We caught up with Duncan, who joined the company a few months ago, and asked him a bit about how he came to have an interest in Horology:
“My interest in horology started when I was a boy. I was drawn to the idea of how we can measure ‘time’, one of the few things in physics, another being gravity, that is irreversible. This interest eventually led me to studying Technical Horology at Hackney Technical College, and an opportunity following this to take up a position on the WOSTEP Course (Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Educational Program) in Switzerland. Perhaps the most valuable part of this course was the challenge of setting up a Chronograph under exam conditions, something which taught me the value of following a sequence and getting the order right when it comes to fitting parts together. I think whenever I’ve had a horological problem the way I have solved it is by going back to first principals.
“You get a real buzz when you come to sign some of these service sheets for the clocks.”
I’ve only been with Smith of Derby a short time so far, having joined in May, but I’ve already been to some great clocks, in Liverpool, the South West of Scotland and North Yorkshire. The clock at the Hull Guildhall was one I went to on a job a few weeks ago and that is a beautiful clock. Turret clocks and watches, they are variations of the same science, though it is probably easier coming from watches and applying this science to larger clocks, than the other way around.
I’m looking forward to learning more in the months ahead and working on more of these incredible time pieces. You get a real buzz when you come to sign some of these service sheets for the clocks; seeing the other names and dates that are written there and knowing you’re contributing to the long history of these British Heritage pieces.”