Phillips has announced the addition of a new Watch auction to the house’s expanding sale calendar.
The New York Watch Auction: SIX will be hosted on 11-12 June, offering collectors over 160 rare and historically important timepieces.
Leading the sale is the very first George Daniels Anniversary Watch ever made, cased in platinum and bearing the unique serial number “00.”
The sale also includes an F.P.Journe Chronomètre Souverain gifted to Dr. George Daniels, CBE, by François-Paul Journe, as well as five wristwatches from the acclaimed collection of American actor James Garner, led by his iconic Heuer Carrera, one of the most important Heuers to come to market in recent times.
The George Daniels Anniversary Watch, Number “00” Leading the auction is the George Daniels Anniversary Watch in platinum, bearing the coveted serial number, “00”. Over the course of Daniels’ lifetime, only 24 unique pocket watches were entirely hand-made by him, in addition to two completely unique, hand‐made wristwatches.
Produced in collaboration with the esteemed British watchmaker, Roger Smith, two serially-produced, limited edition models were developed under his leadership and bear his signature; the George Daniels Millennium launched in 1998 with just over 50 examples made, and the George Daniels Anniversary watch launched in 2010, with just 35 examples produced.
Dr. George Daniels, CBE, is revered as a 20th and 21st century horological master, whose ingenious co-axial escapement had a profound impact on the history of mechanical timekeeping.
Daniels’ concept for the Anniversary model was to commemorate the 35th anniversary of his invention of the co-axial escapement. He approached his sole protégé, Roger Smith, who today is recognized as his successor and the premier British horologist, to collaborate on producing the series together.
A total of 35 George Daniels Anniversary watches, commemorating the 35th anniversary of the co-axial escapement, would be produced over the following years since its launch in 2010, with just four examples produced in platinum, like the present lot.
George Daniels wanted the Anniversary model to also be a celebration of his life’s work, and the platinum “00” is a wonderful representation of the best in handmade, traditional English watchmaking. A portion of the proceeds from the sale will benefit The George Daniels Educational Trust, The Alliance of British Watch and Clock Makers, and the Horological Society of New York.
Phillips will also auction a unique and historically important F. P. Journe platinum Chronomètre Souverain wristwatch gifted to and owned by George Daniels. The timepiece was a gift and tribute from François-Paul Journe to Daniels in recognition of their enduring friendship, and personalized with the movement engraved, “FP to George Daniels my Mentor 2010”.
Included with the watch is a signed letter from Journe, noting in French, “Thanks to your publications as The Art of Breguet or Watchmaking, I have patiently learned on my workbench to make my first watch, you know the rest.”
Journe’s Chronomètre Souverain is amongst his most recognizable references, and was his first timepiece with a central time display.
Released in several variations, the principle objective of these timepieces, as the name implies, is chronometric precision. Contemporary, elegant, and classic, this unique Chronomètre Souverain is the perfect match between the genius of its creator and his predecessors. The beauty of this wristwatch is not only displayed on the dial side, but also when turned over one is amazed by its superbly hand finished movement made from 18K pink gold.
First appearing at auction in 2012 when items from George Daniels’ collection were sold following his passing, the present lot is in nearly unworn condition.
A selection of watches from the personal collection of American actor James Garner has been consigned directly by his daughter, Gigi Garner. The group is headlined by a Heuer Carrera reference 2447, notably seen in The Rockford Files and printed with Garner’s name on the dial. Heuer chronographs have been used for timed events from the Olympics to the Grand Prix of Monaco, and today they are sought by collectors for their iconic designs and technical innovations.
In the mid-1960s, several Carreras were modified upon request by retailers and sponsors affiliated with Heuer to have special emblems and names printed on the dial. Often, these were related to auto racing.
As an Indianapolis 500 pace car driver, auto racing enthusiast, and producer and star of the 1966 movie, Grand Prix, it makes perfect sense that James Garner would be one of those entitled to receive a special Carrera.
Produced in part by Garner’s own Cherokee Productions, the film went on to win three Academy Awards. Garner was one of the few actors skilled enough as a driver to train with a professional racer.
After the production and release of Grand Prix, Garner’s interest in racing continued to grow. His daughter Gigi recounted that her father attended at least 40 Indy 500s, and drove the pace car at the event on three separate occasions – usually with this Heuer Carrera on his wrist. According to Gigi, it was his “favorite everyday watch” and is seen often in pictures from the era and on episodes of The Rockford Files.
This incredible piece of horological, automotive, and cinematic history is followed by a quartet of Cartier watches, most delightfully a manually-wound Cartier Baignoire. The present example, owned and worn by the actor, is a medium-sized model of the Baignoire Paris dating to the 1960s.
Preserved in outstanding original condition, the case bears the eagle’s head hallmark for 18K gold imported to France, and a “Made in France” designation, corroborating the “Paris” dial. It was most notably seen and photographed on Garner’s wrist during the 2000 premiere of Space Cowboys.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of his watches will benefit The James Garner Animal Rescue Fund.
- Auction: 11-12 June 2022
- Location: 432 Park Avenue, New York
- Link: https://www.phillips.com/auctions/auction/NY080222