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Patek Philippe produce a poor replica of the co-axial escapement


Putting on a show at the Baselworld Fair
George Daniels Master watchmaker
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I was still going to the Basel Fair and indeed, my last visit there was at the direct request of the directors of the fair who, fearing flagging gates wanted a tame monkey to put on an exhibition for them. And so they invited me to go out, all expenses paid, and put on a show, hand watchmaking, because that was the coming fashion. I did that and all those people who weren't interested in the co-axial saw all the watches that were there and there was all my books and all my movements and all my watches, and it was a hell of a big show really for one man to put on. But it didn't do what I wanted with Patek Philippe.

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: Baselworld, Basel, Co-axial escapement, watchmaking, Patek Phillipe

Duration: 57 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008