The Bamford Watch Company has been setting itself apart since the year 2016. Renowned not only for making watches of its own but also for its expertise in watch customization, the company has been building its portfolio for just a few years but has made great advancements in this field of expertise. Initially starting as a company that would customize globally leading brand names, the Bamford Watch Department has also laid claim to two other customization techniques and has collaborated with some of Switzerland’s most prestigious watch brands to add another dimension to modern day timekeeping.
The concept behind company founder, George Bamford’s vision started with a black Rolex watch. Bamford’s interests have always been deep seated in motorsport racing, vintage cars and above all, sports watches. Some of his favourites have included the Breitling Navitimer and the classic Rolex Datejust. Having worn it to a formal event one evening and discovered he wore the same wristwatch as many other attendees on the night, he began researching ways to make his watch stand out from the crowd. He got his Rolex watch DLC coated – a technique that turns the watch black for a sleeker, more modern finish. Having just returned from France wearing the wristwatch, some 25 others were interested in having the same finish applied to their watch, thus the concept of the Bamford Watch Department was born. Bamford branched out to customizing dials to match exact shades of lipsticks and bespoke designs for elite clients who wanted their wristwatch to get noticed for all the right reasons. Patek. Philippe, Rolex and Audemars Piguet are just a few examples of watches that Bamford experimented with. It now partners with artists and fashion houses to create eye-catching designs, all the whilst leaving a completely untouched mechanical or quartz movement inside the watch.
Recently, many high end watch brands have developed customization programs for their timepieces. Bamford Watch Company has ventured along this line and partnered up with Jean Claude Biver in 2017 who, at the time, was in charge of LVMH’s division. The company became the official customizer for Bvlgari, Zenith and TAG Heuer as a result. The set up enabled customers to transform the look of their watch without voiding their warranty with the official manufacturer. The headquarters of Bamford Watch Company is situated in London’s prestigious Mayfair area. The only clue to its location is a black door handle that resembles the shape of a watch crown, a motif that reflects not only the company’s expertise but its quirky approach to timekeeping.
A DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) coated case must go through a meticulous process. It involves the application of a certain type of carbon to the surface of a watch, followed by exposing the case to a quick cooling process that ensures the coating sticks to the stainless steel. This method also improves the abrasion resistant and hardened qualities of stainless steel. There are, however, different qualities of DLC coating. To ensure Bamford Watch Company creates a high quality finish, it collaborates and learns from a company that specializes in this technique specifically. In addition to this, Bamford Watch Company also mastered the MGTC (Military Grade Titanium Coating) technique for a gloss or matt black finish and the GPC (Graphite Particle Coating) technique which adds pigment to the case.
Bamford Watch Company has also developed 2 of its own watches that have become collectables that appeal to those in search of an affordable yet functional wristwatch, the Mayfair and GMT. Additionally, there are limited edition watches that Bamford Watch Company has collaborated with major brands to create. Some of the most emblematic are the TAG Heuer Monaco Bamford, with a striking aqua blue dial that stands out against its blackened steel case, and the Zenith Heritage 146 with the famous online store, Mr Porter.