Posthumous portrait of George Daniels by John Walton, RP, 2011.
Daniels was raised in London in poverty, without parental affection. Aged five, he prised open his family's alarm clock and realised that it was a metaphor for his life - moving inexorably onwards, but without outside assistance. He determined to learn horology, despite his parents' opposition. Conscription in 1944 unleashed his innate mechanical skills, and following demobilisation, he studied, while ceaselessly repairing watches. He gained access to the work of the greatest watchmakers through meeting a collector, and when it seemed that quartz technology would overwhelm traditional watchmaking, Daniels fought back. He made a series of increasingly ingenious mechanical watches in the manner of Breguet, teaching himself to make every part. Ultimately, he devised a virtually oil-free escapement, now mass-produced by Omega.
Clockmakers' Museum No. 1393
- Object Number:
- Lent by the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers
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