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VIDEO: George Daniels watchmaking in 1999


A short film made of the late watchmaker George Daniels has been released, having first been made by the BBC in 1999.

The film shows Daniels working from his Isle of Man watchmaking residence Riverdale, ahead of the millennium. It was part of a series of programmes made by the BBC some 13 years ago to celebrate the turn of a new century. 

Daniels is described as "legendary" in the film, and talks about his introduction to watchmaking aged five, decribing the movement as the "centre of the universe". 


He made his first pocket watch in 1968, provoked by the introduction of quartz watches. He says he was "furious" having spent his life devoted to mechanical watchmaking. He spent two years handcrafting every single component of the pocket watch.

Daniels built his prototype wristwatch with his own escapement in 1975, but battled for 25 years to get the Swiss watch industry to pay attention. The first batch of Daniel’s escapement were released in 1999.

He says with a smile: "If I don’t have any more new ideas at all in watchmaking, I don’t mind. I’ve done everything I’ve wanted, succeeded in everything I’ve set my mind to. 

"Einstein said one man in his lifetime can comprehend one philosophy. When he’s done his best he leaves it to others to continue. I’m perfectly happy with it."

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