19 March 2019


Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo Announces:

The Geneva Watch Auction: NINE

Led by

The George Daniels Grand Complication Pocket Watch

The Master’s Most Ambitious & Complicated Watch

To Be Presented at Auction on 11 May 2019


GENEVA – 19 March 2019 – There are timepieces whose historical importance and relevance cannot be underlined enough, their mere existence being a demonstration of the horological genius of their maker. The George Daniels Grand Complication is definitely one of these incredible watches. Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo is honoured to present at auction this exceptional timepiece. Fully hand-made by the Master, this pocket watch is one of the world’s most sought-after masterpieces, the absolute pinnacle of Daniels’ oeuvre and a grail for the seasoned watch collector.

This masterpiece, is the star-lot that will be sold during The Geneva Watch Auction: NINE, a double-evening sale to take place at La Réserve - Geneva on May 11 & 12, 2019.

A mechanical tour de force, the Grand Complication stands apart in the Daniels production. Fully hand made by Daniels, it is the only timepiece he made to feature an instantaneous perpetual calendar with retrograde date and minute repeater, both mechanisms to Daniels’ own design. The sublime layout of the engine-turned dial, and the finesse of the gold case and gilt movement show the artistry of the maker, combining the majority of the complications incorporated in his earlier watches; moonphase, differential screw mechanism for the power reserve, bimetallic centigrade thermometer, Daniels keyless pendant and bow, Co-axial 1-minute tourbillon, and annual calendar with kidney cam and equation of time indication.


The Grand Complication was retained by Daniels for his personal use and was never sold during his lifetime, further underscoring the special significance of this watch. That this watch also incorporates the Daniels Co-axial escapement further elevates this timepiece to an even greater level of historical importance.


The co-axial escapement, invented by Daniels in 1975, is considered as one of the greatest innovations in horology of the past 250 years. It is a modification of the lever escapement with some features of the detent escapement avoiding the sliding friction of the lever escapement, making lubrication of the pallets theoretically unnecessary and thereby minimizing one of the shortcomings of the traditional lever escapement.


Unanimously proclaimed as the founding father of independent horology, George Daniels remains a true source of inspiration across the years and over entire generations of talented watchmakers.


Aurel Bacs, Senior Consultant of Bacs & Russo and Alex Ghotbi, Head of Sales in Geneva jointly declared: “We are incredibly humbled to have been trusted with this once in a lifetime consignment and many savvy collectors will welcome it as such. Anyone, even remotely, interested in independent watchmaking will agree that George Daniels was probably the most talented watchmaker of the 20th century and that he represents the “Adam and Eve” moment for what we describe today as independent watchmaking. Given the sheer complexity, number of complications and unparalleled degree of craftsmanship, it is fair to say that the Grand Complication represents the pinnacle of Daniels’ work, who is himself the pinnacle of 20th century watchmaking.

In short, the Grand Complication is the best by the best.”

Other highlights included in Geneva Watch Auction: NINE will be shortly presented.


Please click here for images of the George Daniels Grand Complication pocket watch

Permission for the use of any image is granted for timely reporting and auction review purposes only. Image courtesy of Phillips / Phillips.com

WORLD TOUR: Spring 2019


Taipei: March 28

Taipei Office

12F., Unit B

No.89, Songren Road, Xinyi District

Taipei City 110


Hong-Kong: March 30 to April 2

HK Office, 14/F,

St. George’s Building

2 Ice House Street

Central Hong Kong


Los Angeles: April 8 & 9

7017 Melrose Avenue,

Los Angeles, CA 90038


New-York: April 12 to 15

Phillips Office

50 Park Avenue

New York NY 10022



London: April 25 to 28

Phillips HQ Office

30 Berkeley Square

London W1J 6EX


Geneva: May 9 to 12

Hôtel La Réserve




Auction Calendar

The Geneva Watch Auction: NINE part 1, Saturday 11 May | 5pm


The Geneva Watch Auction: NINE part 2, Sunday 12 May | 5pm


Location : Hôtel La Réserve, Bellevue, Geneva




The team of specialists at Phillips Watches is dedicated to an uncompromised approach to quality, transparency, and client service, achieving a sale total of $ 108 million in 2018 – its third consecutive year as the worldwide market leader in watch auctions.

A selection of our recent record-breaking prices:

1.       Paul Newman’s Rolex “Paul Newman” Daytona reference 6239 (CHF 17,709,894/US$17,752,500) – New York Auction: Winning Icons – 26 October 2017 – ­­­Highest result ever achieved for any wristwatch at auction.


2.      Patek Philippe reference 1518 in stainless steel (CHF 11,020,000 /US$11,112,020) – Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR – 12 November 2016 – Highest result ever achieved for a Patek Philippe wristwatch at auction.


Phillips is a leading global platform for buying and selling 20th and 21st century art and design. With dedicated expertise in the areas of 20th Century and Contemporary Art, Design, Photographs, Editions, Watches, and Jewelry, Phillips offers professional services and advice on all aspects of collecting. Auctions and exhibitions are held at salerooms in New York, London, Geneva, and Hong Kong, while clients are further served through representative offices based throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. Phillips also offers an online auction platform accessible anywhere in the world.  In addition to providing selling and buying opportunities through auction, Phillips brokers private sales and offers assistance with appraisals, valuations, and other financial services.


*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium; prices achieved include the hammer price plus buyer’s premium.


PRESS CONTACTS:                        

GENEVA - Asta Ponzo, PR Consultant                                                          aponzo@phillips.com                                   +41 79 961 85 66

LONDON - Katie Carder, Head of Press, Europe                                        kcarder@phillips.com                                  +44 20 7901 7938

NEW YORK - Jaime Israni, Senior Public Relations Specialist              jisrani@phillips.com                                      +1 212 940 1398


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