England

Watchmaker Dr George Daniels' life celebrated in London

  • 19 September 2013
  • From the section England
Dr George Daniels
Image caption Dr George Daniels perfected more than 30 individual skills to create each of his exquisite watches

Some of the world's leading watchmaking experts have gathered at a London university to celebrate the life and work of Dr George Daniels.

In a career spanning 60 years, the Isle of Man horologist, who died in 2011, was responsible for some of the most important advancements in his field.

The event at the City University London included the inaugural George Daniels lecture.

A clock at the university was also renamed in his honour.

A university spokesman said: "He was an amazing man and this was a real celebration of his life.

"We had some leading experts attending from the horological world."

Image caption The University Clock will be renamed after Dr Daniels

The lecture by Professor Patrick Gill, from the National Physical Laboratory, looked at the future of highly accurate time measurement, a subject which fascinated Dr Daniels.

The London-born watchmaker attended London City's predecessor, the Northampton Institute, and believed his outstanding success as a horologist was linked directly to his time as a student.

Following his death, his personal collection of watches and clocks was auctioned, raising more than £8m for his educational trust.

The money will help students through doctoral studentships and undergraduate scholarships.

Dr Daniels made every component of his watches by hand. It involved mastering more than 30 long-forgotten skills to painstakingly craft 150 individual components, before developing a mechanism that ensured absolute accuracy.

Each of his creations - regarded by many as works of art - could take more than 2,500 hours to complete.

The most successful of his inventions, the co-axial escapement, won him international acclaim and is regarded by experts as one of the most significant horological developments in 250 years.

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