Charting the master watchmaker’s long and illustrious career from one of the earliest pieces he created circa 1952 to a Millennium wristwatch – one of the last series of wristwatches he ever made – these timepieces, three of which are from his personal collection, reflect the innovation and skill for which Daniels was known.
The sale will be headlined by the George Daniels Space Travellers’ Watch (Lot 121) – an 18k yellow-gold chronograph with Daniels’ independent double-wheel escapement, made circa 1982. Named in honour of the American moon landing in 1969, the watch was described by Daniels as the kind of watch you would need on your package tour to Mars. This impressive, beautifully crafted watch is one of only two ever-made in this style and is unique in its inclusion of a chronograph. Featuring both mean-solar time and sidereal time (time reckoned from the motion of the earth relative to the distant stars, rather than with respect to the sun), the watch has a glazed case back showcasing its complex mechanism. Created to replace an early, much treasured version, which Daniels regrettably sold to a collector, this watch was of real personal significance and was often worn as a show piece by Daniels himself. The watch will be offered with an estimate of £1.2 – 1.8 million.
Other highlights by George Daniels include a Mahogany Two-Day Marine Chronometer, circa 1952 – the first horological item made by Daniels as a trade watch repairer which will be offered with an estimate of £20,000 – 30,000 (Lot 119); a striking Breguet replica clock which for many years took pride of place on the mantelpiece in the drawing room of Daniel’s beloved home, Riversdale, on the Isle of Man (estimate £200,000-300,000) (Lot 120), and a 18k yellow-gold Millennium wristwatch, made in limited numbers and sold only to Daniels’ close family and friends (estimate £80,000-120,000) (Lot 122).
Commenting on the sale, Sotheby’s Head of London Watch Department, Joanne Lewis, said, “All four Daniels timepieces we are offering in the sale are very different and showcase Daniels’ mastery of horology and design. Watches by Daniels very rarely come to the market so to be able to offer such a fantastic selection, especially pieces from his personal collection, is very exciting.”