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Deciding to make my first watch


Sam Clutton demonstrates the skill of a master surveyor
George Daniels Master watchmaker
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Now, it happened that my bank manager would agree to lend me the £1000 but only if he was sure it was a good investment. And already he was a bit suspicious of me because he hadn't been best pleased when I bought the sports Bentley with money I'd borrowed from his as well. And... I must have this report... well, Sam Clutton was senior partner in Cluttons Crown Agents and therefore there could be no better-qualified surveyor. And so Sam came down and he admired the house very much and noted that it wasn't as good as his, which pleased him no end, and then he marched into the drawing room and leapt to a height that I suppose only qualified surveyors can reach, and he landed on his heels in the middle of the floor then listened intently as the reverberations echoed around the house from room to room. And he said, the whole house is in perfect condition, I will send you a report. And the report came and the bank manager was very pleased, and so the house became mine. And I stayed there 20 years and most of the watches I've made... well half the watches I've made were made in that house and the other half were made in the Isle of Man.

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: Isle of Man, Cluttons LLP, Cecil Clutton, Cecil (Sam) Clutton

Duration: 1 minute, 38 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008