George Daniels timepieces come up for sale so infrequently, they always cause a stir. But the prospect of the British master watchmaker’s Grand Complication being available will have collectors and investors in paroxysms of excitement.
A pre-sale estimate by Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo of CHF 1.5 million looks designed to attract the maximum number of bidders because this piece will sell for far more.
Moreover, this Grand Complication was owned by Mr Daniels throughout his lifetime and never sold by him. He died in 2011 having personally made only 23 pocket watches and four wristwatches.
It is the only timepiece he made to feature an instantaneous perpetual calendar with retrograde date and minute repeater; both complications designed by Mr Daniels.
It also incorporates the Daniels Co-axial escapement that he invented in 1975 and is considered one of the greatest innovations in horology of the past 250 years.
Aurel Bacs, senior consultant of Bacs & Russo and Alex Ghotbi, head of sales in Geneva jointly declared: “We are incredibly humbled to have been trusted with this once in a lifetime consignment and many savvy collectors will welcome it as such. Anyone, even remotely, interested in independent watchmaking will agree that George Daniels was probably the most talented watchmaker of the 20th century and that he represents the “Adam and Eve” moment for what we describe today as independent watchmaking.
“Given the sheer complexity, number of complications and unparalleled degree of craftsmanship, it is fair to say that the Grand Complication represents the pinnacle of Daniels’ work, who is himself the pinnacle of 20th century watchmaking. In short, the Grand Complication is the best by the best.”