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How to be a successful artist-craftsman


The thrill of the chase
George Daniels Master watchmaker
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People who set out to make watches should aim higher all the time and never be desperate to sell your product. Collectors are suspicious of people who readily offer watches. They're very much more attracted to watches that they're not entitled to own. Then there is... I mean that is the thrill of the chase, which has often motivated my interest. I mean I also collect watches and to be told there is something so exclusive you are not good enough to have it, you know, is not something I could accept. I must then go and make sure I get it. So the advice I would give to youngsters is, you know, don't sell yourself cheap, don't set out to persuade someone to buy. Rather more, be exclusive and let them persuade you to sell.

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.

Duration: 1 minute, 5 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008