British Watchmakers’ Day reveals first fourteen special edition watches

February 2024

British Watchmakers' Day reveals first fourteen special edition watches

The first ever major show dedicated to British watch brands opens in London on March 9, 2024, featuring exclusive watches created by the exhibitors for purchase at the event. Highly anticipated pieces include a Series One watch by Roger W. Smith and a special edition Bel Canto by Christopher Ward.


rganised by the Alliance of British Watch and Clock Makers, the event will showcase the work of its trade members, including well-known names like Accurist, Christopher Ward, Farer, and Roger W. Smith. The sell-out event is set to take place at Lindley Hall (Royal Horticultural Halls) in Westminster, London.

The commitment of exhibitors to produce these Special Edition watches reflects the significance of the event in showcasing the progress of the British watch sector in recent years. As of now, fourteen creations have been unveiled for preview, with more expected to follow.

British Watchmakers' Day reveals first fourteen special edition watches

Roger W Smith - a unique Series 1 special edition watch

A highlight of British Watchmakers’ Day, this one-off Series 1 will be the first time a Roger W. Smith watch has been made available for immediate purchase by the general public.

As Britain’s leading watchmaker and Chairman of the sector’s trade body, the Alliance of British Watch and Clock Makers, Roger W. Smith was determined to express his support for the first ever live show dedicated solely to British brands.

“As Chairman, I wanted to lead by example but, as we make so few watches each year, it was a real challenge!” Roger explains: “Over the years, all the commissions for my Series of watches have been made with a modest customisation in their design to give my clients unique variations. The opportunity with this piece was to make what I wanted, and to have some fun!”

With an order book which has been closed since 2021 and a sequence of world records being achieved by Roger’s watches at auction, it is no surprise that, in the rarefied world of high-end collectors, this Series 1 is garnering enormous interest. Further details and images will be revealed in the coming week.

British Watchmakers' Day reveals first fourteen special edition watches

Christopher Ward - Limited Edition Bel Canto 9324

As a founding brand of the Alliance of British Watch and Clockmakers, Christopher Ward is gearing up to celebrate this inaugural event with an exclusive release, bringing a limited run of 10 Bel Canto watches for purchase at the event.

Mike France, CEO & Co-founder describes how “The Bel Canto’s chime was heard in all four corners of the industry in 2023, culminating with a GPHG Award; the first, but I’m sure not the last for a British brand.”

The Bel Canto 9324 features a laser-etched Union Jack on its platine which is adorned with a mixture of polishing, Clous de Paris, and Finque guilloche. This brass platine is then positive coated with a rich blue, accentuating the meticulous finishing and adding a touch of regalness to its design. The two-piece, time-telling dial introduces Roman numerals for the first time on a Bel Canto, which are colour-matched to the platine. The dial comprises a circular brushed base layer, and a polished and chamfered top ring housing a printed minute track.

“This very British Bel Canto covers new ground and offers an insight into the future development of the collection,” France adds.

British Watchmakers' Day reveals first fourteen special edition watches

Fears Watches - Brunswick 38 ‘1924 Edition’

Fears Watch Company will present the Brunswick 38 ‘1924 Edition’. The first sterling silver cased Fears has made since the 1920s it marks the 100th anniversary of the gentlemen’s cushion cased watch Fears made in 1924 that inspired the Brunswick line.

Created exclusively for sale at British Watchmakers’ Day, only 10 of these precious watches will be made, each numbered, hallmarked and featuring a dial influenced by the original 1924 watch.

The Brunswick 38 ‘1924 Edition’ completes the trifecta of precious metal cases alongside gold (launched 2023) and platinum (launched 2021) options already available in the Fears collection. Featuring an eye- catching polished white lacquer dial with a late Edwardian / early Art Deco numeral design, the dial is made with hand-polished white lacquer that gives depth to its smooth surface and contrasts with the crisp printed numerals, realized in Fears Blue. Time is read with blued ‘Fears Pipette’ hands and a new seconds hand fitting in a larger subsidiary seconds dial at 6 o’clock, similar to the original.

British Watchmakers' Day reveals first fourteen special edition watches

Brooklands Watch Company - Triple-Four Racing Chronograph

At the heart Brooklands Watch Company’s ethos is the maxim ‘Time is Life. Measure it Well’ and this has defined their approach to British Watchmakers’ Day.

Founder Simon Jeffs explains; “This is a historic moment in time for the British watch sector and we asked ourselves ‘what does this mean for Brooklands and how do we measure such a moment in our own way?’”

The result is an exceptional run of three Limited Edition Triple-Four Racing Chronograph watches.

The original watch with its 43mm bezel was designed by Sir Terence Conran, with Bi-compax sub-dials as per the Brooklands race track timekeeper’s watches, and has been restyled for the special edition with a quintessentially British Royal Blue dial.

British Watchmakers' Day reveals first fourteen special edition watches

Studio Underdog - 02 Series Special Edition

Let’s set the scene. It’s 1945 and the British Ministry of Defence has just tasked Studio Underd0g to make an accurate and reliable timepiece to be used by the armed forces in World War II.

The savvy among you may have realised that the above didn’t really happen, but the design process did start based on this theoretical brief. Many field watches share similar traits, defined by the requirements of their use.

Believe it or not, in the heat of battle, soldiers typically wouldn’t have had the time to admire the mechanical movement through a display case-back, so a solid case-back was required. This also helped to improve the water resistance of the watch. To further improve the water resistance, the case and bezel were often manufactured from a single blank. The combination of drilled lugs and a pass-through strap meant that even if one of the spring-bars failed during a tough day at the office battlefield, the watch wouldn’t be lost. Legibility was of the utmost importance; knowing the time at a glance, day or night, allowed soldiers to stay focused on the job at hand.

Throughout the design and development process, Studio Underd0g adhered to these requirements but as always, decided to have a bit of fun when it came to the dial design.

British Watchmakers' Day reveals first fourteen special edition watches

Duckworth Prestex - Number 1

“Always up for a challenge", Duckworth Prestex’s founder Neil Duckworth has come up with a unique concept for the Duckworth Prestex special edition. With 24 characters in the name ‘British Watch & Clock Makers’, Neil decided to use these characters for the hour markers, starting at 12 and moving round clockwise (with the second row of characters in a slightly smaller font size for balance).

The result is surprisingly neat and symmetrical. The B and H at the 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock positions are similar in size, while the two Ts at 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock provide further symmetry.

British Watchmakers' Day reveals first fourteen special edition watches

Beaucroft Watches - Seeker - British Sky Edition

Limited to 25 pieces

For Beaucroft, British design is understated, clean and legible but with a touch of playfulness, wit and personality.

These endearing characteristics are captured in their new special edition watch for British Watchmakers’ Day.

Co-founder Matt Herd explains; “We all know that Britain is not known for it’s blue skies! More often they are a mix of blues with the white/grey of patched clouds, this is what we aim to capture with our radial gradient dial; the British Sky Seeker has a steely sky blue gradient dial - a blend of blues pushing through the clouds, with a satin finish base layer and sun-ray finished chapter ring. For the hands we use a rich royal blue for the hour and minute hands, creating a strong contrast with the light blues of the dial and ensuring great legibility. A splash of bold red for the second hand adds the playful element and completes the subtle nod to the Union Jack in the hand set. This watch was designed directly with Alistair and Katya at the Alliance of British Watch and Clock Makers, shaped whilst sipping mulled Gin at the Cambridge Gin Laboratory; Beaucroft’s retail partner and 2nd home”.

Elliot Brown - Limited Edition The Fade, Beachmaster Automatic

To mark their attendance at the inaugural British Watchmakers Day; 9th March, Westminster, Elliot Brown have created a very limited edition of their Beachmaster Automatic.

The sell-out, patented, multi-time zone mission timer watch was born out of conversations with the Royal Marines and dedicated to the D Day landings. This model, called The Fade, is limited to 20 pieces and carries all the attributes of previous models but wears a classic red green fade around the inner timing bezel. Not only is this an eye catching and stylish addition but in the 80th anniversary year of D Day, it’s a significant nod to the Normandy landings on Omaha Beach which, were segmented into assault sectors, two of which named Easy Red and Fox Green.

The limited edition Elliot Brown Beachmaster® Automatic is a landmark watch for a landmark moment, this extraordinary patented watch with its mission timer built around a Swiss GMT automatic carries the heart, DNA and design language of Elliot Brown. “Whatever the mission precision timing counts”

British Watchmakers' Day reveals first fourteen special edition watches

William Wood Watches - The Fire Exit Watch

William Wood Watches, the British Independent Watchmaker committed to combining firefighting with horology, will introduce its latest model, the Fire Exit Watch at British Watchmakers’ Day with the first opportunity to purchase at their stand.

The watch features a distinctive day wheel, with each day of the week portraying the fire exit sign man in a dynamic action, adding an element of surprise and storytelling to every glance at your wrist. The watch takes inspiration from the universally recognised fire exit sign, visible in most buildings, offices and transportation around the world. The company has cleverly focussed on the fire exit sign man, bringing him to life in a dynamic way on the front and back of the watch.

At the heart of the Fire Exit Watch beats a Swiss-Made Sellita SW220 Movement, ensuring impeccable Swiss precision and reliability. The day wheel has been creatively enhanced, with each day of the week portraying the fire exit sign man carrying out a different action from Monday through to Sunday. Each day of the week is something that we can all resonate with at some point in our lives as shown below: Monday - Late for work; Tuesday - Hard at work; Wednesday - Commuting; Thursday - Exercising; Friday - Thank god it’s Friday; Saturday - Partying; Sunday - Hungover.

The day disc is accompanied by a date wheel finished in the same green colour as the dial.

British Watchmakers' Day reveals first fourteen special edition watches

Zero West - One-off FS-2 Flying Scotsman and one-off The DB-80 Lancaster

To mark the first ’British Watchmakers Day’ Zero West have created 2 one off watches base on their hugely popular pilot and locomotive range of timepieces. Each watch has been built in a different configuration to the original making these 1 off watches truly special, especially as they feature historic metal from the past.

FS-2 Custom Special

Featuring salvaged boiler tube, reworked and finished to create a unique timepiece that commemorates 100 years of Flying Scotsman. Partnering with the National Railway Museum, part of the Science Museum Group to commemorate 100 years and fly the flag for British engineering, Zero West are proud to to present their first locomotive inspired timepiece displaying re-engineered material from this iconic train.

The Zero West FS-2 Custom Special takes its design cues from the famous clock on platform 8 at Kings Cross station and like all our watches features a latitude and longitude coordinate, with this one locating the Doncaster Works where Flying Scotsman was designed and built by their famous engineer Sir Nigel Gresley.

British Watchmakers' Day reveals first fourteen special edition watches

Monro Adventure - Special Edition MA-BWD 1

In celebration of the inaugural British Watchmakers’ Day, Monro Adventure have announce a very special “MA-BWD 1 of 1” piece unique for the event.

Available only through registration on the day, one lucky visitor will win the timepiece that has been commissioned especially for the show. Presented in its passport box with two bespoke straps and inspired by the famous red, white & blue colour palette with LONDON in pride and place on the rotating world city ring, this will be a coveted prize for any Adventurer!

Monro Adventure is a multi-functional, automatic GMT watch that allows you to tell the time in 24 destinations around the world, go diving to 100m and change between its two straps straight out of the box.

British Watchmakers' Day reveals first fourteen special edition watches

The Freese - 101 Mark II Wristwatch

Freese Watches are proud to announce they will be unveiling their new creation, the Freese 101 Mark II, at British Watchmakers Day.

Only 101 examples of the Freese 101 Mark II are to be produced and will be offered on a strictly first come first served basis on the day of the event. Any watches still available after the event will be offered to customers who have pre-registered their interest with us but were unable to attend the event.

The Freese 101 Mark II follows on from the popular Freese 101, which in turn was loosely based on the classic Rolex 5513 Submariner. Further inspiration for the Freese 101 Mark II comes from how founder Simon Freese believes a watch should look and feel, particularly one which can be worn as a daily wearer.

Simon says, “My aim was to create a simple, robust and reliable timepiece which can be worn and enjoyed every day and I believe we have accomplished this with the Freese 101 Mark II” The Freese 101 Mark II is the first Freese watch to feature a bespoke stainless-steel case, which has been completely manufactured in the UK. The design of the case makes the watch extremely robust and offers a good level of shock resistance. Three holes added to the reverse of the case back allow the wearer easy access to the movement with any standard three-pin watch case opener.

The dial is hand finished and the watch is powered by the Swiss made and extremely reliable Sellita SW200 manual wind movement.

British Watchmakers' Day reveals first fourteen special edition watches

MHD Watches - Special edition daily Driver

This special edition Daily Driver features an engineered four piece 316 L stainless steel case with a black DLC coating, reinforced by robust sapphire crystal glass and an anti-reflective coating for enhanced visibility. The design includes a reverse panda sandwich dial, accented by white sub dial and red sub-dial hands, and a date window. Vintage superluminova is present on the outer bezel, lower sub-dial, hour and minute hands for improved readability.

The timepiece utilises a dependable Seiko VK64 Hybrid Meca-Quartz chronograph movement and is complemented by a 22mm tan perforated leather strap, adding an element of sophistication.

British Watchmakers' Day reveals first fourteen special edition watches

Mr Jones - The Indefatigable Sphinx

Creative watchmakers, Mr Jones Watches, will be showcasing four unique pieces at British Watchmakers Day.

To mark this occasion, Mr Jones Watches has created four unique versions of The Indefatigable Sphinx.

British artist and visionary Edward Carvalho-Monaghan created the design of the watch. The dial features a surreal, imaginary landscape populated with dream-like characters and objects.

The watch features a jump hour mechanism with central minute and seconds hands.

Each hour the number in the hour window flips - some of the numerals are simple to read, while others are deliberately more opaque. Every hour the winged sphinx character on the left of the dial gets a new head, providing an alternative way to perceive the different hours of the day.

The minute and seconds hands work in the usual way and subtle images within the design act as markers for reading the positions of the hands.

Crispin Jones, founder and director of Mr Jones Watches, said: “The Indefatigable Sphinx is the most technically challenging watch we’ve ever made.

“The dial features more layers of colour than we’ve ever printed and represents a substantial amount of work by our talented team of printmakers - it’s a real showpiece for the craft and skill that we have developed in-house.

“To complement the watches, I personally made four unique straps - each strap has an alternating colour stitch to complement that particular watch.

“British Watchmakers’ Day is all about celebrating our industry and it felt like the perfect occasion to create this truly remarkable timepiece.”

The jump hour module that the watch uses was developed by fellow British watchmakers, Christopher Ward. The module in turn mounts on a Swiss made Sellita SW200 automatic mechanical movement.

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