Abraham-Louis Breguet & George Daniels
In The Art of Breguet, Daniels breaks down the work of Abraham-Louis Breguet, one of the most significant watchmakers of the last few centuries. Born in Neuchâtel, then a Prussian principality, Monsieur Breguet would go on to pioneer significant technical and aesthetic innovations during his career, with his influence carrying through to the present day; among other achievements, he invented the tourbillon complication. It is no coincidence that he remains the most cited reference point for accomplished watchmakers centuries later, from George Daniels to François-Paul Journe.
A true reference point for the watchmaker’s work, The Art of Breguet helps to understand the watchmaker, as well as visually cataloguing a vast array of his most impressive work. It was published in 1975 by Sotheby, Parke & Bernet, an interim name used in the ‘70s for the New York auction house which was once Parke-Bernet, but had become an arm of London's Sotheby's after its purchase by that firm in 1964.
Number 18 of twenty-one
This copy, from an edition of twenty-one, was specially bound in brown Moroccan goat skim binding by Zaehnsdorf, a reference point in the world of book-binding. It features a lettered spine, gilt edges on all the pages and intricate decorative details, such as inner gilt dentelles. Illustrations are found throughout, with some of them rendered in colour.
Signed by George Daniels on the title page, the book was a gift to the watchmaker’s niece on her eighteenth birthday. The daughter of Daniels’ sister and his childhood friend (who would later become his brother-in-law), remembers the gift and her uncle fondly. Despite his horological prowess, she remembers him simply as “the same Uncle George, no airs and graces but a straightforward man who lived on his hobbies.”