Three Exceptional George Daniels Wristwatches Set For Auction

Three Exceptional George Daniels Wristwatches Set For Auction

Three exceptional and rare timepieces by the founding father of independent watchmaking, George Daniels, are to be offered by Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo.

George Daniels, Spring Case Tourbillon in yellow gold 
Estimate: in excess of CHF 1 million

The Spring Case Tourbillon is a tour de force wristwatch and a leading example of Daniels’ gloriously hand-crafted creations that incorporate the various inventions he made. Daniels only made two unique wristwatches for his own personal use; one of these being this exact novel double-dialled spring case watch with one-minute tourbillon and calendar, completed in 1992. 

Simple in its appearance, the double-dialled watch is technically impressive; from both its movement and dial display but also to its surprising spring case, enabling the watch to be popped open to reveal the back dial. The watch features exquisitely hand guilloché silver dials in the classic Daniels manner with eccentric gold chapters showing hours, minutes, and interlaced seconds, with a subsidiary for power reserve indication. The reverse dial shows the calendar indication and visible tourbillon escapement. 

The ingenious two-part case has an inner section holding the movement, which is hinged to the outer, so that when released by a pusher in the band it springs open to reveal the reverse dial. To affect this neatly, the winding crown is cleverly positioned between the lugs. The tourbillon had already become a signature element of Daniels work, rotating in one-minute and featuring his slim Co-axial escapement. Daniels’ invention of the Co-axial escapement in 1975 was subsequently fitted to all his watches thereafter, it was also adopted by Omega and later by his protégé, Roger Smith. 

He reluctantly parted with it in 2005 after a friend eventually persuaded him to sell it. The double-dialled watch is now being offered in public at auction for the very first time. 

George Daniels, Anniversary Watch in Yellow Gold 
Estimate: CHF 300,000-600,000 

Included in this group is an exceptional example of the George Daniels Anniversary (above) in yellow gold. It is one of only 35 made in yellow gold, created to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the invention of his Co-axial escapement mechanism. The elegant form, simplicity, and legibility of the dial are distinctive characteristics of the Daniels oeuvre.

George Daniels, Millennium Watch in Yellow Gold 
Estimate: CHF 250,000-500,000

Also included is a George Daniels Millennium, created in 1999 to celebrate the arrival to the market of the new Co-axial escapement and the first example of a Daniels watch made in series, which was limited to 48 pieces. This watch features a heavily modified Omega calibre with the Co-axial escapement as well as Daniel’s distinctive guilloche dial.

“Following an extraordinary first half of the year, with 100% of watches sold, we are now looking ahead to an exciting fall season. George Daniels was one of the greatest watchmakers in history, and it is an honour to present not only a unique tourbillon wristwatch with spring case, made fully by hand by Daniels himself and appearing on the auction market for the very first time, but also two of the most sought-after wristwatches by an independent watchmaker ahead of the Geneva Watch Auction: XVI in November. For Daniels, a watch had to have historic, intellectual, technical, aesthetic, amusing and useful qualities, a mantra that he applied to all his creations, with these three examples being no exception. Daniels’ legacy continues to influence the generations of watchmakers that follow him, and we have no doubt these three watches will inspire those able to visit our early preview at Geneva Watch Days this August.” 

Alexandre Ghotbi, Head of Watches, Continental Europe & Middle East 

During his lifetime and by his own hand, George Daniels made 23 pocket watches and just two unique wristwatches. In addition, and in collaboration with Roger Smith, two further tourbillon wristwatches and two production series of wristwatches; the Millennium and Anniversary watches have been made. 

George Daniels, CBE, DSc, FBHI, FSA, AHCI

Geneva Watch Days
Viewing: 29th August to 1st September
Location: Hotel Beau Rivage, Quai du Mont-Blanc 13, 1201 Geneva 

The Geneva Watch Auction: XVI
Auction: 5th and 6th November
Location: Hôtel La Réserve, Bellevue, Geneva

For more information please visit Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo

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