If You Can Imagine It, They Can Create It
George Bamford, son of JCB Chairman Lord Anthony Bamford, counted himself incredibly lucky when, for his 18th Birthday, he was given a Rolex Daytona with a black dial and Zenith movement. He instantly fell in love with the watch, and was incredibly proud to own such a wonderful timepiece. Then, in 2002, George was at a dinner party with some friends, looked around the table, and realised that everyone there was wearing exactly the same watch as him. He instantly went from smitten to massively underwhelmed with his beloved Daytona.
This was the beginning of a sharp learning curve that started with the realisation that in our mass-market world, luxury is no longer true luxury, and this meant making luxury personal again. As a first step, George created two blackened watches; a Rolex Plexiglass Submariner and a Rolex GMT – one for himself and one for his father. He wore that watch on a holiday to Italy and returned with twenty-five orders for customised black watches. That was 2004 and the beginning of the Bamford Watch Department (BWD).
Today, BWD is the world’s leading luxury watch customisation company. “I started BWD because I wanted to make luxury personal again”, explains George. The name Bamford Watch Department is synonymous with uncompromising style and quality. BWD are proud to be the first company to personalise a range of steel sports watches based around the personalisation of various iconic sports watches from some of the major brands in the watch world. The process of treating the watches has evolved, and Bamford has developed a process called MGTC (military grade titanium coating), which makes a deposit of 4-5 microns on top of the watch surface, but also penetrates 3-4 microns into the steel making it scratch proof.
Using the motto “If you can imagine it, we can create it” BWD encourages clients to create their own designs using the online “customiser”, or by visiting the client rooms in its brand-new Mayfair townhouse. Once inside and having been ushered in to one of the several “client rooms” you will find a roaring fire, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves full of the most interesting and historically important horological reference books and watch memorabilia to help inspire your customisation. “We are driven by our passion for engineering excellence and innovation. Inspired by the demand of our clients to wear watches that are exclusive and invidivual”.
BWD also create a series of Limited Editions, the latest of which is the Limited Edition Rolex Milgauss Aftershock. These are also available through a network of 37 dealers that are located globally in interesting stores like Colette in Paris, Dover Street Market in London and New York, Maxfied in LA and The Webster in Miami etc.
The modifications void the original warranty, but such is BWD’s confidence that its own two-year guarantee can be extended indefinitely for a nominal fee. As for the military grade coating, the colour is guaranteed for life
Last year, George extended his mantra of ‘If you can imagine it, we can create it’ to the world of competitive road cycling and launched the Bamford Cycle Department and he is further expanding his passion for personalisation to include cars, grooming products and luxury leather goods. It doesn’t stop there – BWD will be opening in New York and Hong Kong and each location will have its own service centre.