Recently, it seems the name of George Bamford—the visionary force behind Bamford Watch Department and most recently Bamford Auto Department—is surfacing in more places than ever. While some watch-collecting purists take issue with his work due to the fact that he is altering classic timepieces from Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet (among others), those who take a moment to familiarize themselves with Bamford’s work are quick to recognize his deep passion for the industry as well as the somewhat unique opportunity to acquire a timepiece that is still a brand-new Rolex (with the same length of warranty), but not the same old model you will see on every third or fourth wrist on any given day. With that in mind, we thought we would take a closer look at one of his more recent releases—the Bamford Heritage Daytona.
How It Looks
Finished in Bamford’s signature light gray military-grade titanium coating (MGTC) and sporting a bold blue dial, the Heritage Daytona certainly stands out in a crowd. Its dial has been modified from its original configuration to pay tribute to a number of classic Rolex Daytona variants, chief among them the hugely desirable Reference 6263—an example of which pulled in $753,000 through Phillips auctions this past November. That model’s art deco–style dial (referred to at the time as the “exotic” dial, which subsequently came to be known as the “Paul Newman” dial) is arguably the best-looking Daytona dial in existence, and applying a strong punch of color to it (accented by a hint of blue on its acrylic bezel insert) makes the Bamford Heritage Daytona that much more charming. Bamford took great care in matching the matte finish of its dial to that of its case, giving the piece a slightly more under-the-radar look than standard Daytonas with a polished case and bracelet. It is also worth noting that if this particular shade of blue is not to your taste, Bamford offers a thorough customization process. Although he keeps a number of limited-edition pieces in inventory, much of his focus is creating one-off timepieces to suit his clients’ design and color preferences.
How It Works
There are no surprises to be had here. Each Bamford Daytona starts its life as a brand-new Rolex, meaning it is powered by the venerable Rolex 4130 movement and features running seconds at the six o’clock position as well as two additional subdials to display the chronograph minutes and hours at three and nine o’clock, respectively. When it arrives at Bamford’s workshop in London, the base watch is stripped down and inspected. Its movement is then fitted with the requisite dial and hands, while its case is sent for further modification. As horology aficionados will have likely already noticed, this Heritage Daytona does not have the standard crown guards seen on current Rolex models. To properly emulate the look of the past model, the guards are shaved off its case before it undergoes the treatment process to apply its MGTC coating. This throwback to past models is just one of many details that give Bamford Watch Department a significant upper hand over lesser brands trying to compete in the watch customization realm.
How to Pair It
Subtle enough to be dressed up or dressed down, the Heritage Daytona works just as well with denim and a black V-neck as it does with a cozy gray or navy sweater and properly matched slacks. It certainly falls more on the casual end of the style spectrum, though you could get away with pairing it with a sport coat (or even a slim-fitted light gray suit).
How to Get It
The Bamford Heritage Daytona is priced at $27,900, and is available directly through the company’s website or at select retailers worldwide. (bamfordwatchdepartment.com)