George Daniels - The New York Watch Auction: SIX New York Saturday, June 11, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Condition Report

  • Description

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  • Manufacturer: George Daniels
    Year: Circa 2019
    Movement No: No. 00
    Model Name: Anniversary
    Material: Platinum
    Calibre: Manual, co-axial escapement
    Bracelet/Strap: Crocodile
    Clasp/Buckle: Platinum George Daniels deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 40mm Diameter
    Signed: Dial, movement and clasp signed, case with London hallmarks, and casemaker initials GD.
    Accessories: Accompanied by George Daniels guarantee, blue leather fitted presentation box, signed George Daniels letter dated 8th November, 2010, platinum setting pin stamped GD, presentation box key, blue leather George Daniels envelope, product literature and additional hard Pelican carrying case

  • Catalogue Essay

    It is a great honour and privilege for Phillips Watches to offer this spectacular and historically important George Daniels Anniversary platinum wristwatch, with the extraordinary movement number of “00”. As the grandfather of modern independent horology, Daniels’ oeuvre is a testament to excellence in traditional watchmaking and the finest in British horological advancements.

    For enthusiasts and collectors, any George Daniels timepiece is the pinnacle of watch collecting. Over the course of his lifetime, only 24 unique pocket watches were entirely hand-made by him, in addition to two completely unique, hand‐made wristwatches. Only two serially-produced, limited edition models were developed under his leadership and bearing his signature – the George Daniels Millennium launched in 1998 with just over 50 examples made, and the George Daniels Anniversary watch launched in 2010, with just 47 examples to be completed.

    Accordingly, the rarity and importance of any George Daniels-signed watch cannot be overstated.

    Dr. George Daniels is revered as a 20th and 21st century horological master, whose ingenious co-axial escapement had a profound impact on the history of mechanical timekeeping. A Master of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers, Daniels studied watchmaking’s traditional past, seeking to improve upon it, and advancing precision timekeeping. He studied the 18th/19th century master Abraham‐Louis Breguet, who Daniels said was his single greatest influence, and over time, he became a leading authority on Breguet. The sublime, eternally classic dials found on Breguet’s pocket watches are mirrored in the work by Daniels, as well as the exquisite quality of each component within his movements.
    Daniels’ 1975 Co-axial escapement was a radical 21st century invention which resulted from George’s detailed historical study of all known previous escapements and was designed to incorporate the key features required for a practical, high precision escapement. It functions with a system of three pallets separating the locking function from the impulse, avoiding the sliding friction of the lever escapement. This makes lubrication of the pallets theoretically unnecessary and thereby eliminates one of the shortcomings of the traditional lever escapement. The co-axial was so revolutionary and well-received by the horological world that the brand Omega began fitting it in their high-grade wristwatches in 1999, and today is found on virtually all of their mechanical wristwatches.

    Daniels’ concept for the Anniversary model was to commemorate the 35th anniversary of his invention of the co-axial escapement. He approached his one and only protégé, Roger Smith, who today is recognised as his successor and the premier British horologist, to collaborate on producing the series together. In 1997, he approached Daniels with a pocket watch he made following Daniels important tome “Watchmaking”. The master was so impressed with Roger Smith’s craftsmanship, he accepted Smith as an apprentice. Beginning in 1998, Daniels and Smith worked together for three years on the George Daniels Millennium wristwatch, and following its success, Smith would open his own workshop, R.W. Smith, in 2001. Continuing the tradition of handmade British watchmaking, Smith’s skills, continuous innovation, and outstanding quality have led him to be regarded as highly as George Daniels, and today his watches are as sought after.
    The George Daniels Anniversary Watch sought to create a manually-wound wristwatch with co-axial escapement inspired by Daniels’ 1991 chronograph wristwatch, and 1994 four-minute tourbillon wristwatch, which display the essence of Daniels’ craftsmanship. Daniels and Smith would create an all-new British caliber produced by Roger Smith with the casing, dial, and finishing work produced to Daniels’ style and standards. Of the Anniversary watch, George Daniels stated the following:
    “This wrist watch is a culmination of over 40 years of watchmaking and unashamedly takes inspiration from several pieces in my body of work. The 18 carat gold case houses a completely new and original Daniels calibre which is fitted with a calendar and power reserve complication and, along with the minute, hour and seconds, provides all the information that a fine watch should”.
    The escapement within uses Roger Smith’s single escape wheel version of the Daniels co-axial escapement, where the upper and lower wheels of the original design were combined into one escape wheel with added teeth. The result permitted the wheel to be fabricated in a single operation and removed a potential error source. As described by Daniels:
    “This development, conceived by Roger Smith, guarantees both radial and concentric orientation of the two sets of teeth and their pivot point and I see it as a natural and useful development of my escapement”.
    Forty-seven George Daniels Anniversary watches would be produced over the years following its launch in 2010, including 35 examples in yellow gold, four examples in white gold, four examples in pink gold (to be completed), and four examples platinum – like the present lot.
    George Daniels wanted the Anniversary model to also be a celebration of his life’s work, and the platinum “00” is a wonderful representation of the best in handmade, traditional English watchmaking. The pristine, 40mm diameter case is a marvel to admire, with its crisp London hallmarks perfectly preserved. The dial is in the tradition of a classic Breguet timepiece with a hand-engraved, guilloché silver dial, but it is interesting to note each section is in a different style. Grained silver chapter rings indicate the time to the center of the dial, along with two oversized registers for date and constant seconds. The power reserve indication is neatly placed at the 12 o’clock position, and the “Daniels” signature on a plate at 6 o’clock. The No. 00 movement seen through a sapphire crystal back, is a work of art, and upon close inspection, reveals the excellence of this hand-made British movement.
    The Daniels Anniversary Watch “00” is the culmination of a lifetime of work. It is a historical record of the genius of George Daniels. Not only is it one of only four examples produced in platinum, it is the very first platinum Anniversary made, and the only one with this coveted serial number. The watch is accompanied by a signed and date letter by George Daniels to the original owner, along with guarantee, presentation box and setting pin. With a portion of the proceeds benefitting The George Daniels Educational Trust, The Alliance of British Watch and Clock Makers, and the Horological Society of New York, the present lot is a once in a life-time opportunity to own a superb timepiece by the two ultimate British watchmakers of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Σ ≈12

An extremely rare, spectacular, and historically important platinum co-axial limited-edition wristwatch with date and power reserve indication, with guarantee, signed George Daniels letter, and presentation box, bearing serial number “00”, with a portion of the proceeds to benefit The George Daniels Educational Trust, The Alliance of British Watch and Clock Makers, and the Horological Society of New York

Circa 2019
40mm Diameter
Dial, movement and clasp signed, case with London hallmarks, and casemaker initials GD.

$500,000 - 1,000,000 

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Paul Boutros

Head of Watches, Americas

+1 (212) 940-1293

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Isabella Proia

Head of Sale, New York

+1 (212) 940 1285

[email protected]

The New York Watch Auction: SIX

New York Auction 11-12 June 2022