The Dent Denison – A New Wristwatch in the Quintessential English Style From the Makers of Big Ben
return to ‘simple classicism’ in watchmaking, but for Dent London the idea of
form following function has been the foundation of the company’s ethos for
almost 200 years.
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The latest manifestation of that belief is the new Dent Denison, a
classic, three-handed wristwatch made in the finest English tradition. Based
on an earlier Dent design that was originally available during the 1920s and
’30s, the Denison is a supremely elegant gentleman’s watch which will be made
in a limited edition of 100 pieces in 18 carat rose gold and 100 pieces in 18
carat white gold.
The delectable cushion case houses a crisp, white dial bearing
hand-applied Breguet numerals and providing a small date aperture at three
o’clock. The dial is complemented by ‘teardrop’ hour and minute hands and a
straight seconds hand, each made from steel which is ‘blued’ in the
traditional English method.
But it is only by turning one’s attention to the underside of the Denison
that its true horological roots can be fully appreciated. An ‘officer’ style
case back (which provides a perfect blank canvas for engravement and
personalisation) hinges open to reveal an internal plate sporting a
meticulously hand-engraved pattern in the style of the great English designer
A semi-circular crystal reveals details of the exquisitely-made automatic
movement – Dent’s first totally new movement for around 60 years – which is
based on a classic English lever escapement design. Again, the winding rotor
is embellished with Morris-style engraving while the plates and bridges carry
the very signature of traditional English watchmaking in the form of a
frosted finish. Fully wound, the movement offers a power reserve of 42 hours.
Each Dent Denison is hand made to order and requires a lead time of six
months to complete.
Dent – One of the Greatest Names in Watchmaking.
his cousin, a watch maker called
genius as a designer of chronometers was first recognised in an order from
the Admiralty for an astronomical clock.
Another of his marine timekeepers won top prize at the 1829 Greenwich
Trials, an award that resulted in a partnership with
of commissions from celebrated explorers such as
Dent chronometer aboard the ‘Beagle’ in 1831, and both Dr.
Dent was subsequently charged by Astronomer Royal, Sir
create the Standard Clock at the Royal Observatory, while many more of his
creations were housed in the official observatories of
His domestic clocks were no less superlative, attracting a Royal Warrant
decades, as well as international ‘royal warrants’ from the Russian Tsars
Alexander III and Nicolas II and the Japanese Emperor Mejii.
Along the way Dent patented the first keyless winding mechanism, designed
numerous improved balance springs and, during some rare moments away from his
craft, found time to invent the lighthouse fog bell and the fluid compass.
His crowning achievement, however, was to win the task of designing a new
mechanism for the Great Clock after architect
to rebuild the Palace of Westminster, which incorporates the Houses of
Parliament, following its destruction by fire in 1834.
The Great Clock (colloquially known as Big Ben, which is really the name
of the main bell) is probably the single most famous timekeeper in the world.
The Denison Connection
come to fruition. Denison, a lawyer and amateur horologist, was one of few
people who believed Astronomer Royal George Airy’s stipulation that the
mechanism be accurate to within one second in order to be acceptable.
Denison worked with Dent to design the Great Clock, helping him to
engineer its unique double three-legged gravity, or ‘remontoir,’ escapement
which is driven by the pendulum and which ensures the accuracy of the going
Dent Denison Wristwatch Specifications Case: 18 carat rose or white gold. Dimensions: 43.5mm by 35 mm. Movement: Self-winding, classic lever escapement to Dent design. Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds and date. Availability: Limited to 100 pieces in rose gold and 100 pieces in white gold. Retail price: $39,950. Each watch individually hand-made to order. http://www.dentlondon.com