What's Ticking

A Primer to the Parmigiani Bugatti Type 390

Published on Oct 27, 2017

The “co-axial” term, referring to the “co-axial” escapement first designed by George Daniels and now owned by Omega, is prevalent within the watch ecosphere. However, if you don’t spend all your time buried in watchmaking minutiae and have a life, you may not be familiar with the term. “Co-axial” refers to a system consisting of two or more elements with aligned rotational axes. Simply put, they rotate around the same line.

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I’m sorry but I just don’t get it! Paul Newman has become a legend of our time – agreed and this watch arguable is one of, if not the most, famous Rolex ever made, however it is still a battle worn Daytona with a dial which at the time Rolex struggled to sell. The buyer must have been seriously sold on the iconic status of this watch because as far as technical merit is concerned it is lacking. Consider that for the price paid for this tatty chronograph however much it may have been loved by one man, one could have bought ALL of the other lots, and that would make a serious watch collection right there, including amongst some very eminent lots one of the handful of legal Alaska III NASA Speedmasters, and no less than No.00 Duality by Philippe Dufour! And that would leave you change to buy a small country house, a modest collection of cars and probably the finest collection of clocks possible to assemble – or a tatty Rolex…………. sorry I don’t get it.


I have read a couple of places now that say the co-axial escapement patent was bought by Omega… I guess I originally questioned this because, doesn’t Roger Smith still produce his watches with the co-axial “Daniels” escapement?
According to https://patents.google.com/patent/EP0018796A2/en?inventor=george+daniels the “current assignee” of the patent is still George Daniels, not Omega or Swatch Group.
In any case, this patent is now 38 years old, so doesn’t that make it fair game for anyone to use?