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The world of horology and the world of cars

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Evening classes; the gruelling pleasure of learning
George Daniels Master watchmaker
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The evening classes were a very interesting experience because I suddenly realised I did want to learn mathematics and physics and so forth and so I paid attention, and I had to get through my exams anyway so I had to pay attention to do that. And it all became very interesting and I would shuttle back on the tube at night with my friend, who's boss had given me a job, and he was going to finish up as a hairdresser - he obviously wasn't very keen on horology. We would stand outside the railway station and talk till one o'clock in the morning about the things that we'd learnt that day, you know, and we'd take an equation and pick it to pieces and turn it upside down and really understand how it all worked. And then by two o'clock into bed and up at five in the morning to go up to Croydon. So they were pretty gruelling days, but very exciting and I enjoyed them all very much.

George Daniels, CBE, DSc, FBHI, FSA (19 August 1926 - 21 October 2011) was an English watchmaker most famous for creating the co-axial escapement. Daniels was one of the few modern watchmakers who could create a complete watch by hand, including the case and dial. He was a former Master of the Clockmakers' Company of London and had been awarded their Gold Medal, a rare honour, as well as the Gold Medal of the British Horological Institute, the Gold Medal of the City of London and the Kullberg Medal of the Stockholm Watchmakers’ Guild.

Listeners: Roger Smith

Roger Smith was born in 1970 in Bolton, Lancashire. He began training as a watchmaker at the age of 16 at the Manchester School of Horology and in 1989 won the British Horological Institute Bronze Medal. His first hand made watch, made between 1991 and 1998, was inspired by George Daniels' book "Watchmaking" and was created while Smith was working as a self-employed watch repairer and maker. His second was made after he had shown Dr Daniels the first, and in 1998 Daniels invited him to work with him on the creation of the 'Millennium Watches', a series of hand made wrist watches using the Daniels co-axial escapement produced by Omega. Roger Smith now lives and works on the Isle of Man, and is considered the finest watchmaker of his generation.

Tags: Croydon

Duration: 1 minute, 7 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008