If there was was one dinner watchmakers and enthusiasts hoped to attend in 2010, it was the one organized to honor George Daniels on June 24 at the Lanesborough Hotel in London. The dinner was hosted by F.P. Journe to celebrate the achievements, innovation and expertise George Daniels has contributed to the world or horology.
This exclusive dinner was organized by F.P.Journe’s long time London partners, John and William Asprey of William & Son, Journe’s UK agent. At the dinner François-Paul Journe honored his long-time friend and mentor George Daniels, one of the foremost watchmakers of the 20th century, who gave Journe the creative inspiration that has significantly stirred his horological career.
In a speech at the dinner, Journe declared: “Without George Daniels, I would most certainly never have stared to make my first watch. George is definitely the foremost watchmaker of the 20th Century. It was in 1969, when the mechanical watch industry was dethroned by the arrival of quartz, that you started making your first watch. You were the pioneer; the first watchmaker who showed us the path to horology of Art, a non-utilitarian horology. The rest proved you were right, Swiss horology was back from the ashes in constructing watches of Art and ceremonial timepieces; the landscape repopulated in two decades.
You have opened the main door of contemporary horology and showed us the path back to authentic, innovative watchmaking, in the respect of the grand horological tradition of our great watch masters. He opened the main door; I could only follow in opening others. But the most difficult to open was definitely the first one.
George, I am proud to be your friend and I wish to thank you immensely for all the incentive and inspiration you brought me, and I could only hope there would be more watchmakers like us making real horology.”
François-Paul Journe then presented a homage timekeeper to George Daniels, a Chronomètre Souverain from his collection, made specially for George Daniels and dedicated on the bridge of the movement “FP to George Daniels my Mentor 2010”.
Attending the dinner were some of the most prominent faces of the horological scene, who played a role in bringing back the long gone memories of the great watch masters: independent master watchmakers and some of George Daniels’ intimate friends. Attendees included Master Watchmaker and former pupil of George Daniels Roger Smith, Senior Watch specialist at the Royal Observatory of Greenwich Jonathan Betts, former head of the watch division at Sotheby’s Tina Millar, John and William Asprey of William& Son, Sebastian Whitestone, Andrew Crisford, and a few privileged collectors including Stephen Luk, Anthony Kingsley, and David Sitwell, and David Newman, along with QP Magazine editor James Gurney.