A moment in the history of time...

20 April, 2018

We are delighted to share some photographs of a hugely significant event in the history of the Daniels Method and the development of the modern mechanical watch. In fact, it is the moment when the Co-axial escapement truly came of age.

George Daniels is shown signing the agreement to adopt his Co-axial escapement with ETA in 1994
George Daniels is shown signing the agreement to adopt his Co-axial escapement with ETA in 1994. Soon after, by 1999, the Co-axial would become the escapement of choice for Omega’s mechanical watches.
George Daniels shaking hands
Look closely at George’s wrist and, accompanying his firm handshake, you’ll see one of the watches he used to prove the Co-axial, in this case a Rolex Oyster.

What makes this so significant is that adoption of an escapement at an ‘industrial’ scale is the ultimate validation for a new design. Successful mass production is the true test.

Adoption by a luxury maker as important as Omega utterly vindicated the superlative qualities of the Co-axial escapement and was the culmination of George’s quest to better the centuries old Lever escapement.

It also proved that mechanical watches were still a vital and relevant quantum of horology.

Examining the watch photographs, you soon come to appreciate that this is an utterly unique piece.

Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain

Converted by George to house his co-axial escapement (in circa 1989) this Rolex had two purposes; firstly to unequivocally prove the Co-axial’s advancement over the Lever escapement and secondly, to show that it was possible to scale the escapement down to fit into a production wristwatch.

The escapement is prototypically crude, but works perfectly, and above all, it triumphantly overcame the skeptics.

This piece was extensively exhibited, most notably at Basel, alongside other production wristwatches by Patek Philippe, Omega, Zenith and Urban Jurgensen - all converted to house the Daniels Co-axial escapement by the inventor.

The case ref.16030 houses a cal.3035 movement and is fitted with an Oyster bracelet ref.78360 with ref.593 (non standard) bracelet ends. In order to achieve this feat, George dropped the train count from 28,800 to 21,600 vph by making a new centre seconds wheel and subsequent gears.

In making the watch, George was making history and we’re very grateful to the Clockmakers' Museum for giving us permission to share the photographs of this historic moment with you.