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Master of the Clockmakers' Company


Watchmaking explained how to make escapements
George Daniels Master watchmaker
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So then I turned to helping those who, now having read The Practical Watch Escapement, understood how the escapement worked, but needed advice on making it. So, I wrote Watchmaking. The curious thing is that the French, who are supposed to have a very rich language, which I as a non-French speaker don't agree with, don't have a word for watchmaking. They have fabrique de montres methods and ways, a long cumbersome title, isn't it, for a little book called Watchmaking, but there it is. And that's done very well. It... like the Breguet book, went through French and Italian and...

[Q]  German?

No, that's all it went through, French and Italian. Yes, but it has gone through four English editions, two French and a revision. So, it's done quite well.

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: The Practical Watch Escapement, Watchmaking, The Art of Breguet, Abraham-Louis Breguet

Duration: 1 minute, 21 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008