Sotheby's has the honour and privilege to present the first of the four-part series The Masterworks of Time. The first part of four sales, George Daniels: Visionary, focuses on the work of a man considered the greatest watchmaker in the world, and features a beautifully curated selection of watches and clocks from the Renaissance through the 20th century, and includes finest British and Continental makers in horological history, such as Charles Frodsham, Smith & Sons, Edward East, and Northern Goldsmiths. Early German and English watches featuring astronomical indications round out the complicated pieces by these firms.
The masterpiece of the sale is the First Space Traveller by George Daniels. Daniels, the pre-eminent horologist of the 20th century, completed the Space Traveller in 1982 to commemorate the American landing on the moon and built it with both solar and sidereal time, equation of time, and phases of the moon. The watch utilizes Daniels’ famous independent double wheel escapement, which has captivated collectors since its inception in 1974.
George Margetts' magnificent gold and enamel pair cased astronomical watch No.1 highlights the sale. Not only does the dial attractively display the astronomical indications and signs of the Zodiac, but the outer case displays beautifully rendered painted enamelwork by George Michael Moser, a renowned enameller in the 18th century. The Margetts No. 1 is complemented by several other outstanding pieces by venerable makers, including an oval gold, enamel, pearl, and diamond-set watch for the Chinese Market by William Anthony, and a complicated oversized perpetual calendar minute repeating split second chronograph clockwatch by S. Smith and Son. A group of Renaissance and later clocks in exceptional condition perfectly complements the watches and help to tell the story of the evolution of horology. This sale aims to demonstrate how master watch and clock makers have consistently pushed the boundaries of horology, found inspiration in each other’s’ work, and tirelessly worked to innovate the field of horology.