We need a well-funded British Watch Association

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By Ian Hutchinson

“The story of Dent spans three centuries of precision watch and clock making in Great Britain. The company was established in 1814 by Edward John Dent and was one of most celebrated of all 19th century chronometer and precision clock makers and the most famous Dent clock, Big Ben, has undoubtedly become one of Britain’s most iconic landmarks.

“As a boutique manufacturer we produce watches on very small scale but with a very high attention to detail and at present only sell our watches through direct sale and the models in our collection are limited editions of 50, 100 or 250.

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“We pay respect to the heritage and tradition of the company by making the designs classic, understated and refined. Our Denison timepiece, for example, features Dent’s in-house calibre and is inspired by a Dent watch from the 1930s. It is a favourite of many of the company’s distinguished clientele. As the first in-house Dent movement in more than 40 years, it is a landmark addition to Dent’s iconic ranges.

“I think the emergence of British watch companies is down to Britain’s heritage of horological excellence and many companies are keen to develop and continue the tradition, to further British watchmaking into the future. At present our range of watches is very much inspired by British heritage and our designs are inspired by the great Dents of the past.

“I believe that, with the right focus and investment, British brands could substantially increase their market share and, perhaps with the formation of a dedicated well-funded British Watch Association, the industry could improve its promotion of British brands.

“There used to be the Class A Standard at Kew, a British standard of horological accuracy. At a time when accurate timekeeping could mean life and death, like during navigation, having a standard was extremely important.

“Today Dent is making an effort to invest back into the watch industry in Britain by working with British movement designers to create our in-house calibres, but I don’t think the time is right just yet for the funding to be put up to re-establish watchmaking in the UK.

“Looking ahead for Dent, we would like to further grow the brand. We have several beautiful new models of watches in the pipeline, including a range of ladies watches. In the future, we would like to see Dent selling 15,000 watches per year.”

This column was taken from the September 2012 issue of WatchPro magazine. If you work in the watch industry and would like to write a guest column for WatchPro email the editor at rachael.taylor@itp.com.

 

 

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