Written by Laura Rensing
You’ll be over the moon for the George Daniels Space Travellers’ Pocket Watch, which he described as contain “everything you’d need on a watch if you were traveling through space.”
I’m not sure how many of us are about to make a lunar landing any time soon, but I’m certain that watch collectors would die to land one of these original pocket watches. Inspired by history and propelled by a modern day technical achievement is meant to be out of this universe, never mind out of this world.
So what’s all the hullaballoo about? To truly appreciate the watch, you’ll need to know something of watch history. When man first landed on the moon in 1969, British watchmaker was so inspired that he decided to take things to lengths that even Omega (the watches used during the lunar expedition) didn’t even achieve.
The timepiece not only includes both 12 and 24 hour dials, but solar measurements as well, a calendar, and keeps track of Sidereal Time. For the uninitiated, Sidereal Time is slightly shorter; each day is roughly three minutes and fifty-six seconds shorter than your average Earth hour, and is often used to track planetary movements, making it an excellent tool for an astronaut.
The watch also displays the phases and days of the lunar cycle, allowing astronomers an extra reference point to work off of. The timepiece is exceedingly accurate thanks to the aid of a Cambridge professor—whose last name also happened to be Daniels. The work of Professor Daniels in conjunction with the watch designer George Daniels prompted collectors to refer to the timepiece as the “Daniels Squared”.
The timepiece was auctioned off at Sotheby’s—along with several other horological devices, including some of Daniels’ own inventions—and caused quite the stir. The English watchmaker was one of the greatest mechanical minds in the horological world at the time and served as the launching point for the mechanical renaissance in timepieces.
Each of his watches was a unique piece because he constructed each timepiece almost entirely by himself, often inventing new tidbits along the way. The Space Travellers’ pocket watch sold for a whopping £1.32 million, which will go towards the George Daniels’ Education Trust. The Trust guides and educates future watchmakers and works to inspire the same innovation and dedication that so pervades George Daniels watches.