Anniversary | platinum
This George Daniels Anniversary is not just one of only four pieces ever to be made in platinum, but it is further set-apart by being the only Anniversary from the entire series, to be numbered “00”. The Anniversary wristwatches were a collaborative endeavour between Dr George Daniels and his only apprentice, Roger W. Smith. Drawing on Daniels’ body of work, the pair created an entirely new movement, housing it within a watch that speaks to the hand-made qualities of traditional English watchmaking.
The Legacy of Dr George Daniels
Dr George Daniels is recognised as one of the greatest watchmakers of the 20th century. In 1981, he received an MBE for his services to horology, along with a CBE in 2010 – the first watchmaker ever to receive such an honour. During his lifetime, Daniels was one of the few people who built complete watches by hand, from his workshop on the Isle of Man, at a rate of around one watch per year.
One of his most noteworthy contributions to watchmaking was the invention of the Co-Axial Escapement, designed to improve a mechanism’s long-term performance by radically changing the nature of its inner workings. The Co-Axial was the first practical invention since the lever escapement, created by Thomas Mudge in 1755, thus representing an important advancement in the dynamics of the watch. By re-designing the function of the components during impulse, the Co-Axial Escapement operates without sliding friction. As a consequence, unlike a conventional watch, the rate is unaffected by the viscosity of lubricants, which can vary constantly with temperature, humidity, and age.
The Story of the Anniversary
In 2010, in order to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the invention of the Co-Axial Escapement, Daniels set out to create an entirely new watch. This so-called Co-Axial Anniversary wristwatch would be powered by a hand-made English movement, with the innovative escapement at its core. As is to be expected, Daniels wanted it to be made entirely on the Isle of Man, according to the painstaking hand-made philosophy which he’d applied to his pocket watches for years.
In order to complete the project, he called on his only apprentice and heir apparent, Roger W. Smith, for help. Working in isolation for most of his career, Daniels had taken Smith on as an apprentice, after the promising watchmaker built two pocket watches entirely by hand over the course of several years, with the aim of proving his worth to the master watchmaker. Drawing on Daniels’ body of work, the pair created an entirely new calibre for the Anniversary series, which was then produced, cased and finished by Smith, according to Daniels’ exacting standards and style.
In a style reminiscent of a tourbillon chronograph pocket watch created by Daniels in 1994, the Anniversary integrates a power reserve indicator, calendar mechanism and subsidiary seconds dial. For Daniels, the watch marked a celebration of a lifetime dedicated to watchmaking. As he put it, “my goal has always been to make watches which provide historical, technical, intellectual, aesthetic, amusing and useful qualities. This wristwatch is a culmination of over forty years of watchmaking and unashamedly takes inspiration from several pieces in my body of work.”
The “00” Platinum Anniversary
This specific example is one of only four Anniversary wristwatches produced in platinum, typically considered as one of the most prestigious materials in watchmaking. Of the remaining Anniversary watches, thirty-five of them were sold in yellow gold, with an additional four in white gold and four in red gold. This particular piece also carries the additional cachet of being the only Anniversary to be numbered “00”, across any metal. This numbering is proudly engraved on the movement, alongside the Daniels name.
This Daniels Anniversary "00" adopts a symmetrical dial layout, with a calendar sub-dial on the bottom left and a subsidiary seconds on the bottom right. Sitting at 12 o’clock, a fan-shaped power reserve indicator is on display. The silver dial is hand engine-turned, combining three different kinds of guilloché patterns, creating legibility and adding depth to the design. Silver chapter rings are inserted into the recesses of the dial, making the different sub-dials all the more prominent. The chapter ring, executed in Daniels’ typical style, is hand-engraved and filled with black ink. Meanwhile, the blued steel hands offer an appealing contrast against the crisp white dial, also helping with the overall legibility. At six o’clock, the “DANIELS” name stands out as the only text on the dial, placed in a cartouche which is once again engraved and filled with black ink.
Sized at 40mm, the platinum case is classic in design, featuring straight lugs and a rounded, stepped bezel. The caseback is engraved with George Daniels’ distinctive “GD” hallmark, alongside a range of other traditional hallmarks. The case has sapphire glass on the front and back.
The movement is quintessentially Daniels in design, with form and function placed above all else. This was something that the watchmaker valued highly. At his core, he was a purist in the technicality of watchmaking, which can be seen by the deceptively simple aesthetic of the construction.
The movement is very-much inspired by the British style of pocket watches of Tompion, Graham and Arnold. It has understated, English frosted finishing in a combination of warm, golden tones, creating a striking backdrop for the blue screws. A raised barrel bridge and balance cock add a satisfying level of depth to the overall construction. All numbering and lettering is hand-engraved, capping off what is a truly hand-made piece of horology, celebrating the relationship between two of the greatest watchmakers of our time.
As is to be expected, it is equipped with a single wheel Daniels Co-Axial Escapement, which has been reworked by Roger W. Smith. This single-wheel version of the Co-Axial builds upon the two-piece design originally conceived by Daniels, aiming to improve its efficiency. The upper and lower wheels are combined into one by adding raised “teeth” onto the lower wheel, resulting in the escape wheel being made in one single operation and removing a potential source of error.
This George Daniels Anniversary in platinum is accompanied by its original black alligator strap, as well as its platinum deployante buckle. It also comes with a George Daniels London blue leather box, as well as its guarantee, cleaning cloth, pusher as well as a letter signed by George Daniels to the original owner, thanking him for subscribing to the series. It is pictured on one of our bespoke Stockholm grained leather straps with curved ends.
|Brand:||Dr. George Daniels|
|Movement:||manual-winding hand-finished with Co-Axial escapement
|Functions:||date, hours, minutes, sub-seconds|
|Features:||power reserve display, hand-finished dial, display back, blued steel hands|
|Crystal:||sapphire front and back|
bespoke Stockholm grained leather strap, black alligator strap, platinum deployant buckle
|Box & papers:||
George Daniels London blue leather box, guarantee booklet, cleaning cloth, pusher and letter from George Daniels to the original owner.
Please note, owing to the value of this watch, payment may only be by bank transfer and returns will not be accepted. This is an express deviation from our standard return policy below and as found in our terms and conditions. Shipment will be with Ferrari Express.
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