Sotheby’s London is pleased to announce the outstanding results from the sale of the George Daniels’ Horological Collection on November 6, 2012 in London. George Daniels was a world-known horologist and was considered one of the most important of the 20th century. He was the only watchmaker ever to have received a CBE (Member of Order of the British Empire) and a MBE (Commander for the Order of the British Empire) for his services to horology. He was the inventor of the Daniels revolutionary “Co-Axial” escapement developed during the 1970s, designed to run unaffected by the deterioration of its lubricant.
This personal collection of clocks and watches comprises those pieces he made and retained for his own pleasure. They are ﬁne and rare examples of some of the most famous makers of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. The sale of the collection was a tribute to a life devoted to horology. Many of these special pieces have not been seen in public for many years.
The highlight of the sale was the price attained for the George Daniels’ Space Traveller’s Watch which achieved a record setting price as well as distinguishing the sale as the highest price received for an English watch and for an independent watchmaker at auction.
From very humble beginnings, George Daniels was fascinated by the movement of a broken pocket watch and resolved to learn how to repair it. He established himself in South London as a trade watch repairer developing a system of repair that enabled him to mend and return watches faster than others. By 1960 he had become renowned for the quality of his repair work and the ability to work on watches of great complexity. He made his ﬁ rst and only marine chronometer, which was to be followed over the next forty years by approximately 30 hand-made watches.
All proceeds from the sale of the collection went to the George Daniels Educational Trust. The object of the Trust is to make funds available to students to allow them to further their education in the disciplines of Horology, Medicine, Engineering, Building or Construction.
Information and photos courtesy of Sotheby’s London February 20, 2012 Press Release