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Known as "Honest George Graham", born in 1673 or 1674 in Cumberland, he travelled to London and was apprenticed to Henry Aske in 1688. In 1695, having completed his apprenticeship, he worked for Thomas Tompion, later marrying his neice Elizabeth, and after Tompion's death, taking over the business.

His innovations and inventions include the improvement on Tompion's design of the cylinder escapement, the dead-beat clock escapement and the mercury pendulum. As well as his clocks and watches, he was renowned for his scientific instruments, particularly in the field of astronomy.

His honesty and generosity are characterised by his help and support for John Harrison in the latter's long endeavours to achieve the Longitude Prize.

Some of his own apprentices went on to prominence in their own right, in particular Thomas Mudge, inventor of the detached lever escapement.

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