechanical timekeeping and to help lead the resurgence of British horology.
Mike France - Co-founder
After an early career in retail with the Burton Group, Mike was headhunted by Sir Terence Conran to join BHS and developed a reputation for business turnaround. This led to Mike becoming first, Chief Executive, and then co-owner of the Early Learning Centre, with his business partner, Peter Ellis. They successfully returned the business to profitability and eventual sale in 2001.
It was during a sail on the Thames that year with Peter, and their friend Christopher Ward, when a mutual love for horology – and a radical idea that the premium watch industry was ready for its first online-only retailer – led, in 2004, to Christopher Ward watches.
Christopher Ward’s transparent approach immediately struck a chord with many consumers in over 120 countries around the world. Today, they are one of Britain’s leading export watchmakers and this has inspired Mike’s drive to help define the future of British watchmaking.
Alistair Audsley - CEO
With a successful career crafting brand strategies and stories for blue chips and government, Alistair has advised Roger W. Smith Ltd since 2009. Alistair’s other story-telling passion is film and, among many feature documentaries, he co-wrote and produced the Netflix documentary “The Watchmaker’s Apprentice".
Alistair was appointed as an Ambassador for the GREAT Britain campaign in 2019 in recognition of his contribution to the campaign and he is a co-founder of the Alliance of British Watch and Clock Makers.
Katya Audsley - PR and Memberships Manager
An MBA holder since 2007, Katya has a background in product and financial PR having worked with several blue chip financial and investment companies such as Canada Life, Hitachi Capital and Jeffries.
Katya manages our Alliance’s Trade, Club, and Student members as well as overseeing PR and events.
Tom Newby - Head of Digital
Tom has spent just under a decade working in advertising and technology production in London. He has worked on innovative technology projects for TAG Heuer and Cartier. He has also overseen production on major launches of digital products for organisations such as Microsoft, EE, Santander, Burberry, and LOCOG.
Sarah Lovell Taylor - Legal Advisor
Sarah is a dual-qualified lawyer (UK and USA) who has spent several decades as a corporate / commercial solicitor and member of the New York bar. She has worked within City and Wall Street firms and, latterly, various private enterprises, including private equity. She has undertaken projects in the Middle East, Russia, Eastern Europe and China. Sarah has also served as non-executive director of both AIM and fully listed UK companies.
Thank you for supporting the Alliance of British Watch and Clock Makers. We are a not-for-profit organisation registered in the UK as a company limited by guarantee with No: 12463247.
Your membership dues support our aims to promote and support British Watch and Clock Making.