George Daniels obituary by Omega

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George Daniels Photos courtesy Omega

George Daniels, who recently passed away, famously sold the co-axial escapement to Omega. The company just issued an obituary for Dr Daniels. Notable excerpts from the obituary including his faith in the co-axial escapement and his thoughts on the resurgence of the mechanical watch: “George Daniels was a past Master of the Clockmaker’s Company in London and past President of the Horological Institute. He was awarded the Tompion Gold Medal of the Clockmaker’s Company, the Gold Medal of the British Horological Institute, the Gold Medal of the City of London Guild and the Kullberg Medal of the Stockholm Watchmakers’ Guild. In 2010, he was made a CBE by Queen Elizabeth II for his contributions to watchmaking. OMEGA produced its first movement fitted with a Co-Axial escapement in 1999 and introduced its proprietary Co-Axial calibre built around the escapement in 2007. Today, with very few exceptions, all of OMEGA’s mechanical watches are equipped with Co-Axial movements. When George Daniels was asked if he thought that in time, the Co-Axial would be the most widely used escapement in the construction of new mechanical watches, he said, “The watch industry is by nature very conservative and slow to adopt new things. But basically, every maker who continues with other escapements will ultimately be trampled by the Co-Axial for the very simple reason that it’s better. OMEGA have been able to show that the Co-Axial escapement can be serially produced on a large scale so while it will take some doing to convince the mechanical watch industry, it’s just a matter of time.” George Daniels was asked in 2009 if he was surprised by the renewed popularity of the mechanical watches. His answer was characteristically clear, “Not at all,” he said. ‘I have often said that I’ve never been in doubt that the mechanical watch would survive. My mantra has long been that the survival of the mechanical watch is ensured by its qualities: it is historic, technical, intellectual, aesthetic, useful and even amusing. These properties have sustained the popularity of mechanical watches through the ages and are bound to carry it well into the future. One of the real benefits of the Co-Axial escapement: it will play a major role of extending the popularity of mechanical watches into the 21st century and beyond.'” – SJX

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