Sotheby’s set a new record for a George Daniels Millennium wristwatch this morning when a white gold model sold for £187,500 including buyer’s premium (approximately $240,750 at time of publishing). The reason it did so well? For a start, George Daniels made only seven white gold Millennium wristwatches during his lifetime – and this particular watch, which Daniels delivered in 1999, is even more unusual since it features yellow gold chapter and calendar rings.
According to Roger Smith, who worked on the Millennium series alongside Daniels, there are only two watches with this particular combination in the entire series. The present lot also comes with a letter written by Daniels documenting the request. Smith wasn’t surprised by this morning’s result. When I called him this afternoon, he had this to say:
It’s very encouraging to see a very steady increase both in the interest for and on the value of the Daniels Millennium.
Roger W. Smith
The last time Sotheby’s sold a Millennium was during the Horological Collection of George Daniels, a thematic auction held after Daniels’s death by the British auction house on November 6, 2012. That day, Sotheby’s actually sold four Millennium watches in total, including a prototype, two yellow gold models, and one all white gold model. The white gold Millennium sold for £145,250 including buyer’s premium (approximately $232,285 at the time), the record for a Millennium until Bohnams sold a yellow gold version for £146,500 inc. premium in 2014.
The new record tops the old one by about 25%, which is certainly nothing to scoff at.