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Did I have a miserable childhood?


The Doctor's Coupe
George Daniels Master watchmaker
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And so finally we come to my latest acquisition, which is a two-seater called the Doctor's Coupe. Why two-seater coupes are called Doctor's coupes I'm not sure, but it's a very elegant car. It's a 1924, and it belonged to King George VI, who was in those days Prince George in 1924. And so this is not a very fast car, but I've given up driving classic cars fast on the road now because it's very hard work, you have to have all your wits about you. You've got to be heavy on the brakes and so forth, and you know you're driving a vintage Bentley, it's doing about 5 miles to the gallon, you're doing 90 miles an hour and you go round the corner and there's a queue of Fiestas behind a tractor doing 20 miles an hour and you come right down on the speed. The old Ford banger that you passed 5 miles is running up behind you again, you've got nowhere for all your speed, so I decided to give up fast vintage motoring and I now use my Georgian coupe.

So that's my interest in motor cars. All for purely selfish reasons. Never made any contribution to them.

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: Doctor's Coupe, Georgian coupe, Bentley, King George VI, Albert Frederick Arthur George

Duration: 1 minute, 15 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008