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George Daniels’ Millennium and other highlights from Sotheby’s London

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A rare and exquisite white gold and yellow gold George Daniels Millennium wristwatch from the collection of scholar Alan Banbery will be on sale at Sotheby’s London on April 25, 2017.


George Daniels is recognised as one of the greatest watchmakers of the 20th Century. The Millennium series with slim Co-Axial escapement was so named and made to commemorate the start of the new millennium.

Initially George Daniels had planned to only make a dozen Millennium watches in order to satisfy friends. However, the great interest around this timepiece finally brought to a limited edition comprising 47 pieces in yellow gold and only 7 pieces in white gold. Five of the Millennium watches made in white gold featured white gold chapter rings, with blued steel hands, but only two - including the watch that will be on sale - were produced with a yellow gold chapter-ring , date ring and hands.



Produced in 1999, this watch features and automatic lever movement with slim Co-Axial escapement, mono-metallic free-sprung balance, and gold guilloché rotor.

It is accompanied by a hand written letter from George Daniels dated 30th October 1999, Co-Axial booklet, together with copies of George Daniels' autobiography, "All in Good Time: Reflections of a Watchmaker", and "Watchmaking" with personal dedication dated 1981.


The estimate of the George Daniels Millennium (lot 100) is GBP 80,000 - 120,000


Other highlights include a Lemania chronograph wristwatch formerly the property of Sir Winston Churchill and a rare Rolex Daytona reference 6265 Paul Newman which is nicknamed the ‘Panda’ for its black and white appearance.


Lot 160 is a Lemania Chronograph in a 36 mm yellow gold case. Produced in 1946, it was presented to Winston Churchill as a gift by the Canton of Vaud. The watch is engraved to the back: "Le canton de Vaud A son hote illustre Mr. Winston Churchill Aout-September 1946" ("From the Canton of Vaud to its famous guest Mr. Winston Churchill August-September 1946").


The name Lemania refers to the Leman lake bordering the Canton of Vaud. Lemania, which is now part of Breguet, was highly regarded for the quality of the movements it produced and they supplied ébauches to some of the most renowned makers.


The present lot is fitted with a cal. 2310 movement. This calibre was developed in the early 1940’s in partnership with Omega. It is best known as the Omega calibre 321 but was also used by Vacheron Constantin and also Patek Philippe as an ébauche for the reference 5070 chronograph.

Estimate: GBP 15,000 - 25,000.


The Rolex Daytona Ref. 6265 "Paul Newman" in stainless steel (lot 126) dates back to 1971 and is accompanied by a Rolex guarantee, booklet, folders and two service guarantees. It was consigned directly by the family of its original owner who bought it new in December 1973, something which adds value to this example.


Rolex References 6263 and 6265 were available with standard dials but also, for the early pieces with serial number between approx. 2.2 and 3 million, with special dials, known as 'exotic' dials. Years later, watches with these dials became known as "Paul Newman" models, as the actor is presumed to have worn one in the 1969 auto racing film "Winning". The "Paul Newman" dial is characterized by square markers in the chronograph scale and subsidiary dials and the alternating patterning of the coloration. Though widely available at the time, these dials were produced in smaller numbers and are rarer to find on watches today.

References 6265 is recognizable for screw-down push buttons and metal bezel. Thanks to the use of the screw-down push buttons and a larger winding crown, waterproofness of this model improved from 50 to 100 metres.

Like all the Daytona of the period, the 36 mm stainless steel case houses a Calibre 727 manual winding movement based on the Valjoux 72. The estimate for this lot is GBP 80,000 - 120,000.

Find more about the history of the Rolex Daytona here.


The sale features a large selection of timepieces including a group of modern timepieces from an important private collection offered at no reserve.

Sotheby’s
Watches
25 April 10am BST, London

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