Dr George Daniels: Funeral for 'greatest horologist'

By Mark Edwards
BBC News

Image caption, Dr Daniels mastered more than 30 skills to create his unique watches

The funeral of a man described as the "greatest horologist of all time" took place on the Isle of Man on Wednesday.

Experts say London-born watchmaker Dr George Daniels CBE was responsible for some of the most important advancements in his field.

The funeral service was held at Lezayre church in the north of the island.

Dr Daniels was appointed an MBE in 1981 and CBE in 2010 for services to horology.

The 85-year-old died at his home in Ramsey, in the north of the island, on 21 October.

His greatest contribution to horology was the coaxial escapement, a modern watch mechanism that won him global acclaim.

'Fascinating complications'

The escapement is widely regarded as the most important advancement in watchmaking in more than 250 years.

Roger Smith, who was inspired by Dr Daniels to become a watchmaker, says he is without question "the greatest horologist of all time".

Mr Smith said: "George's achievements were huge.

"He was the first person in history to have ever made a watch from start to finish and that was a massive achievement.

"There was no watch industry when he started but he changed that."

Mr Smith said he was inspired to take up watch-making following a lecture by Dr Daniels more than 20 years ago and followed him to the Isle of Man to work.

"Over his life-time he had made one of the most important bodies of work in history. He pushed horology to the limits.

"The impact he has had on the whole of the watch making industry is beyond words," added Mr Smith.

'Unbelievable man'

Andrew Jones who works in Mr Smith's Isle of Man watchmaking workshop added: "George was a phenomenal watchmaker who inspired several generations to take up the profession.

"He was an unbelievable man," added Mr Jones.

Dr Daniels created 37 watches in his career. Each one, created from scratch by hand and from raw materials, demanded the mastering of more than 30 separate skills and took more than 2,500 hours to complete.

The watches he made on the island were considered by many to be the most technically advanced in the world and he won numerous awards throughout his career, including the Gold Medal of the British Horological Institute.

When he was not making watches Dr Daniels, who was born in Edgware in 1926, loved to race cars.

Many of the world's leading experts attended the service, as well as friends from the motorsport world.

More on this story

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.