George Daniels - The New York Watch Auction: SEVEN New York Saturday, December 10, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Condition Report

  • Description

    View our Conditions of Sale.

  • Manufacturer: George Daniels
    Year: Circa 2014
    Movement No: No. 09
    Model Name: Anniversary
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, Co-axial escapement
    Bracelet/Strap: Crocodile
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold George Daniels deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 40mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by George Daniels presentation manual, setting pin, cloth, key and fitted presentation box.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Widely considered the greatest watchmaker of the 20th century and a visionary icon of British watchmaking, Dr. George Daniels truly lived up to the definitions of determination, innovation and dedication. Born in 1926, Dr. Daniels stumbled upon his first watch at the age of 5 and discovered the interlocking wheels of the movement, “the centre of the universe” he says. A truly self-taught genius, Daniels never completed an apprenticeship, obtaining his knowledge from books and self-motivated restoration of various Abraham Louis Breguet timepieces after the war in 1947. George Daniels’ first horological exercise for himself was a Marine Chronometer which he made in 1953, followed by a series of 37 pocket and wrist watches, including the Four-Minute Tourbillon and his masterpiece, The Space Traveller pocket watch. He became a renowned expert on Breguet’s work and wrote the definitive book on the subject, The Art of Breguet.

    Relentless in pushing the boundaries as an individual and in the world of horology, Daniels challenged the quartz crisis in the late 1960s with his impeccable mastery of the 34 trades requisite in creating a watch entirely by hand. During this new dawn of quartz watches, Daniels’ innovation of his ground breaking, Co-axial escapement changed the landscape of horology as none other since Thomas Mudge’s invention of the lever escapement in 1755 - a time gap of 250 years.

    Lever escapements in conventional watchmaking require lubrication and have always had shortfalls with regards to long-term accuracy, whether by temperature, shock, or aging. The Co-axial escapement by Daniels, beginning from its nascence in 1975, draws on elements from the detent escapement that functions with a three pallet system, separating the locking function from the impulse, thus avoiding possible sliding friction and omitting the viscosity of lubricants once and for all. With rigorous testing and modification following almost twenty-five years of discussions with a multitude of Swiss brands, the Co-axial escapement was finally commercialized by Omega in 1999.

    Another important individual joined Daniels' workshop in Isle of Man in 1998 - Daniels' only apprentice, Roger W. Smith. There, the duo began work on the now legendary project, the “Daniels Millennium” series. Produced in a limited edition of 54 watches over the span of three years, eight of them are cased in white gold while the rest are encased in classic yellow gold. Sized at 37mm featuring straight lugs and a rounded, stepped case, the timepiece features a refined hand-finished guilloché dial with two chapter rings that overlap atop of each other displaying hour, minutes, and date.

    Fast forward to 2009, a celebration of the Co-axial escapement, the present Anniversary watch marks the 35th anniversary of Daniels’ invention. Together with Roger W. Smith, only 35 pieces of the model in yellow gold were ever produced. The Anniversary Watch is a culmination of Daniels' genius and design ethos in a wristwatch. Regarding the watch itself, Daniels stated, “My goal has always been to make watches which provide historical, technical, intellectual, aesthetic, amusing and useful qualities. 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.”

    Quintessential Daniels in every aspect, the Anniversary, with its perfectly balanced, symmetrical 40mm diameter layout gives a sense of order and serenity. A large gold ring engraved with black Roman numerals is further anchored by two small sub-dials indicating the date and seconds on the dial. Echoing the addition of a fan-shaped power-reserve indication beneath 12 o’clock, the name DANIELS balances the dial layout in harmony. Exceptionally finished with silvery engine-turned patterns by hand, the dial is a pure pleasure to admire.

    The escapement within uses a single wheel Daniels Co-axial escapement which has been reworked by Roger W. Smith, 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”.

    Offered by the original owner in exceptional original condition, the present timepiece is the 9th example to be completed by the grand-master. Accompanied by its original accessories, the present lot is what British watchmaking is all about. For those who seek the ultimate, a piece of horological history, a “universe” hidden inside a yellow gold case created by a single pair of hands, the present Anniversary by Daniels is a true trophy watch for the discerning connoisseur.

    PROPERTY OF THE ORIGINAL OWNER

PLEASE NOTE, THIS LOT IS A PREMIUM LOT. ONLINE BIDDING WILL BE DISABLED FOR THIS LOT. TO BID ON THE LOT YOU MUST COMPLETE AND SATISFY OUR PREMIUM LOT PRE-REGISTRATION PROCEDURE NO LATER THAN 24 HOURS BEFORE THE START OF THE AUCTION SESSION IN WHICH IT IS OFFERED. PLEASE ALSO NOTE THAT ONLY IN PERSON, WRITTEN ABSENTEE, OR TELEPHONE BIDS WILL BE ACCEPTED FOR THESE LOTS. PLEASE CONTACT THE BIDS DEPARTMENT AT [email protected] FOR DETAILS.

Σ ≈110

An extremely rare, historically important and attractive yellow gold wristwatch with power reserve indicator, date, presentation manual and presentation box, numbered 9 of 35 pieces made

Circa 2014
40mm diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

Estimate
$400,000 - 1,000,000 
CHF381,000-951,000
€386,000-964,000
HK$3,130,000-7,820,000
S$549,000-1,370,000

Contact Specialist

Paul Boutros

Head of Watches, Americas

+1 (212) 940-1293

[email protected]

 

Isabella Proia

Head of Sale, New York

+1 (212) 940 1285

[email protected]

 

The New York Watch Auction: SEVEN

New York Auction 10 - 11 December 2022