As the only approved pre-owned retailer for Roger W. Smith in the world, we are very proud to offer this beautiful example to the market. With a production run of only 35 pieces in yellow, this is certainly a very rare opportunity to acquire an Anniversary piece. Anniversary pieces were also commissioned in three other metals, with four in platinum, four in white gold and four in rose gold.
The inception of the watch came about as a means to celebrate the hand-made independent watchmaking philosophy that George Daniels espoused, 35 years after the invention of his famous co-axial escapement. At the time in 2008, George wanted to create an entirely new watch with 35 pieces to mark the Anniversary, made entirely on the Isle of Man. For this, he sought the help of his then heir apparent, Roger W. Smith, who designed and made the pieces. In Roger Smith’s own words, this was the culmination of his apprenticeship with the great watchmaker, stating “the Anniversary watch was my real ‘coming of age’ in George’s own eyes. With this series, he was entrusting me to realise his last word in watch making”.
Drawing on Daniels’ unique body of work, George and Roger worked together to create a new British calibre, which was to be produced by Roger W. Smith, and cased, dialled and finished to Daniels’ exacting standards and style. In a style reminiscent of Daniels’ famous Tourbillon Chronograph pocket watch created in 1994, the Anniversary Watch is a concentrate of Daniels’ lifetime design ethos and genius. Daniels proudly describes the project, saying:
“My goal has always been to make watches which provide historical, technical, intellectual, aesthetic, amusing and useful qualities. This wrist watch is a culmination of over 40 years of watchmaking and unashamedly takes inspiration from several pieces in my body of work.”
Sized at 40mm in an 18 carat yellow gold case, the watch features straight lugs and a rounded stepped bezel. The Daniels Anniversary adopts a symmetrical dial layout, with a calendar sub-dial on the bottom left and a sub-seconds on the bottom right. Sitting below 12 o’clock, there is a fan-shaped power reserve indicator. The dial is silver and hand engine-turned, combining two different patterns to both create legibility and add depth to the dial. 18 carat gold chapters are inserted into the recesses of the dial, distinguishing the different sub-dials with the numerals and markers on the gold rings hand-engraved and filled with black ink. Finishing the watch off, with the exception of the hour hand that features a characteristically Daniels pointed arrow, simple 18 carat gold stick hands are used.
The movement is quintessentially Daniels in design, with form and function placed above all else. This was something that George Daniels highly valued; a purist in the technicality of watchmaking, which can be seen by the deceptively simple aesthetic of the construction. Of course, the movement is equipped with a single wheel Daniels Co-Axial escapement which in this style, was conceived by Roger Smith. This is Smith’s first significant improvement to Daniels’ original Co-axial escapement design. 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.
The understated nature of the movement is finished off by the gold frosted finishing, a style favoured traditionally by the famous watchmakers of Britain. All numbering and lettering are hand engraved, capping off what is a truly hand-made and pure piece of horology, celebrating the relationship of perhaps two of the greatest watchmakers of our times.
This Daniels Anniversary comes with its original black alligator strap and impressive matching 18 carat gold deployant-clasp that was designed in the Isle of Man and made in Hatton Gardens in London.
Viewings can be arranged in Central London by appointment.