Displaying solar and sidereal time, equation of time, and the phases of the moon, and utilising Daniels’ famous independent double wheel escapement, it was described by its maker as “the kind of watch you would need on your package tour to Mars”.
It was estimated at £700,000-1m as part of the first tranche of the four-part Masterworks of Time collection at Sotheby’s on July 2 and was knocked down at £3m.
The price was over 30 times that paid by the vendor 31 years ago at Sotheby’s Geneva. It also surpassed the previous high for any English watch – Daniels’ Space Traveller II sold at Sotheby’s in 2017 for £2.8m.
Jehan Cremsdorff watch
From the same source – and last sold at Christie’s Geneva in 1986 – a gold, enamel and diamond-set verge watch and original crank key c.1650 by Jehan Cremsdorff of Paris doubled hopes at £1.8m to top Sotheby’s July 3 Treasures sale.
A personification of Temperance, rendered in champlevé, en relief and peinture en camaieu enamels after an engraving by Abraham Bosse, adorned the case.
Le Roy minute dial
Another high-priced watch appeared at Christie’s dedicated sale Masterpieces from a Rothschild Collection on July 4.
The mechanical minute dial by Julian Le Roy (1686-1759) engraved with the arms of Louis XV was estimated at £60,000-80,000 but drew competition that took it to many times this level. It was eventually knocked down at £1.5m.
View seven further highlights from the Rothschild collection auction