George Daniels, unanimously considered by experts the greatest contemporary watchmaker, died Friday, October 21, 2011 at his home on the Isle of Man.
Because the end of the week, the news had begun to turn sadly on the net - free by definition - only the sites of the fans. I think he surprised even Roger Smith, his favorite pupil: at 18:55 on Friday night my e-mail client signaled the arrival of the press release last tourbillon Roger that, like last year, and teacher " student "should be presented together at the Salon QP 2011.
It 'hard to talk about someone like Daniels: To help me in this small tribute, I start citing the list of top accolades that the Master has collected during his career only.
George Daniel was "Past Master of 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 Institute Horolocical, the Gold Medal of the City of London and the Gold Medal of the Association of watchmakers in Stockholm. In 2010 he was awarded by Queen Elizabeth II of the charge CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) for his contributions to watchmaking.
From the time of Thomas Tompion - watch English father (1639-1713) - forward, the behavior of the great British school has always stood for innovations that changed the course of the mechanical measurement of time, arose almost unexpected in 'exaggerated attachment to tradition.
The Master Daniels did not escape this spell. Inhabitant of the Isle of Man, the most well known for one strange cat without a tail and the acrobatic motorcycle racing TT - Tourist Trophy, guess who spent his life - including the execution of a rigorous and repetitive finish and the other - to study the mechanisms and repeat them in his mind before sketching the new venture, armed with only pencil and paper.
When work is finished he felt that the time had come to propose his idea to an industry to produce it in large scale, Nicolas Hayek was the first to believe in buying his patent. Until last Friday, as well as Omega, Daniels and Smith were the only ones who can mount the exhaust system: it remained only an hour.
In 2009, during the celebration of the first ten years of co-axial escapement Daniels was asked if - in a broader context - he had been surprised by the return of mechanical watches: His answer was: " Not at all , "he said," no I never had any doubt that he would survive the mechanical clock. For a long time, my mantra is that the mechanical clock was going to live for his own qualities: it is historical, intellectual, aesthetic, useful and even fun."
To understand what he was great, just look in the recent past. Daniels, in his old age he continued to work. Last year the Master himself had launched at the Daniels Co-Axial SalonQP Anniversary that was inspired by the "Space Travelers" a tourbillon pocket watch 4 minutes. A few months earlier, in July of 2010, another high-sounding name of Haute Horlogerie - François-Paul Journe - wanted to pay homage to George Daniels with a watch belonging to his collection Chronomètre Souverain specially made for him with an inscription engraved on the bridge to FP George Daniels, my Mentor, 2010.
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