A Famous Rolex Customizer Releases Its First Solo Project
Originally published by Justin Hast on Hodinkee.
The Kardashians, wedding dance floors, and the Bamford Watch Department all share one thing in common – you either love them or hate them. And while not all BWD creations over the years have spoken to me from an aesthetic perspective, I deeply admire founder George Bamford and his team for having the conviction to be bold and disruptive, something many fear. As Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers said, "those who stand for nothing, fall for anything."
This week, London-based BWD has released its very own watch collection: the Bamford Mayfair Collection. In recent times, we have seen official collaborations with Zenith and TAG Heuer, but this is something entirely different. Bamford is going at it alone, and for the very first time.
For years, BWD has created predominately customized (often blacked-out) Rolex watches, and customers have been provided with a loaner watch to wear when their standard BWD watches need to spend some time with the service department. Following feedback on this "service watch," George Bamford set about refining it and designing a great everyday beater you could strap on without having to worry about it. The result is the Mayfair.
“The collection has been a year in the making and a natural progression," says Bamford. "With launching Zenith and TAG Heuer over the last few months, I didn’t want to launch at the same time but I am really excited to officially unveil it now."
The Mayfair is a 40mm stainless steel dive watch powered by a quartz movement (a Miyota 203, to be precise). It has an asymmetrical shape, a rotating bezel, and a bold time-only dial with no date window. The watch is water resistant to 10 ATM and has LumiNova indexes and hands, which provides a strong glow night and day. “I love the quartz movement and I think Swatch changed everyone’s perception of it," Bamford says. "I love it as part of this watch and I think it works as well to keep the price down." More on that in a bit.
Commenting on the collection's design inspiration, Bamford remarked, "I do have military themed watch books on my desk, so I am definitely inspired by that but it was mainly following wearing our service watch on my own wrist that I was inspired. When I handed my own watch in for a service and put on the ‘service watch’ I fell in love with it, and also our clients were fans of it and wanted to buy it. I knew we had to create a watch which developed and improved the original design and I love the different dimensions it offers."
As you'd expect from anything Bamford, the Mayfair is customizable. You can choose from a variety of dial colors, bezels, coatings, and types of straps, mixing and matching to get what suits you. In addition, you can engrave the caseback of the watch with your own personalized text up to 20 characters. All of this can be done using an online customizer, similar to how you'd design any other BWD watch.
The Bamford Mayfair Collection is available online directly from BWD and Mr. Porter, as well as at BWD's network of bricks-and-mortar stockists, with a price of $550.
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