The watch, described by Daniels as “the kind of watch you would need on your package tour to Mars,” was one of only 23 pocket timepieces made by the master watchmaker.
Inspired by the 1969 US moon landing, the Space Traveller was built to show both solar and sidereal time — respectively, time reckoned according to the relative positions of the earth and the sun, and the relative positions of the earth and the stars — equation of time (the difference between the time shown on clocks and on sundials), and phases of the moon.
The watch, which sold for a record $4.5 million, was inspired by the 1969 moon landing. Credit: Sotheby’s
“Daniels was determined that his watch would be one that could be of theoretical use to an astronaut, he therefore set out to devise a watch that displayed, simultaneously, both mean-solar and sidereal time,” Sotheby’s said.
The watch, which was completed in 1982, also features Daniels’ independent double wheel escapement, which the horologist invented in 1974.
Considered one of the finest watch makers of the 20th century, Daniels created his timepieces by hand — including the case, dial and movement. He built just 27 watches in his lifetime and died in 2011.