George Nichols was listed as a watchmaker, age 28, in the 1850 census for Lexington, Fayette County, and a surviving deposition evidences that he was in Lexington by 1845 (Boultinghouse, 52). Nichols moves to Danville and is listed as a silversmith in the census of 1860. He then appears in Louisville, listed as a jeweler, in the census of 1870. George and wife Mary Jane had four children. Wish we knew more! 

Few watch examples from Southern States are known. This movement indicates that Nichols was likely involved in watchmaking and/or finishing. 
George Nichols Watch
George Nichols Watch

George Nichols
Kentucky (city not marked)
1845 est.

Description: the movement is engraved "MADE BY G. Nichols Kentucky" and has an over-sprung duplex capped escapement with fusee and a two arm split balance with timing screwsThe cut off ratchet located adjacent to the balance is an unusual, albeit impractical, design that would make setup of the mainspring particularly challenging; however, gives evidence along with the engraving that he was likely involved in some aspect of watchmaking.

The movement number is #1845 and that could very well be its date of manufacture. It's case of gold likely scrapped for cash sometime in the last 100 years.

References and recommended reading:
  • Marquis Boultinghouse, Silversmiths, Jewelers, Clock and Watch Makers of Kentucky, 1785-1900, Boultinghouse, 1980