Life, I feel, always requires reminders to help us keep away from complacency. In this instance at GPHG 2016, the reminder was the names of those have gone before us to pave the way, to do the hard ground work so that we might reap the better days.
The first name on my list, therefore, is that of the incomparable, late Dr. George Daniels CBE. The GPHG jury awarded their Special Prize this year to the George Daniels Educational Trust, in honor of the horologist’s legacy. Notably, Dr. Daniels is most recognized for his invention of the coaxial escapement. But many in the know will also remember that despite of all the talent he possessed, he was too an incredibly hard worker, who used to spend hours and hours on end at his bench, honing his craft — which is to be quite frank, the absolute mark of greatness.
The second name is borne on the watch that won the “Aiguiile d’Or” Grand Prix, which is the Chronomètre Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1 model. The name Ferdinand Berthoud first belonged to an 18th century French, genius watchmaker who had possibly crafted some of the finest marine chronometers of his age. Berthoud is also credited for having cracked the Rosetta Code of marine chronometry.
Today, while the name no longer resides in person, it resides in spirit thanks to the caring hands of one, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, who having discovered the name of Ferdinand Berthoud in the pages of history and wanting to honor the mark left by the work of his hands on horology, instituted La Chronomètre Ferdinand Berthoud in mid-2015. On the occasion, in 2015, Mr. Scheufele also gave the world the first watch to have been dreamt up with the spirit of Ferdinand Berthoud, which was the incredible Chronomètre Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1 model.