Lot 100
  • 100

George Daniels

80,000 - 120,000 GBP
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  • George Daniels
  • diameter 37 mm
• automatic nickel lever movement, slim Co-Axial escapement, mono-metallic free-sprung balance, gold guilloche rotor, the movement plate with eccentric outer rim engraved with foliate decoration • silvered engine-turned dial, eccentric yellow gold chapter ring for time display with Roman numerals, yellow gold date ring with Arabic numerals, silver cartouches on either side signed Daniels London, yellow gold Daniels hands • 18k white gold case, yellow gold winding crown positioned between 7 and 8 • case, dial and movement signed • case hallmarked for London 1999, maker's mark GD and engraved AB99


Movement running at the time of cataloguing and calendar advancing. Dial and hands in very good condition. Case in good condition with very minor scuffs and scratches. The watch has not been tested to determine the accuracy of its timekeeping. Please note that Sotheby's does not guarantee the future working of the movement and that a service maybe required at the buyers discretion.
"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."

Catalogue Note

Accompanied by a hand written letter from George Daniels dated 30th October 1999, Co-Axial booklet, together with copies of George Daniels' autobiography, 'All in Good Time: Reflections of a Watchmaker', and 'Watchmaking' with personal dedication dated 1981.

by Alan Banbery

In his revealing autobiography, 'All in Good Time', George Daniels recounts, in his inimitable matter-of-fact style, his humble and poverty-stricken childhood.

With typically precise clarity, he then proceeds to lead us along the varied and often difficult phases of his life which, ultimately, culminated in his being awarded virtually every horological honour and accolade which exist. His inherent and underlying genius for almost anything mechanical, was also amply proven by his extraordinary expertise in the restoration of valuable vintage cars; some of which, in later life, he owned and raced competitively.

However, his dream of ‘revolutionizing’ the World of Horology remained his life’s ambition. This took the form of his idea to develop and make a watch escapement which did not require oil, namely: The George Daniels Co-axial escapement. The legacy of his superb, unique and entirely hand-made pocket watches bears lasting witness to his unparalleled horological genius. Nevertheless, George Daniels was not content with what he had already achieved. The next challenge he set himself was to fit his co-axial escapement into a wristwatch.

In this respect, I was fortunate and privileged to have accompanied George Daniels (albeit solely in a limited supporting role) on part of his long, and sometimes frustrating path which led, finally, to the successful commercialization of his co-axial escapement. Indeed, because of his unwavering belief in his invention, as well as his singular perseverance, the co-axial escapement is currently used exclusively by a leading Swiss watch brand in their flagship models.

In consigning my own, specifically ordered white gold ‘ Daniels’ Millennium wristwatch to Sotheby's, it is my genuine hope that the person who acquires it will enjoy its distinctive design and the outstanding reliability of George Daniels ingenious invention : the Co-axial escapement.

Dr. George Daniels is recognised as one of the greatest watchmakers of the 20th Century. In 1981 he received an MBE for his services to horology and in 2010 a CBE - the first watchmaker ever to receive such an honour. The Millennium series with slim Co-Axial escapement was so named and made to commemorate the start of the new millennium.

The objective of the Co-Axial escapement was to improve the long-term performance of the mechanical watch. The escapement is virtually without sliding friction which means that unlike the conventional lever escapement the rate is unaffected by the viscosity of the lubricant.

Initially Dr. Daniels had planned to only make a dozen Millennium watches in order to satisfy friends. However it transpired that the popularity and eager anticipation of such a watch meant that finally, a limited edition was made; comprising: 47 pieces in yellow gold and 7 pieces in white gold.

Five of the Millennium watches made in white gold featured white gold chapter rings, with blued steel hands, however the present watch, on offer, is one of only two pieces watches made on special request, with a yellow gold chapter-ring , date ring and hands.