A Millennium wristwatch went into auction at Sotheby’s website. Acclaimed clockmakers Roger W. Smith and George Daniels signed the watch which sold for $2.4 million.
British clockmaker Roger W. Smith owned a Millennium wristwatch from English clockmaker George Daniels. This was in recognition of Smith’s work in the Millennium project from January 1998 to March 2001.
Sotheby’s listed this Millennium wristwatch for auction and now bears both the signatures of both Smith and Daniels. Bloomberg reported that the watch was sold for 2.18 million Swiss francs or $2.4 million.
Smith sold his personal watch in 2008 for £100,000 or $124,000 to help fund his own watchmaking business. It was the last of the Millennium series produced.
Highest price paid for a Millennium model
Bloomberg reported further that $2.4 million became the highest price paid at auction for a Millennium model. This is also the highest price generated for a Roger Smith-signed wristwatch.
This is the only watch that had Smith’s and Daniels’ signatures. Daniels created the Millennium series to “celebrate Omega’s acceptance of his escapement, the Co-Axial and its use in their production watches.”
Selling the Millennium wristwatch was difficult, Smith says
Smith asked for Daniel’s permission to co-sign the dial which Daniels readily agreed to. He became excited at the prospect of owning a watch created by his master and mentor.
This is the first watch Smith signed himself and additionally engraved Roger W. Smith with its year of completion (‘01).
Smith decided to privately sell the watch months after its completion. The paperwork that came with the watch said that it was a difficult decision for Smith but ultimately he did so to fund his business.
Roger W. Smith Ltd. is now one of the leading independent watchmakers in the world.
Smith offers buyer free watch servicing and visit his workshop
Bloomberg said that the winning bidder is a collector and a watch dealer from the United Arab Emirates. The buyer bested nine other hopefuls during five minutes of bidding.
The Millennium wristwatch features a silvered engine turning dial with brushed chapter rings. It had an 18k white gold case with a snap-on sapphire crystal display case back. The closure included an 18k white gold Geroge Daniels pin buckle and is 37mm in diameter.
Smith signed the case and co-signed the dial with Daniels. The watch came with a handwritten letter confirming the sale, paperwork containing its specifications, and a provenance that Smith signed.
Sotheby’s added a sales notice saying Smith will offer the buyer free watch servicing. Additionally, they can visit his workshops on the Isle of Man. Smith’s watch brand produces just 18 watches a year from their workshop according to Bloomberg.
“To get that attention from around the world on the sale of this piece has been astonishing really,” Smith said. “It seems to have taken on a life of its own.”
Banner photo via Sotheby’s.