George Daniels
Millennium | Yellow Gold

one of 47

Regular price

Click for 360° view

George Daniels
Millennium | Yellow Gold

one of 47

Regular price

This George Daniels Millennium is one of only 47 pieces created in yellow gold, to celebrate the acceptance of George Daniels' Co-Axial Escapement by the Swiss watch industry. It comes directly from the original owner, who commissioned the watch through a client of Daniels, based on the Isle of Man. 

Celebrating the Co-Axial Escapement

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.

Launched in 1998, the Millennium series came about as a way to celebrate the acceptance of the Daniels Co-Axial Escapement by the Swiss watch industry, a lifelong ambition of the watchmaker. They were made using the first Omega ébauches to contain the Co-Axial, which were heavily modified by George Daniels and Roger W. Smith, over the course of three years. 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 Daniels. It is understood that 47 yellow gold and 8 white gold Millenniums were produced. 

This particular Millennium was first commissioned by one of George Daniels' clients from the Isle of Man, on behalf of his friend. When the watch was completed, the ownership was transferred over, for the friend to enjoy it over the next two decades. As a result, the original paperwork for the watch, from 1999, makes reference to the name and initials of the individual from the Isle of Man, whereas an insurance valuation signed by Daniels in 2002, correctly references the initials of the final owner, which can also be found on the caseback.

The Design

The silver dial is hand engine-turned, combining three different patterns to create legibility and add depth to the design. It features an outer-chapter ring with hand engraved, black minute markers. A trench separates it from a second brushed chapter ring, displaying black Roman numeral hour-markers, in the watchmaker’s classic style. The centre of the dial occupies yet another, deeper section, with a hand-turned, basket-work pattern. A cartouche at eight o'clock and five o’clock references “DANIELS” and “LONDON” in black engraving.

Whilst most Millenniums which have appeared publicly feature a diamond-shaped marker for the 31st day of the month, this example is engraved with "31". Though the reason for this distinction is unclear, it is believed that the master engraver in London who engraved the chapters for these dials first used "31", before transitioning to the diamond-shaped marker, in order to help with legibility. As a result, it is understood that the dials carrying "31" are likely both earlier and rarer than those carrying the diamond. 

Sized at 37mm, the 18-carat yellow gold case features straight lugs and a rounded, stepped bezel. The caseback is engraved with the original owner's initials, alongside "MM", the Roman numeral version of the year 2000, which is when the watch was delivered. The case has sapphire glass on the front and back. Every part of a Daniels watch is individually hand-finished; including the slender, yellow-gold Daniels hands, which bring a sense of visual coherence.

The Movement

The self-winding movement is finished in the English style, with gilded plates and blued screws. Equipped with arguably the greatest British contribution to watchmaking, the Co-Axial escapement, the movement is assured of outstanding time-keeping and long-term reliability. Performance is maintained by the 18-carat gold guilloché winding weight, contained within a highly decorated outer plate.

The Set

This George Daniels Millennium comes with an impressive array of paperwork and accompanying materials. This includes a hand-written invoice (1999), a hand-written description of the watch (1999) and two insurance valuations signed by Daniels (1999 and 2002). It is also accompanied by its original blue envelope and box. The watch comes with a bespoke Zürich grained leather straps, Paris II bespoke strap in tan, as well as its original Daniels alligator strap and yellow gold buckle. 

Viewings are currently suspended due to Covid-19.

Brand: George Daniels
Model: Millennium
Movement: automatic-winding hand-made with Omega Co-Axial
Functions: date, hours, minutes, centre-seconds
Features: sterling silver guilloché dial, display back, yellow gold hands
Case: 37 mm 18-carat yellow gold 
Crystal: sapphire front and back
Zürich bespoke grained leather straps in taupe, Paris II tan, brown alligator strap, yellow gold tang buckle
Box & papers:
hand-written invoice (1999), hand-written description of the watch (1999), two insurance valuations signed by Daniels (1999 and 2002), blue envelope, box
This George Daniels Millennium is in very good condition, with superficial marks throughout, consistent with wear over time. The case appears to be in unpolished condition, with clearly defined hallmarks and engraving on the caseback. It is guaranteed for authenticity and comes with a two-year warranty from A Collected Man. It is offered with a complementary service with Roger W. Smith, at our expense,  which can be redeemed within two years of purchase.

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.

All of our pre-owned watches have undergone thorough mechanical inspections, including being ultrasonically cleaned, serviced and resealed if appropriate and tested for at least four days, to ensure they meet our highest timekeeping standards. Our pre-owned and vintage watches, unless stated otherwise, are covered by a full or a limited twenty-four month warranty. For example, due to their age, some vintage watches should not be subjected to the same conditions as when they were new. Please see our Terms & Conditions for further information. 

All of our new watches are covered by the warranty from the original manufacturer. Please contact us for further information.

We offer complimentary worldwide delivery on our watches. If ordering from overseas, delivery will depend on the value of the timepiece and the destination. All import taxes and duties are the responsibility of the buyer.

If ordering from the UK before 1 PM, your watch will be sent the same working day. The courier will depend on the value of the watch, with all watches delivered the next working day.

Please note that pre-owned goods (in the United Kingdom) are subject to a marginal rate of VAT, which can not be reclaimed. For further information, please see here

You can cancel your order without giving any reason, within 14 days from the day the watch has been delivered to you.

A Collected Man

A Collected Man

We offer a bespoke service

Learn More