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The Dent Denison – a New Wristwatch in the Quintessential English Style From the Makers of Big Ben

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by March 4, 2011 Fashion

AsiaNet 43597

LONDON, Mar. 4 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ –

Much has been made lately of the 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 William Morris.

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.

Edward Dent was born in London in 1790, served his apprenticeship under his cousin, a watch maker called Richard Rippon, and was just 24 when his 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 John Arnold and a flood of commissions from celebrated explorers such as Charles Darwin, who used a Dent chronometer aboard the ‘Beagle’ in 1831, and both Dr. David Livingstone and Sir Henry Stanley who took examples on their African expeditions.

Dent was subsequently charged by Astronomer Royal, Sir George Airy, to create the Standard Clock at the Royal Observatory, while many more of his creations were housed in the official observatories of Italy, Spain, Belgium, Russia, the U.S.A, Japan and Switzerland.

His domestic clocks were no less superlative, attracting a Royal Warrant from Queen Victoria that made him the official watch and clockmaker for 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 Charles Barry was commissioned 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

Dent London has named its new wristwatch ‘the Denison’ in honour of Edmund Beckett Denison, without whose input the Great Clock may never have 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 train.

Dent Denison Wristwatch Specifications

Case: 18 carat rose or white gold.

Dimensions: 43.5mm by 35 mm.

Movement: Self-winding, English 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.

For further press information please contact Will Elgood –, +44(0)207-873-2363. For further information about the Dent range, see



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