During their Geneva Watch Auction XVI on November 5-6, Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo will be offering three exceptional timepieces made by George Daniels.
The three lots are: The unique Spring Case Tourbillon in yellow gold (estimate in excess of CHF 1 million), a yellow gold Anniversary watch limited to 35 pieces in yellow gold (estimate CHF 300,000-600,000) and a yellow gold Millennium watch limited to 48 pieces (estimate CHF 250,000-500,000).
Before the sale, these creations will be displayed during Geneva Watch Days from 29 August to 1 September, alongside other auction highlights.
Known as the founding father of independent watchmaking, George Daniels was one of the greatest master watchmakers in the world. The Spring Case Tourbillon is 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.
The double-dialled watch is now being offered in public at auction for the very first time. 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.
The George Daniels Anniversary in yellow gold is one of only 35 made in this precious material, created to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the invention of his Co-axial escapement mechanism.
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.
The Millennium watch features a heavily modified Omega calibre with the Co-axial escapement as well as Daniel’s distinctive guilloche dial.
Geneva Watch Days
Dates: 29 August – 1 September
Location: Hotel Beau Rivage, Quai du Mont-Blanc 13, 1201 Geneva
The Geneva Watch Auction: XVI
Dates: 5-6 November 2022
Location: Hôtel La Réserve, Bellevue, Geneva