Tag Archives: oneoff

Bamford Watch Department: Bringing Garage Custom to Swiss Watches

There’s been an explosion in motorcycle custom building in the last 15 years or so. The big trends have included Bobbers, Lowriders, old school choppers and Boardriders, to name just a few cult avenues of remixed engineering.

So why not do the same with watches?

That’s what London based Bamford has done in the shape of their Watch Department, offering enthusiasts the chance to design their own TAG Monaco, Carrera, Rolex, Zenith El Primero or Bulgari watch in detail; lume on the baton markers, dial colours, contrasting subdial colours, or tachymetre markers etc – the choices are huge and you can play around with different colour combos on the BWD website – it’s addictive!

This custom build approach doesn’t come cheap, and a blue/yellow El Primero dream watch we designed online came in a £9,000, which is a fair chunk of change on top of the new £6500 RRP for the brand new Chronomaster 1969 model.

bamford watch custom el primero

But you have a on-off watch, a true collectors item limited edition – as in limited to just one, or possibly two if someone else happens to love your design by sheer coincidence. Yes, this service is pure luxury lifestyle, and you need disposable cash to burn. But that doesn’t stop anyone paying someone to build their ultimate Harley Shovelhead Bobber for 40K does it?

The other thing to consider with the Zenith El Primero is the depreciation of the new Chronomaster open heart or 1969 models, which is pretty hefty in the first five years of ownership. A custom Zenith might stand the test of time better as regards resale value via auction house? We don’t offer investment advice, just ideas 😉

There’s a market for what BWD are doing and we say more power to them. Let’s see some retro 1940s, boardwalk empire/Gotham City, styled Rolex GMT Batman models perhaps, or how about a couple of 50s Cadillac inspired Hamilton Ventura watches? If ever a watch was made for juke box platters, neon lighting and cherry red dials, it’s the Ventura.

Customise your lottery win watch at BWD website.

Life on Mars With Konstantin Chaykin

Do you need a watch that tells the time on Earth and Mars? Maybe so if Elon Musk has his way and we establish a Tesla factory there. So yes, this latest Russian watch could be just the thing to check if your Jonny Cab is ready for you at the Doug Quaid Memorial Uber taxi rank when you dock at the Red Planet for your vacation in 2055.

Here’s the press release.

The prospect of flying to Mars has never been closer. Konstantin Chaykin is certain that the conquest of Mars necessitates the thinking over of many different aspects in advance, including the development of a specialised mechanical watch that is reliable and capable of functioning autonomously both in space and on Mars. That’s why in 2017 this expert watchmaker and inventor launched his own Mars programme – “Mars Time”.

The new “Mars Conqueror Mk3 Fighter” watch points to the future – hence its futuristic design, seasoned with a clearly tangible militaristic touch. The terrestrial time is supplemented in this watch by the 24-hour time zone indicator hand, while the Konstantin Chaykin-invented “Martian” wheel movement provides the precise indication of Martian time.

A functional module entirely created in Russia by Konstantin Chaykin Manufactory. The complexities of the watch mechanics of the “Mars Conqueror Mk3 Fighter” are shown by the fact that the functional module is made up of 125 separate parts, each meticulously processed and finished by hand in full accordance with the traditions of haute horlogerie.

Konstantin Mars 1

The first Martian aviator watch in history

The “Mars Conqueror Mk3 Fighter” watch looks to the future, which is why one can find in its design the futuristic forms of the Martian space fleet as imagined and designed by Konstantin Chaykin. In the brutal yet at the same time ergonomic case of a dynamic, trapezoidal design, which is dominated by triangular edges, there is a bezel fixed to the case by 24 functional screws, resembling the mooring lock of a spacecraft docking system.

Watches of the first edition are made of titanium, traditionally perceived as an aircraft and space material, which is in the best way consistent with the purpose and functionality of the new watch. Only 8 pieces will be released.

The “Mars Conqueror Mark3 Fighter” watch is equipped with automatic caliber K.15-0 with indicator of local Earth time; second time zone (UTC) indicator with central 24-hour hand; Mars time (MCT); mode indicator of the functional (winding) crown. There are two vertical crowns with unique functionality set on the titanium case invented by Konstantin Chaykin, with genuine black leather strap with orange stitching and orange lining.

There’s no word on pricing yet, but the Chaykin watches currently online here,  start at about £23,000.