Guides Watches

Every Exclusive Watch at British Watchmakers’ Day 2024

British Watchmaker's Day

The inaugural British Watchmakers’ Day is just around the corner, set to take place this weekend on Saturday 9th. It’s a celebration of British watchmaking with a huge number of brands in attendance – find the full list and details of the event here. To celebrate the event, many brands have created special edition watches exclusively available on the day, fun twists and unique takes on their signature watches. So here is a look at every British Watchmakers’ Day special edition watch you can buy this weekend.

Roger Smith Series 1 ‘No.32’

Roger Smith Series 1 No 32
Roger Smith Series 1 No 32

Given his propensity for customised watches and the kind of inimitable handmade finishing that defines the George Daniels method of watchmaking, Roger Smith timepieces are nearly always unique. So, what does one of the founding members of the Alliance do when called upon to build a watch for an event like this?

“Obviously I wanted to play my part in the day, so there was no question that I’d turn up without a watch,” said Smith. “It’s been an interesting process – for the first time since I’ve been selling my watches, I’ve been able to make one for myself. I decided to go for the Series 1 in 18kt Red Gold, as I like very simple watches and we’re using a new engraving fittingly called English Rose.”

Not that it’s simply for sale of course; there will be a closed auction in the run-up to the British Watchmakers’ Day, so keep an eye on the Alliance of British Watch and Clock Makers’ website to register your bid. If you really want to avoid disappointment, you’ll need to aim high. Very high – even with a reserve price confirmed at £297,500 (excl. of VAT).

Price & Specs

  • 38mm 18k red gold case
  • Roger W Smith’s latest single wheel version of the Daniels Co-axial escapement movement
  • From £297,500, unique piece

More details at Roger Smith.

Christopher Ward C1 Bel Canto 9324

Christopher Ward C1 Bel Canto 9324

Given its monumental impact on both the brand and British watchmaking, the Bel Canto was always going to be Christopher Ward’s British edition of choice. The new edition will be available in 10 unique pieces, each draped in a royal blue, adding a patriotic slant to the original chiming hours watch. There are however two main differences. First, the dial has been given a guilloche overhaul, swapping the sunray brushed looked with a patriotic combination of Clous de Paris and brushed finishes in the shape of the union flag.

The other change is the small 12 o’clock dial, which now includes Roman numerals to harken back to the early days of classical British watchmaking. It’s a lovely tweak to the formula in some equally lovely colours – and hey, if you fancy a different Christopher Ward limited edition, you can always go for ours. Shameless plug on page 32.

From the founder, Mike France: “As the model name suggests, work on this special Bel Canto began almost simultaneously with the inception of the event itself. We’re very proud of the piece we have created, and I look forward to meeting each of the 10 new owners on Saturday 9th March.”

Price & Specs

  • 41mm titanium case with 30m (3 bar) water resistance
  • FS01 calibre automatic movement with 38-hour power reserve
  • £4,995, limited to 10 pieces

More details at Christopher Ward.

William Wood Fire Exit

William Wood Fire Exit

Most of William Wood’s watches are aimed at the kind of guys that run into fires; the Fire Exit has been made for the rest of us. In case of fire… leave the building. Paying homage to the iconic white running man on his green backdrop, the animated watch swaps the usual day of the week for the little figure showing off a certain vibe. Monday – late for work, Friday – TGIF, Sunday – hungover, and so on. It’s a fun twist on William Wood’s design language, incredibly characterful, and that green is eye-catching in the extreme. It might just be my favourite William Wood yet.

From the founder, Jonny Garrett: “It was a really fun experience to create, taking a universally recognised symbol and having him do everyday things we can all resonate with.”

Price & Specs

  • 41mm stainless steel case with 100m (10 bar) water resistance
  • Sellita SW220 automatic movement with 38-hour power reserve
  • £1,495, limited to 300 pieces

More details at William Wood.

Fears Brunswick 1924 Edition

Fears Brunswick 1924 Edition

Fears’ celebratory, rectangular Archival illustrated just how deep the Bristol- based brand’s archives go, but they were a bit of a departure from their flagship Brunswick with its sleek, 1920s cushion case. So, here we are with the Archival 1924, a modern recreation of the Fears watch that inspired the Brunswick, in effect the aesthetic singularity behind the brand’s current success. It’s larger and has many of the Brunswick’s signature flourishes such as its onion crown, but its otherwise diminutive sizing and numerals ripped straight off the original’s dial echo what gave founder, Nicholas Bowman-Scargill the inspiration for what’s become a British success story. The coolest touch? The 38mm case is in full sterling silver.

From the founder, Nicholas Bowman- Scargill: “I was very keen to create something special and exclusive for the Alliance of British Watch and Clockmakers’ British Watchmakers’ Day, and the 100th anniversary of one of the most influential pieces in our Archive that inspired the Brunswick collection was the perfect piece to re-create. I didn’t want to just capture its wonderful late Edwardian, early art deco dial and numerals, but also the essence of the watch with its London Assay Hallmarked, sterling silver case, which pays perfect tribute to the original Watch from 1924.”

Price & Specs

  • 38mm sterling silver case with 100m (10 bar) water resistance
  • La Joux-Perret D10 calibre automatic movement with 50-hour power reserve
  • £3,950, limited to 10 pieces

More details at Fears.

Beaucroft The Seeker British Sky Edition

Beaucroft The Seeker British Sky Edition

If we had to distil British watch design to two aspects, we’d probably say colourful and classical. It’s a delicate line to tread and one that many a brand has stepped too hard one side of or the other. The British Sky edition of Beaucroft’s Seeker nails it. The Seeker in general is colourful, especially the gorgeous teal version, but the Alliance edition pays homage to one of the most discussed topic in national discourse: the British weather.

Its steely light blue borders grey. Is it sunny? Is it raining? Is it somehow both? Welcome to the UK.  From the founder, Matt Herd: “The goal was clear: this watch should embody everything we love about British design— it should be clean, understated and have a playful spirit, with a hint of bold colour. Hence, our cloudy grey-blue skies, a beloved topic among Brits!”

Price & Specs

  • 37mm stainless steel case with 50m (5 bar) water resistance
  • Miyota 9039 automatic movement with 42-hour power reserve
  • £450, limited to 25 pieces

More details at Beaucroft Watches.

Duckworth Prestex

Duckworth Prestex No 1 Series British Watch and Clock Makers

The Verimatic, Duckworth Prestex’s playful, 1930s flagship, has been defined by its gorgeous colours, enough that the brand has adopted the collection’s eye-catching orange as their signature flourish. So, how could they develop this idea even further? By introducing not just one new colour, but 10. They are – take a big breath – black, sage green, light blue, lilac, midnight blue, burgundy red, salmon, white, yellow, and a different orange to their flagship Verimatic shade.

For my money the yellow is a particular highlight, and the burgundy red is rich and lovely, but you can’t really go wrong – especially considering that each is a unique piece. And for less than £1,000 at that! Oh, and if you didn’t realise that these were special editions, then check out the numerals and you’ll see they’ve been replaced with letters spelling, of course, ‘British Watch & Clock Makers’.

Price & Specs

  • 39mm stainless steel case with 200m (20 bar) water resistance
  • Miyota 9039 automatic movement with 42-hour power reserve
  • £950, limited to 1 piece per colour

More details at Duckworth Prestex.

Studio Underd0g

Studio Underd0g British Watchmakers Day

If you were expecting something as quirky as an aubergine or pumpkin watch, keep looking. Studio Underd0g’s new 02SERIES field watch is a very different beast, much more in line in its design with classic British military pieces. This limited-edition amps that up, swapping the light blue or pink lemonade colours with classic white and orange hands. It’s much more subtle and, dare I say, wearable, than the others in the collection, but just as cool. From the founder, Rich Benc: “I wanted the watch to look like a vintage reissue *with a twist*. The orange hands are undeniably modern, yet are inspired by the lume patina often seen on 1940s field watches.”

Price & Specs

  • 37mm stainless steel case with 100m water resistance
  • Sellita SW210-1 manual-wind movement with 42-hour power reserve
  • £800, limited to 25 pieces

More details at Studio Underd0g.

Zero West DB-80 Custom Special and FS-2 Custom Special

Zero West DB-80 Custom Special
Zero West and FS-2 Custom Special

Not to be outdone by all the various one-off releases for British Watchmakers’ Day, engineering minded Emsworth residents Zero West have release a pair of different pieces for the occasion. And no, it’s not a series of colours a la Duckworth Prestex or Christopher Ward, but two shiny, completely new watches. Well, mostly new. In typical Zero West style, the DB-80 Custom Special pilot uses aluminium from a Lancaster bomber and the FS-2 Custom Special a boiler tube from the Flying Scotsman to celebrate 100 years of the iconic train.

Both have a lot more history in their salvaged materials than I’m giving them credit for here, so make sure you stop by to see them in the historic metal; true to their unique nature, both are one-off pieces, so Saturday 9th March may be your only chance.

Price & Specs

  • 41mm stainless steel case with 100m (10 bar) water resistance
  • Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement with 38-hour power reserve
  • £3,700, unique pieces

More details at Zero West.

Elliot Brown Beachmaster Fade

Elliott Brown Beachmaster Fade

The original Beachmaster’s already a future classic with its patented mission timer – which essentially adapts a GMT function for mission countdown and timing purposes – so it’s not a surprise that this limited-edition is simply a slight aesthetic tweak. And yet, the visual impact the green and red inner bezel provides makes the Fade pop like never before.

It’s not just a good-looking colour either; the military is a huge part of this watch and Elliot Brown as a whole, so it’s worth noting that the colours come from two of the operation’s assault sectors:  Easy Red and Fox Green. It’s a cool, historic twist to an already impressively innovative British watch – and you don’t need to be an active serviceman to wear one. Though with only 20 available, you may need to be quick about it.

Price & Specs

  • 40mm stainless steel case with 300m water resistance
  • Sellita SW330-2 automatic movement with 56-hour power reserve
  • £2,565, limited to 20 pieces

More details at Elliott Brown.

Mr Jones Indefatigable Sphinx Piece Uniques

Mr Jones Indefatigable Sphinx Piece Uniques

With a name like this, you know you’re in for something… odd – and odd indeed is Mr Jones’ latest Indefatigable Sphinx, a mesmeric slice of surrealism and colour designed by legendary British artist, Edward Carvalho-Monaghan. A unique take on the jumping hour – a module, incidentally, leveraged from fellow British brand Christopher Ward – every 60 minutes sees the hour on the right-hand side of the dial flip to a new, hand-drawn number.

Every time the hour changes, so too does the head of the titular Sphinx on the left-hand side of the dial, changing from a knight to a trio of hydra-like sea serpents to a classical sun and a host of characters in-between. There are some darker touches (the jumping hours numeral for the number seven is death’s scythe) but overall, it’s a glorious send up of serious watchmaking. While, you know, still being relatively serious from a craftsmanship standpoint, using more layers of colour than the brand has ever used on a dial before. I love a lot of what Mr Jones does, yet this blows the rest out of the hydra-populated water – and not a bad price for one of the four unique colourways available.

Price & Specs

  • 40mm stainless steel case with 50m (5 bar) water resistance
  • Sellita SW200 automatic movement with 38-hour power reserve
  • £2,500, 4 unique pieces

More details at Mr Jones Watches.

Clemence Munro British Watchmakers’ Day Editions

Clemence Munro Special Edition
Clemence Munro Special Edition

The Munro has been an immediate success for Clemence and it’s not hard to see why. The combination of field watch practicality tested in the Scottish Highlands and cool, crosshair dials in an array of colours is immediately appealing. The latest pair of limited editions puts a more overtly British spin on the formula, in a Union Flag- appropriate combination of blue with red and white details.

They’re also the first Clemence watches to have ‘British’ on the dial, a big step for the relatively young brand. Sure, it’s not a dramatic shift, but when the standard Munros are hard enough to get hold of, having an extra spin on the model is a seriously tempting prospect.

Price & Specs

  • 37.5mm stainless steel case with 150m (15 bar) water resistance
  • Miyota 9039 automatic movement with 42-hour power reserve
  • £650, 2 unique pieces

More details at Clemence Watches.

Brooklands Watchmakers’ Day 2024 Triple-Four Racing Chronograph

Brooklands Watchmakers' Day 2024 Triple-Four Racing Chronograph

The Triple-Four came out swinging as a debut watch from British brand Brooklands. Defined by one of the most famous cars to hit the eponymous racetrack and designed by Sir Terence Conran, it set the bar high. And now it’s bringing its horsepower pull to the special edition watches at British Watchmakers’ Day with a handsome blue dial and red chronograph seconds hand. Sharing the same specs as the original, this version turns the more vintage, classical look of the ‘standard’ yet still limited version into a much more modern, much, much rarer limited edition of three pieces.

Price & Specs

  • 41mm stainless steel case with 100m water resistance
  • Sellita SW500 automatic movement with 62-hour power reserve
  • From £5,750, auctioned, limited to 3 pieces

More details at Brooklands Watches.

Accurist Origin

Accurist Origin

Colour seems to be the name of the game for British Watchmakers’ Day and for good reason; it’s what we here in the UK do best. Case in point, four new ultra-cool limited editions from mavens of accessible timekeeping, Accurist. Falling into the same integrated sports catchment area as the Tissot PRX, this quartet of sleek, 1970s-flavoured archival watches are available in light and dark teal, orange, and silver. It’s a gorgeous array of colours, finished with a caseback depiction of the London Skyline. There’s a lot to love, especially given they’re one of the more accessible pieces created for the day.

Price & Specs

  • 41mm stainless steel case with 100m water resistance
  • Seiko NH35 automatic movement with 41-hour power reserve
  • £329, limited to 25 pieces per colour

More details at Accurist.

The Freese 101 Mark II Wristwatch

The Freese 101 Mark II Wristwatch

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 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.

Price & Specs

  • 41mm stainless steel case
  • Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement with 38-hour power reserve
  • £2,195, limited to 101 pieces

More details at Freese Watches.

MHD Watches Special Edition Daily Driver

MHD Watches Special Edition Daily Driver

This special edition British Watchmakers’ Day watch 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, red sub-dial hands, and a date window. Vintage Super-LumiNova 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.

Price & Specs

  • 40mm black DLC stainless steel case with 50m (5 bar) water resistance
  • Seiko VK64 Hybrid Meca-Quartz chronograph movement
  • limited to 10 pieces

More details at MHD.

Monro Adventure Special Edition MA-BWD 1

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.

Price & Specs

  • 44mm stainless steel case with 100m (10 bar) water resistance
  • Seiko NH34 automatic movement with 41-hour power reserve
  • Available to win at the show, piece unique

More details at Monro Adventure.

Sidereus The Cosmic Quartet

Sidereus The Cosmic Quartet

Sidereus is a brand based in Ireland that was founded as a design project, never meant to be sold. However, after encouragement from the founder of British brand Schofield Watches, Sidereus committed to bringing their watches into production and offer them to customers. A bright example of the support British brands give to each other.

For the Watchmakers’ Day they have produced a quartet of watches, known as The Cosmic Quartet. The four watches, which are all unique pieces marked with the same limited edition number, are each dedicated to celestial bodies both near and far. There’s the Blue Planet, Grey Moon, Amber Nebula and Dark Star, each in thematic colours and cases. They house a modified Sellita SW280-1 automatic movement.

Price & Specs

  • Stainless steel case with 50m (5 bar) water resistance
  • Sellita SW280-1 automatic movement with 41-hour power reserve
  • Limited to 1 piece each

More details at Sidereus.

Isotope HydriumX ‘Be Steel My (blue) Heart’

Isotope HydriumX Be Steel My Blue Heart
Isotope HydriumX Be Steel My Blue Heart

Isotope have created the HydriumX ‘Be Steel My (blue) Heart’ for their British Watchmakers’ Day special edition. A limited edition of 40 pieces. It’s based on the classic 40mm HydriumX except that instead of having a colourful bezel, it features a full steel bezel with embossed markings. The special bezel has been paired with a sunray blue dial and white Arabic numerals and markings, which is a colour combination reminiscent of the union flag.

It’s powered by a Swiss-made Landeron mechanical movement with automatic winding powering the time-only hours, minutes and seconds functions. In classic Isotope style, the hands are presented in a tear drop shape, which is a brand signature.

Price & Specs

  • 40mm Stainless steel case with 50m (5 bar) water resistance
  • Swiss-made Landeron movement
  • Limited to 40 pieces

More details at Isotope.

Additional Releases

Due to the extremely limited nature of the British Watchmakers’ Day special editions, some brands are keeping their watches tightly under wraps. But here’s what we know about the releases that don’t have images available to the public at time of writing. You’ll have to be at the event to see them.

Arken Alterum Year of the Dragon

Tool watch specialists Arken are producing a special edition of their duel time Alterum in honour of the Chinese Year of the Dragon. It features a commemorative caseback.

Pompeak Gentleman’s Collection Special Edition

The Pompeak Gentleman’s Collection Special Edition is inspired by the RAF, with a guilloché dial in the classic red and blue of the air force.

Bōken

Bōken have confirmed that they are producing a special edition for the British Watchmakers’ Day but that’s about it.

Helicon x MBE

Helicon have teamed up with Timothy Everest MBE and his bespoke fashion brand MbE (Made by Everyone) it features an ombré dial in lapis lazuli blue.

More details at British Watchmakers Instagram.

1 Comment

Leave a reply

Leave a Comment

*

*

About the author

Sam Kessler

Legend has it that Sam’s first word was ‘escapement’ and, while he might have started that legend himself, he’s been in the watch world long enough that it makes little difference. As the editor of Oracle Time, he’s our leading man for all things horological – even if he does love yellow dials to a worrying degree. Owns a Pogue; doesn’t own an Oyster Perpetual. Yet.