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Stars that died 2010

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

George Daniels,British horologist, died he was 85.

George Daniels, CBE, DSc, FBHI, FSA  was considered by many the best horologist in the world during his lifetime [1] and was famous for creating the co-axial escapement died he was 85.. This has been used by Omega in their highest-grade watches since 1999.[2] Daniels was one of the few modern watchmakers who could create a complete watch by hand, including the case and dial. To be able to make all of a watch, he had to learn to make watchcases and to engine turn, so that he could make the dials. Daniels hand-made 37 watches completely by himself and made a series of 50 wristwatches with Roger W. Smith,[3] made starting with the Omega basic movement.

(19 August 1926 – 21 October 2011)


In 1944, Daniels entered the British Army; he already had an interest in watches and did some repairs for army friends. On leaving the army in 1947 with a gratuity of £50, which he spent on tools, he managed to get a job as a watch repairer. Having studied horology at night classes, he became a Fellow of the British Horological Institute. After a few years, he had become known by some of the top watch dealers and collectors, including Sam Clutton who got him interested in the great French watchmaker Breguet. The work of Breguet interested Daniels so much that he concentrated on the repair and restoration of his watches for many years. By the 1960s, Daniels was the leading expert on Breguet and was very often involved in advising on his work.[4]


Daniels's watches have very clear and clean dials, usually with subsidiary dials interwoven with the main chapter ring, which is clearly a Breguet influence. Daniels's first watch was sold to Sam Clutton for £2,000 in 1970 and it is understood that he bought it back from Clutton five years later for £8,000. It sold recently at an auction in the United States for $285,000.
After much experimenting, he patented a type of watch escapement called the co-axial escapement, which takes away the necessity to oil the escapement and has reduced friction to a very low level (since oil produces problems due to thickening). The co-axial escapement has now been put into production by Omega and has been described as the most important horological development for 250 years.[5]
Watchmaking, which Daniels wrote and was published in 1981, is considered one of the best books on making watches.[citation needed]


He was a Master of the Clockmakers' Company of London and was awarded their Gold Medal, a rare honour,[6] 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.[7] Already a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), Daniels was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2010 New Year Honours.[8][9] Daniels was a member of Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants’

Personal Life

He married, in 1964, Juliet Marryat, with whom he had a daughter. The marriage was later dissolved. He was the uncle of philosopher Stephen Neale. Daniels died on 21 October 2011.[7]

Daniels ex-Sir Henry "Tim" Birkin red Bentley Motors monoposto racer, known as "Bentley Blower No.1" or the "Brooklands Battleship", shown at the 2009 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
Daniels was a collector of classic cars. His collection included:[10]
  • 1908 Itala 100hp Grand Prix Car: won the 1908 French Grand Prix and 1910 Brooklands All-comers Plate (fastest lap at 101.8mph)
  • 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback by H.J. Mulliner: ex-Frank Taylor of Taylor Woodrow Construction
  • 1929 4½-litre Bentley Tourer by Vanden Plas: ex-Maharaja of Bhavnagar
  • 1907 Daimler 45hp Roi-de-Belges Tourer: built for the Earl of Craven
  • 1929-32 Bentley 4½-Litre Supercharged Single-Seater: know as Bentley Blower No.1, developed and driven by Sir Henry 'Tim' Birkin, it set the Brooklands Outer Circuit Lap Record at more than 137mph in 1931

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