GEORGE DANIELS. A SENSATIONAL, ASTOUNDINGLY RARE AND HISTORICALLY IMPORTANT LIMITED EDITION PLATINUM WRISTWATCH WITH CO-AXIAL ESCAPEMENT, DATE AND POWER RESERVE INDICATION
GEORGE DANIELS. A SENSATIONAL, ASTOUNDINGLY RARE AND HISTORICALLY IMPORTANT LIMITED EDITION PLATINUM WRISTWATCH WITH CO-AXIAL ESCAPEMENT, DATE AND POWER RESERVE INDICATION
GEORGE DANIELS. A SENSATIONAL, ASTOUNDINGLY RARE AND HISTORICALLY IMPORTANT LIMITED EDITION PLATINUM WRISTWATCH WITH CO-AXIAL ESCAPEMENT, DATE AND POWER RESERVE INDICATION
GEORGE DANIELS. A SENSATIONAL, ASTOUNDINGLY RARE AND HISTORICALLY IMPORTANT LIMITED EDITION PLATINUM WRISTWATCH WITH CO-AXIAL ESCAPEMENT, DATE AND POWER RESERVE INDICATION
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GEORGE DANIELSPLATINUM ANNIVERSARY NO. 00
GEORGE DANIELS. A SENSATIONAL, ASTOUNDINGLY RARE AND HISTORICALLY IMPORTANT LIMITED EDITION PLATINUM WRISTWATCH WITH CO-AXIAL ESCAPEMENT, DATE AND POWER RESERVE INDICATION

SIGNED DANIELS, CO-AXIAL ESCAPEMENT, ANNIVERSARY MODEL, NO. 00, THE CASE WITH LONDON HALLMARKS FOR 2017

Details
GEORGE DANIELS. A SENSATIONAL, ASTOUNDINGLY RARE AND HISTORICALLY IMPORTANT LIMITED EDITION PLATINUM WRISTWATCH WITH CO-AXIAL ESCAPEMENT, DATE AND POWER RESERVE INDICATION
SIGNED DANIELS, CO-AXIAL ESCAPEMENT, ANNIVERSARY MODEL, NO. 00, THE CASE WITH LONDON HALLMARKS FOR 2017
Movement: Manual, co-axial escapement
Dial: Hand-finished silvered engine turned
Case: 40 mm. diam.
With: George Daniels platinum deployant clasp with London hallmarks for 2016, guarantee, product literature, signed George Daniels letter to the first owner dated 8 November 2010, cloth and presentation box
Remark: The first watch of the Daniels Anniversary series, no. 00
Further details
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Remi Guillemin Head of Watches, Europe and Americas

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Lot Essay

“This wristwatch is a culmination of over 40 years of watchmaking and unashamedly takes inspiration from several pieces in my body of work. The case houses a completely new and original Daniels calibre which is fitted with a calendar and power reserve complication and, along with the minute, hour and seconds, provides all the information that a fine watch should”GEORGE DANIELS

Unquestionably one of the finest and most historic independently made wristwatches ever produced, and a quintessential example of the very finest handmade traditional watchmaking, this hugely impressive first example of the George Daniels Anniversary series, No. 00, is one of only four pieces of the model to be made in platinum. The Daniels Anniversary watch, or more correctly ‘Co-Axial Anniversary’ watch was created in order to commemorate the 35th anniversary of Daniels’ invention of the co-axial escapement. The idea for this series of watches was proposed to Roger W. Smith by George Daniels in 2010 and it was agreed that they would collaborate together on this exciting project. For the Anniversary watch, George Daniels wanted to return to the roots of his watchmaking philosophy by producing the series entirely by hand in the Isle of Man. Designed by George Daniels and Roger W. Smith, the Anniversary watches were made by hand by Roger W. Smith to the uncompromising standards that were the Daniels trademark. The manual wound movement of the Anniversary watch is particularly significant in being an entirely new English calibre designed by George Daniels and fitted with Roger Smith’s variant of the co-axial escapement which utilizes a single escape wheel whereby the upper and lower wheels of Daniel’s original design are replaced by one wheel with an extra set of vertically positioned teeth on its upper surface. The advantage being that the escape wheel could be fabricated in a single operation and therefore eliminated a source of potential error. George Daniels said of the new escapement design: “This development, conceived by Roger Smith, guarantees both radial and concentric orientation of the two sets of teeth and their pivot point and I see it as a natural and useful development of my escapement”. In all, 47 George Daniels Anniversary watches have been made or are in production, 35 examples in yellow gold, four examples in white gold, four examples in pink gold, and four examples platinum, including the present watch.

George Daniels Anniversary Platinum No. 00 – An Appreciation
Conceived and handmade by two of the most distinguished and eminent of all independent watchmakers, the Daniels Anniversary watch rewards close inspection to admire and enjoy the sheer virtuosity and beauty in even the smallest of details. Inspired in appearance by Dr. Daniels’ legendary tourbillon chronograph pocket watch of 1994, the spectacular dial is hand engine turned with large brushed chapter rings for the date and seconds and a power reserve sector below 12 o’clock. It is completed by the instantly recognizable Daniels hands in blued steel and of course the magical signature ‘Daniels’.

The entirely handmade manual wound movement is an entirely new calibre in the English style designed and realized specifically for the Anniversary watch. Visible through the crystal caseback, the gilded half-plate calibre is perfectly frosted and bears the hand-engraved signature ‘DANIELS’, the number ‘No.00’ and ‘CO-AXIAL ESCAPEMENT’ in Daniels’ distinctive font. On the lower plate is a small applied silver shield engraved with the iconic three-legged emblem of the Isle of Man. The finishing of the domed blued steel screws, countersunk jewels and steel components is simply breathtaking, as is the fascinating and beautiful free-sprung co-axial escapement. During impulse the co-axial escapement is virtually without sliding friction and therefore runs without dependence on lubrication. A further and very interesting aspect of the movement is a feature to stop the balance which is best described in the words of George Daniels himself: “A feature of this watch, which I previously used in my 15-second Remontoire pocket watch of 1975, is a switch which, activated by the up and down cone, switches the balance wheel on and off. This I felt was a useful and amusing additional complication which will provide the escapement with a more consistent power supply.”

The platinum case is of course finished to the very highest standard and absolutely timeless in style, the sapphire crystal back displays the magnificence of the movement to the owner. Faultlessly punched with hallmarks for London and the date letter ‘S’ for 2017, it also bears the ‘GD’ maker’s mark for George Daniels.

George Daniels, CBE, Dsc, FBHI, FSA, AHCI (1926-2011)
George Daniels is so well known in the field of horology and beyond that he needs almost no introduction. Considered by many to be one of the best watchmakers in the world in the field of mechanical watches during his lifetime. Daniels opened his first watch repair and cleaning shop in 1960 in London. Becoming interested in the works of the early 19th-century French watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet, Daniels soon became the leading expert on Breguet and was often involved in advising on Breguet’s watches for both repair and sale. His own watches were extraordinary and he prided himself on building the complete watch entirely by hand, including the case and dial. A highly complicated gold watch by George Daniels, the ‘Space Traveller's Watch I’, sold for £3,615,000 in London in 2019. George Daniels’ lifelong quest was to redesign the mechanical watch to a standard whereby it could compete with, and eventually outperform the quartz watch. By the mid-1970s he had designed and created the Daniels co-axial escapement for which he is now most remembered. This escapement is widely considered as the greatest advancement in escapement design for the mechanical watch since the invention of the lever escapement by Thomas Mudge in 1754. The co-axial escapement, which theoretically removed the need to add a lubricant, has been used by Omega in most of their collections since 1999 except in the Speedmaster Moonwatch until the introduction of the caliber 3861 in 2021. In 1998, George Daniels, together with Roger Smith introduced a series of wristwatches. Christened ‘Millennium’, the new model celebrated the acceptance of the co-axial escapement by the Swiss watch industry and they were in fact made using the first co-axial movements off the Omega production line. The idea for another series of wristwatches under the Daniels name began in 2010. Named the ‘Co-Axial Anniversary’ George Daniels designed a new British calibre that aligned with his philosophy of making watches by hand. The ‘Co-Axial Anniversary’ watches were made by Roger W. Smith and finished to George Daniels’ meticulous standards.

George Daniels was the author of seven books including ‘Watches’ published in 1965, the definitive ‘The Art of Breguet’ published in 1974 and ‘Watchmaking’ in 1981.

Roger W. Smith, OBE (b.1970)
The greatest living British watchmaker and one of the most revered and respected independent watchmakers in the world, Roger Smith was born in Bolton near Manchester in 1970. At Manchester School of Horology he passed as the best student in his class, winning the British Horological Institute’s Bronze medal. During his time at the Institute, George Daniels visited as a guest speaker. It was to be a life-changing moment for Roger and from that day, inspired by George Daniels, he resolved to make watches by hand.

Using Daniels' book ‘Watchmaking’, Roger Smith began making his first pocket watch in his spare time. In 1990, Roger then aged 22, took the finished watch to Daniels, who, in his characteristically forthright manner, told him to go back and start again because it looked ‘handmade’, not ‘created’. Undeterred, Smith returned to his workshop, and spent the next five years making and remaking his second pocket watch, until he had perfected all the thirty-two skills required to design and make a watch, known as the ‘The Daniels Method’. Upon completion of a second watch, he took the watch back to Daniels, and this time obtained his approval. This now historic watch was sold in 2023 at auction in New York, selling for $ 4.9 million dollars.
Although George Daniels had always eschewed the idea of training apprentices, he was so impressed by Roger Smith that he invited him to move to the Isle of Man and work with him on the Daniels ‘Millennium’ series of wristwatches. Three years later, Roger Smith set up his own studio on the Isle of Man. He produced his ‘Series 1’, a series of 9 rectangular cased watches fitted with a retrograde calendar complication built over a period of three years. His Series 2 was launched in February 2006.
In 2010, Smith formed what would become his final collaboration with George Daniels, to produce a series of 35 wristwatches to commemorate the 35th Anniversary of Daniels’ invention of the co-axial escapement, for which Daniels was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in recognition of his services to horology.

In 2011, Roger Smith was awarded the Barrett Silver Medal of the British Horological Institute which is awarded for outstanding development or achievement in any field of horology. He was awarded the medal for ‘Dedication to and successfully continuing the finest traditions of English and British watchmaking’. In 2018 Roger Smith was awarded an OBE.

Upon his death in 2011, George Daniels bequeathed his entire workshop to Smith, and he noted "George’s whole studio was geared towards the singular goal of one man being able to design and make a watch from start to finish”. Incorporated within the studio are Daniels’ Schaublin Lathes and Hauser Jig Borer, used to make vital high-precision parts for the watches, which combine with the hand engine-turning equipment, dating back to the 1820s.

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