Lot 9
  • 9

George Daniels

400,000 - 600,000 GBP
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  • 18k yellow gold
  • diameter 63mm
• gilt brass movement with Lepine calibre construction, 32-hour duration, two going barrels with contra-rotating trains driving the two escape wheels of the Daniels independent double-wheel, incorporating a 'Y' shaped central locking detent with three pallets, mono-metallic stainless steel four-arm balance with gold adjusting screws and Daniels auxiliary compensation, free-sprung overcoil balance spring, the two trains calculated for mean-solar and sidereal time including seconds, annual calendar ring with kidney-cam and equation of time indication, accurate lunar dial driven from the sidereal train and indication of the age and phase of the moon, centre-seconds chronograph mechanism engaging either train, selected by a lever on the movement • silver engine-turned dial with 24-hour chapter ring to the left for sidereal time, 12-hour chapter ring to the right for mean-solar time, each with overlapping subsidiary seconds dials below, roman and arabic numerals, outer seconds track for chronograph, aperture in the mean-solar chapter ring for the annual calendar, apertures in the sidereal dial for the age and phase of the moon, fan-form sector above for equation of time, signed Daniels in a cartouche below the seconds rings, gold Daniels hands to the mean-solar dials and blued-steel Daniels hands to the sidereal dials and chronograph • case with engine-turned bezels, glazed back with two round buttons in the band for chronograph, Daniels pendant and bow • dial and movement signed • attached yellow gold double-link chain and gold and blued steel double ended key


George Daniels Retrospective Exhibition, Exhibit No.16, Sotheby's London, 18-23 July, 2006


George Daniels, All in Good Time, 2006, p. 84-85, plate 16
George Daniels, A Practical Watch Escapement, 1994, p.78


The movement is fully operational at the time of cataloguing, however it may benefit from a clean. Dial in good condition. Case in very good condition, some minor scuffs to the band. A complete service should be carried out by Roger W. Smith. A service of this watch will be in the region of £20,000 - 30,000 + VAT. All prices are a guide only and subject to a full strip down and inspection of the piece in the Roger W. Smith Ltd studio, Isle of Man.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. All dimensions in catalogue descriptions are approximate. Condition reports may not specify mechanical replacements or imperfections to the movement, case, dial, pendulum, separate base(s) or dome. Watches in water-resistant cases have been opened to examine movements but no warranties are made that the watches are currently water-resistant. Please note that we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts, such as wheels, hands, crowns, crystals, screws, bracelets and leather bands, since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. In particular, please note it is the purchaser's responsibility to comply with any applicable import and export matters, particularly in relation to lots incorporating materials from endangered species.NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

**Please be advised that bands made of materials derived from endangered or otherwise protected species (i.e. alligator and crocodile) are not sold with the watches and are for display purposes only. We reserve the right to remove these bands prior to shipping.

Important Notice regarding importation into the United States of Rolex watches
Sotheby's cannot arrange for the delivery of Rolex watches to the United States because U.S. laws restricts the import of Rolex watches. The buyer or a designated agent may collect the property in the country of sale."

Catalogue Note

Accompanied by a George Daniels presentation case.

In 1974 Dr. Daniels invented the independent double-wheel escapement; the movement was to captivate collectors with its visual appeal of symmetrical trains.
Dr. Daniels was on a trip to Zurich where he met an important collector for dinner.  The collector nudged him and said ‘what do you have in your pocket’, so he took out his watch, a gold Daniels pocket watch with independent double-wheel escapement. The collector said he had to have the watch and asked him to sell it to him. Dr. Daniels said it was not for sale but the collector persisted. Dr. Daniels thought this was an enormous compliment as he did not even ask the price, and so sold him the watch. Dr. Daniels immediately regretted selling this watch and therefore decided to make another which would be an improvement on the first both in terms of complication and accuracy. Having not fully exploited the first watch, the second watch would have separate calculations for each train, it was therefore possible to indicate both mean-solar and sidereal time.
In the 18thcentury to check the accuracy of your watch you had to have a precision clock which was set by a star. This watch by means of having solar and sidereal time could make the calculation for you, the difference being 3.555 minutes per day.

To try and improve the calculation of the train which allowed for an error of 0.8 seconds per year Dr. Daniels contacted a friend at Cambridge University to ask if they knew of a mathematician interested in watches. He got a response almost immediately and extraordinarily enough the mathematicians name was Professor Daniels.  The professor was able to calculate a better ratio of 0.28 seconds per day, which Dr. Daniels was very happy with.

Dr. Daniels used to say to people, ‘when you are on your package tour to Mars you need a watch like this, and when using the telephone for long distance calls you could switch the chronograph into sidereal time to cut your bills by 3.555 minutes per day’.

Originally the watch had been referred to as the Daniels squared (2) because of the assistance he received from Professor Henry Daniels but Dr. Daniels did not think this was good enough so named it the ‘Space Travellers’ watch in honour of the American landing on the moon which was the greatest space exploratory journey of the century.

Sotheby's sold the first Space Travellers' watch on 17th November 1988 in Geneva for 220,000 CHF.