Last week was a busy week for me, watch wise. The key event probably being the launch or revival of the Dennison brand. Important for me personally because I first came across the brand at the Salon QP last year where Toby, the founder, told me about their launch in February.
The original Dennison Watch Case Co. Ltd was established in 1905 by Franklin Dennison and his son Major Gilbert Dennison.
Over the following 60 years, the company grew to become the largest watch company in England and known around the world for its fine Dennison Quality (DQ).
Dennison designed and manufactured watch cases for world famous explorers specifically for expeditions – in 1913 for Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Expedition to Antartica on the ship ‘Endurance’, and in 1953 for Sir Edmund Hillary and his team’s successful Everest Expedition. During the same year, Lieut. Commander Lithgow broke the World Air Speed Record flying over Tripoli, reaching a speed of 735.7mph (1184km/h), whilst wearing a Dennison Aquatite cased watch.
Over the years, Dennison became most renowned for their close working relationship with watchmakers and retailers such as Rolex, Tudor, Omega, Longines, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Zenith, Smiths, J.W.Benson & Garrard. Dennison supplied them with the highest-quality watch cases designed to house the finest-quality movements.
The Dennison name fell dormant until 2010, when Toby Sutton of Watches of Knightsbridge registered the trademark and began working on a revival.
Inspired by the expedition pieces of the 1950s, the revival watches, have their cases produced in the UK using some machinery from the original Dennison factory. Inside are ETA-2824 movements .
The launch event was held in a private London club in association with Bruichladdich Whiskey. I arrived too late to hear the Jon Gupta and Tony Douglas the two brand ambassadors chat, but in time for the whiskey.
I then managed to have a quick talk to Toby to try on the prototypes. My first impressions, and those of everyone I heard around me , were very positive; at 38mm the case size is perfect for my normal wrist. (below together with my Smiths)
Toby will concentrate on the existing range of three watches for the foreseeable though he is passing an eye over historical Dennison models. One style that he has considered is the cushion shape, which we agreed is a style that is becoming more popular.
The first 50 watches will be ready for shipping on May 6th priced from £2400. To order or simply for more information visit their website www.dennisonwatches.com