A 1970 gold twin barrel tourbillon pocket watch by George Daniels (1926-2011) led an auction of English watches at Sotheby’s yesterday.
Daniels was an acclaimed watchmaker from London – one of the last to build his designs entirely by hand.
George Daniels watches are in high demand
He produced this example for collector Edward Hornby, who was a close friend.
Daniels explains in a letter of provenance: “I first met him in 1960 when he began to intensify his interest in horology.
“We became firm friends and, in 1970, Edward expressed a wish to add a Daniels to his collection.
“This tourbillon was added to the collection in 1971. It was the fourth example made…”
Daniels also relates a test Hornby carried out with this specimen in 1978, after buying a new quartz watch.
He writes: “Concerned that the tourbillon could not equal his new quartz watch, he [Hornby] ran the two together.
“The test lasted 8 months before the battery went flat and he cheerfully awarded the honour to the tourbillon.”
As we predicted, this watch performed much better than estimate – achieving £464,750 ($601,387) against a £350,000 ($452,900) valuation.
George Daniels watches have a deservedly strong reputation and prices are likely to continue rising with demand.
A 1756 two train half quarter repeating coach watch by Walter Partridge made £212,500 ($274,975).
This enormous timepiece is 200cm across (the size of an average dessert plate).
The silver casing bears a depiction of the Adoration of the Magi.
Not much is known about Partridge, but the quality of his work is top notch. He appears to have had a royal connection, leading Sotheby’s to suggest this piece might have been made for Prince George’s 18th birthday.
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