With its new Dent Denison limited edition made-to-order watch the young British watchmaking brand tries to get its toe into the market of premium, ultra-exclusive mechanical timepieces, that is currently dominated by the Swiss-based maisons.
Although Dent & Co was established by Mr. Edward J. Dent only two hundred years (that’s nothing compared to the Swiss watchmakers, some of which easily trace their history to prehistoric times,) the brand’s history saga like a history of the whole British watch- and clockmaking.
For example, one of the Dent chronometers was ticking aboard the famous H.M.S. Beagle in 1831 when Mr. Charles Darwin was collecting scientific material for his ground-breaking study The Origin of the Species. Another chronometer was bought two decades later by Mr. David Livingstone for his own memorable voyage.
The Standard Clock at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, another “beeping” Standard Clock for the BBC World Service, high-precision clocks all over the world, including the United States and Russia. The list seems to go on forever.
Even the famous Big Ben, that has effectively become the symbol of London, was built by Dent in 1852!
Of course, like most businesses, Dent & Co has seen its better times and went off the radars until it the old brand was re-launched in 2007 by a team of British investors and British management trying to capitalize on its great history.
At this time, Dent offers at least three collections of wrist watches: Parliament, Ministry and the hand-made Denison.
Offered in a super-limited edition of only 100 pieces, the new Dent Denison will be built exclusively to order: to order a watch, you will have to make and advance payment of around $20,000 and then wait for at least six months before the watch will be assembled, tested and shipped to your quarters.
Since the British tradition of fine watchmaking has long been gone, the watch is powered by a Swiss made Dent Class A automatic caliber. Built by the Le Locle-based Les Artisans Horlogers, the movement is stylized in such a way as to resemble the British movements of Victorian era.
Its bridges are made from brass, sand-blasted and engraved by hand, the oscillating weight is hand-decorated with a floral engraving. Even the bridge screws are polished and heat-blued in order to make the watch as noble as possible.
The whole magnificent assembly is then placed inside a vintage-styled, cushion-shaped case, which is made either of 18-carat white or rose gold.
Measuring 43.50 x 35.00 millimeters, the case is equipped with an oversized setting crown with the corporate logo and features a very nice-looking hunter cover that protects the half-sapphire case-back crystal from accidental damage.
Thanks to its vintage styling, the watch looks very legible.
The silver, hand-engraved dial serves as a perfect background for the blued hands and the applied Arabic numerals that crafted from solid gold.
The date aperture, which is located at 3 o’clock, seems a bit too small compared to the numerals and, especially, the hands, but the finely printed, italicized numerals on the calendar disk easily compensated for this small flaw.
Photos: Dent Watches
Dent Denison limited edition automatic watch specification
Price: $39,950 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Dent Class A, 28,800 vph, 21 jewels, 25.60 mm in diameter, made to order by Les Artisans Horlogers, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Bridges sand-blasted and engraved by hand; Winding rotor is hand-decorated with a floral engraving; Heat-blued polished bridge screws
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case material: Rose gold or White gold
Bezel material: Rose gold or White gold
Case shape: Cushion
Bezel shape: Cushion
Case size: 43.50 mm x 35.00 mm
Lug width: N/A
Case height: N/A
Dial: Silver, engraved
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black or brown, hand stitched, rolled edge, double sided Alligator strap with 18ct white or rose gold buckle
Case back: Hunter back with half-sapphire