A new world record has been set after the sale of Dr George Daniel’s ‘Space Traveller 1’ watch at Sotherby’s in London. The pocket watch sold for a mammoth £3.6m, the most that has ever been paid for a watch created by an independent watchmaker.
Born in Sunderland, Daniel’s spent his career working in the Isle of Man and only created 27 timepieces during his life. The previous record was also held by Daniels after the sale of another Space Traveller pocket watch for £3.2m in 2017.
After seven minutes of bidding at Sotheby’s, the watch is now in the possession of an anonymous buyer. With an initial estimate of £700,000-£1m, the watch tripled expectations, and is the first of five Sotherby’s auctions that have been hailed as ‘the greatest private watch collection ever to come to auction’.
The exemplary timepiece was described by George Daniels as “the kind of watch you would need on your package tour to Mars”. Ahead of the auction, watch specialists had expressed excitement about this piece going under the hammer with Chairman of Sotheby’s International Watch Division, Daryn Schnipper, stating; “Since Daniels’ death in 2011, the penny has started to drop and interest in his work is steadily rising around the world. At Sotheby’s, we couldn’t be happier with the recognition he has gained. He deserves it and it highlights what an important force he was in watchmaking.”
George Daniel’s protege and fellow watch expert Roger W Smith also commented on the Space Traveller; “It was an exceptional piece, another wonderful example of his creativity” he continued to express his admiration of the renowned watchmaker stating that Daniels was always “pushing forward the world of watch-making”.