The 2016 George Daniels Lecture

The 2016 George Daniels Lecture, Wednesday 30 November, 6.30pm-9pm, University of London, Northampton Square, London, EC1V 0HB. Book your free place:

The annual George Daniels Lecture celebrates the life and work of Dr George Daniels CBE who was considered, during his lifetime by many to be the best horologist in the world and was famous for creating the co-axial escapement which has been used by Omega in their highest-grade watches since 1999.

2016 Speaker: Matthew Read

Matthew Read

In recent years the awareness of the importance of preserving our horological heritage has grown. The inherited fossil record of horological material forms a wider societal material memory, allowing insight to the past and giving inspiration for the future. In curatorship and conservation, scientific analytical techniques are now widely employed to reveal information that would otherwise remain hidden, adding depth and qualification to knowledge.  The craftsperson understands the manipulation of materials from hours of intimate engagement, leading often to tacit skill. The maker uses materials to manifest creativity and develop new boundaries.


Matthew’s interest in Horology grew out of a third-generation family retail jewellery business in East Yorkshire, with his first flavour of professional clockmaking came as a series of short courses at the British Horological Institute, Newark, Nottinghamshire.  Eventually Matthew committed to horology as a full-time profession, learning the trade via the postgraduate programme at West Dean College.  A four-year term at the National Maritime Museum gave him valuable curatorial experience and introduced me to conservation within clocks. Matthew then pursued conservative practice as a self-employed contractor to national heritage organisations.  During this period, particular highlights were working on the Bowes Swan Automaton, and the Fromanteel clock at the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford.

For the past seven years Matthew has taught foundation, postgraduate, and MA programmes at West Dean.  In 2009 he gained an MA in Conservation Studies, followed by ICON Accreditation in 2012.

Event Timings:

6:00pm - Registration

6:30pm - Lecture Starts

7:30pm - Reception

9:00pm - Event Closes

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