A £3.6m ($4.6m) world record breaking George Daniels watch has just gone under the hammer at Sotheby’s.
The George Daniels ‘Space Traveller I’ also broke the record for a timepiece by an independent watchmaker as well as the highest price achieved for a watch at auction this year.
Well over-achieving on its £700k-£1m estimate, the the watch was described by Daniels as “the kind of watch you would need on your package tour to Mars.”
It is also arguably the most coveted of the 23 pocket watches Mr Daniels made during his life time.bringing in £3,615,000 in total.
Daryn Schnipper, chairman of the International Watch Division at Sotheby’s, commented: “George Daniels was a revolutionary – a visionary who enabled today’s independent watchmakers to rise and thrive. The record price achieved by the ‘Space Traveller I’ is both a tribute to his genius and the supreme quality of this watch.”
He added: “One of finest timepieces of the 20th century, the ‘Space Traveller I’ was also of huge significance to George, as it was conceived to honour the astronauts he so admired. Having worked closely with him during my first decade at Sotheby’s, I can’t help thinking that he would have been amused to see his watch resurface on the market and achieve such a great price, half a century after Apollo 11’s moon landing. To me, this sale is testament to George’s unparalleled contribution to the field: ‘one giant leap’ for watchmaking.”
Daniels completed the Space Traveller I in 1982 to commemorate the 1969 American moon landing – an event that had left a great impression on the watch makers life.