Here at HODINKEE, we talk a lot about watches being “rare,” but the truth is that rarity exists on a sliding scale – and when you’re comparing a limited-edition mass-produced watch to a watch that is legitimately handmade, it’s no longer an apples-to-apples scenario. Recently, our pals at A Collected Man announced that they’re selling a watch of an entirely different variety than your usual rarity: A one-of-four platinum George Daniels Anniversary Watch. And it is capital “R” rare.
Part of a collection designed by Dr. George Daniels and made, by hand, by Roger Smith, the Anniversary watches span 35 examples in yellow gold, four in white gold, and four in platinum. They were not marketed publicly, and they are almost never seen and even less commonly sold. The Anniversary watches were originally made to honor the 35th anniversary of Daniels’ creation of the co-axial escapement, and Daniels partnered with R.W. Smith in 2010 to have the watches made entirely in-house from Smith’s atelier on the Isle of Man.
Showing hours, minutes, a power reserve at 12, running seconds at 4, and the date at 8, this Anniversary matches its platinum case with a lovely white dial and white metal dial elements. Hand-wound and sporting a handsome open caseback, the Anniversary’s design is based on a tourbillon chronograph pocket watch that Daniels made in 1994.
Not only is this example one of four ever made, but it’s also number 00 within the 43-piece edition. As you can imagine, this is a massive appearance for collectors that are interested in Daniels or those who’ve been wanting to acquire a special piece from the dynamic duo of independent watchmakers. It’s gorgeous. It’s rare. It’s wondrously expensive. In short, it’s a grail’s grail.
While it’s nothing new for A Collected Man to feature often special and noteworthy watches, this Daniels Anniversary is a cut above, and it’s definitely a rare treat to see a watch like this hit the open market. While pricing is available upon request, it’s safe to expect a price tag deep into the six-figure territory. Don’t worry if you miss this one though: You’ll likely have a very long time to save up for the next time one of these is made available.