WORKING TOGETHER TO CHAMPION AND SUPPORT OUR SECTOR ALL OVER THE WORLD
Who we are
Right now, there’s an exciting resurgence in British watch and clock making. New brands with fascinating stories are emerging all the time and, in November 2020, we launched the Alliance to encourage and guide this renewed energy in our sector and to provide a voice for our members.
An inclusive approach
As our sector’s official trade body, we represent by far the majority of watch and clock making brands trading across the British Isles (including the Republic of Ireland).
Our Trade member companies are broad and diverse; from world-renowned horologists to new start-ups; from makers of exclusive mechanical timekeepers to design-led affordable watches; from rare finds to mass precision; from micro-brands to super-brands.
We’re excited to see new watch and clockmakers establishing themselves alongside some of our great British heritage names which have been relaunched by the descendants of their original founders.
What our Trade members all share is an enthusiasm for the future of British watch and clockmaking – and a commitment to join hands for the journey ahead.
This uniquely collaborative spirit amongst our watch and clock brands is part of what defines British watch and clockmaking.
While researching the first ever Bellwether Survey for our sector in 2021 (with KPMG), we quickly identified a collective desire to try and bring more production back to Britain. While this is a long-term ambition, it now has a far better chance of success with a strategic approach and more than 65 companies who are willing to work together and share knowledge.
We’re also very proud to represent our Trade members on the Economic Sector Panel of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and to work with the Department for International Trade and the GREAT Britain campaign to promote our sector internationally.
We have built a valued friendship and partnership with the Horological Society of New York and we’re always pleased to welcome their members to our exclusive events.
Encouraging new talent
Growth creates opportunities and we want to encourage new talent into our sector, which is why we’re delighted to work with Britain’s leading educational establishments and to provide their full-time students with free membership of the Alliance’s Club and the opportunity to connect with our trade members.
A Club for collectors
Above all, we want to raise awareness of British watch and clock making to collectors and enthusiasts.
Please do follow us on Instagram where we’re often the first to share new products and happenings.
If you really want to get involved, our Club members enjoy a host of benefits, perks and exclusive events. It’s great value and as a non-profit organisation, your subs help to support our activities.
A dynamic trade body for British brands
As a commercial and future-facing trade body, we’re always pleased to hear from new and established British watch and clock brands. We are all part of our sector, so it makes sense to work together.
Trade membership is free of charge and offers growing benefits so we encourage trading watch and clock making companies to join.
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.