Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

George Daniels pocket watch sets world record with £3.6m sale

The Space Traveller I made by George Daniels Image copyright Sotheby's
Image caption The Space Traveller I was one of two watches made to commemorate the first moon landing

A timepiece made by "the greatest watchmaker of his time" Dr George Daniels has sold for £3.6m at auction to set a new world record.

Following seven minutes of bidding, the Space Traveller I was snapped up by an anonymous buyer at Sotheby's in London.

The watch had been part of a private collection since 1988.

As well claiming the record price for an English watch, it is the most ever paid for a timepiece made by an independent watchmaker.

Once described by Dr Daniels as "the kind of watch you would need on your package tour to Mars," the timepiece was made in 1982 to commemorate the first moon landing.

Image copyright Sotheby's
Image caption George Daniels made all his watch's components by hand from scratch

Renowned watch expert Roger W Smith was a protégé of Dr Daniels and said that the price reflected his "impact on the watch-making industry".

"It was an exceptional piece," he said. "It was another wonderful example of his creativity."

Dr Daniels made all his watch components by hand from scratch, and was "always pushing forward the world of watch making," Mr Smith added.

The watchmaker held the previous record for his other Space Traveller watch, sold for just under £3.2m in 2017.

Born in Sunderland, he spent much of his life in the Isle of Man where he made both pieces.

One was kept for his personal collection, while the piece sold on Tuesday was made for a customer.

Dr Daniels, who died in 2011, made just 27 watches during his career.

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