English watchmaker George Daniels passed away on October 21st aged 85. Daniels is credited with creating the co-axial escapement that many considered one of the most significant advances in watch design in nearly over 250 years. Omega watches adopted the movement in 1999.
Daniels worked for many years as a restorer of vintage Breguet watches before moving on to the production of his own watches. His first timepiece — a gold and silver one-minute pivoted-detent chronometer tourbillion, sold recently at an auction in the United States for $285,000.
The Co-axial mechanism now used in many models of Omega watches eliminated sliding friction within the watch by removing the sliding of the pallet stones over the teeth of the escape wheel. Omega Watches commercialised the escapement in 1999 when it introduced the first mass-produced watch incorporating the technology.
By utilizing radial friction instead of sliding friction at the impulse surfaces, the co-axial escapement significantly reduces friction, theoretically resulting in longer service intervals and greater accuracy over time.
Daniels was awarded an MBE in 1981 and with a further honour of a CBE for his services to horology in 2010.
Picture Credit: Professional Jeweller Magazine