As we're on the subject of George Daniels I feel I must discuss his greatest contribution to horology, the co-axial escapement. Before we can discuss any sort of escapement we must define the essential requirements for a good escapement. Daniels has done so himself, so I'll simply quote him:
1: Impulse to the oscillator at both vibrations of each oscillation.
2: Impulse delivered tangentially with minimum friction.
3: After impulse the oscillator to be free to complete the vibration without further contact with the escapement.
4: The oscillator to be self-starting while winding the mainspring from the run-down condition.
5: The oscillator to restart after being accidentally stopped.
With that out of the way, we are free to discuss what the co-axial had to beat, the lever escapement. The lever escapement was invented by the Englishman Thomas Mudge in 1755 and has been the standard since about 1900. It's a very good escapement, satisfying requirements 1, 3, 4, and 5. It does not, however, satisfy requirement 2. It impulses the balance wheel through a sliding action between the pallets of the lever and the teeth of the escape wheel, introducing a relatively large amount of friction. Here's a good illustration of the mechanism (with the lever labeled as the "fork").
The upshot of this friction is that the lever escapement requires lubrication, and lubricant is the enemy of precision timekeeping. This is because, over time, lubricants break down, changing their properties. Much time and many resources have been expended trying to find a lubricant that doesn't suffer from this problem, but so far with no significant success.
Daniels, therefore, set out to devise an escapement that doesn't require lubrication of any kind. This means eliminating friction. His first attempt at such an escapement was the low-friction escapement used in the Space Traveller's watches above. As I mentioned in that post, this proved to be an extremely accurate escapement. After a month of daily use one of the watches proved to be less than a second slow. That's more accurate than a quartz watch!
This first low-friction escapement, however, was too fiddly for any large-scale production, so Daniels went back to the drawing board and in 1976 invented the co-axial escapement.
I'll quote Daniels's description of its action: "For each oscillation, one impulse is delivered directly to a pallet on the balance roller while the other is delivered to the balance via the lever fork and unlocking pin of the balance roller." The balance roller is the cylindrical piece to the right of the image, and is connected directly to the balance wheel.
The impulses are delivered with very little friction, and so don't require lubrication. The escapement can also be made to fit in the same space as the lever escapement, allowing almost any modern watch to be fitted with one without any redesign of the movement. Daniels's goal was to get a brand to adopt the co-axial for commercial production, and after being rejected by Patek Philippe and Rolex in strong cases of not-invented-here-syndrome, Omega adopted it and released it commercially at the 1999 Baselworld fair in the form of this watch.