George Daniels was responsible for creating a collection of watches that pushed the boundaries of mechanical timekeeping to levels unseen in British watch making for more than 250 years. In designing each of his watches, Dr. Daniels’ motivation for creating his timepieces had always been horological advancement. Other than the Millennium wristwatch series, his other unique pieces were only offered for sale after Dr. Daniels was satisfied with the results of the particular aspect of timekeeping or function that he was examining.
In 1997, Roger Smith approached Dr. Daniels with a pocket watch that he had created entirely by following instructions from Daniels’ book ‘Watchmaking’, and for the first time, George found a student of high enough promise to take on as an apprentice. He then asked Roger to assist him with production of a new series of wristwatches.
The Millennium series was launched in 1998 to celebrate the acceptance of the Daniels Co-axial escapement by the Swiss watch industry, and were made using the first movements to contain the Daniels Co-axial escapement that came off the Omega production line.
George Daniels and Roger Smith worked together for over three years creating the Millennium series and, following the huge success of this series, Roger finally opened his own studio making watches under his own name, R.W.Smith.
In 2010, Dr. Daniels’ desire turned to the creation of a further series of watches, this time utilising his own design of hand-made English movement, produced in-house on the Isle of Man, and more in line with his hand-made philosophy. He approached Roger Smith with a proposal and so, 35 years after the invention of the Co-axial, they formed a collaboration to produce the ‘Co-Axial Anniversary’ wristwatch.
Drawing on Daniels’ unique body of work, George and Roger worked together to create a new British calibre, which was to be produced by Roger W. Smith Ltd, and cased, dialled and finished to Daniels’ exacting standards and style.
The resulting Anniversary Watch is a manually wound wristwatch with power reserve indicator, calendar mechanism and seconds dial in a style reminiscent of the appearance of the famous tourbillon chronograph pocket watch created by Dr. Daniels in 1994.
George Daniels’ work, although only produced in tiny numbers, has become widely known and revered, and the Isle of Man is now renowned as a centre of horological excellence. To own George Daniels’ work is to possess something exceptional and unique due to its horological distinction and artful execution. His timepieces have become extremely precious and rare items.
An example of Dr. Daniels’ work can be viewed at the British Museum as well as the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers Museum in London, and the Beyer Museum in Switzerland.
Caroline Smith, Roger W. Smith Ltd., PO Box 67, Ramsey, Isle of Man, British Isles, IM99 4LN
The highly anticipated biography of George Daniels, written by acclaimed author, Micheal Clerizo is now available. We have a selection of other books about, and by, Dr. Daniels.
Produced by Roger W. Smith Ltd, and cased, dialled and finished to Daniels exacting standards and style, the Co-axial Anniversary watch is the final defining statement in British horology by Dr. George Daniels.
The George Daniels Educational Trust has been set up to encourage and financially assist apprentices and students, with grants and bursaries for training in all aspects of horology.