Craig sits down in Paris with the Mr George Bamford the man behind Bamford Watch Department.
I have been a fan of what George and Bamford Watch Department have been doing for a long time now so when the chance arose for me to meet the man behind the brand in Paris earlier in the week I jumped at the opportunity. If you don’t know what Bamford do, they customise Rolex’s, Pateks, Audemars and many other brands by putting a PVD coating on the watch and using fluro colours and artwork to make your watch stand out from the crowd.
We met at Hotel Costes on Rue Saint-Honore for a bite to eat and to talk all things watches. George talked me through how the brand started and the history behind it. I was amazed to find out that Bamford Watch Department was started eleven years ago due to the fact that George wanted to stand out and be different. When he was younger he was given a Daytona and thought it was the best thing ever. He attended a dinner party and realised that most of the people there were wearing a Daytona or something similar to that. His family owns a mining/construction company so he set out to make his Daytona stand out from the rest, working with the engineers to create a coating that would stand the test of time. Later that year he went on a holiday and within the three week stint he had 25 people ask him if they could buy one of his watches. And just like that Bamford Watch Department was born.
This thought process of being different or having something of your own that isn’t mass produced has also lead to the creation of Bamford Cycle Department. The thought process behind this venture is that you are spending thousands of dollars on a bike so why do they have to splash the brand name all over it. Why cant we just have something that belongs to you and is yours?
After a while I got to see what I had been waiting for. George pulled out a case that was full of Bamford watches. There were a couple of Daytonas, DateJusts and a Yachtmaster II just to name a few (That wasn’t meant to sound like a Dr. Seuss book but it kind of came out that way). The watch that had caught my eye and the thing I spotted as soon as I walked in and saw George was the black and red Skydweller he was wearing on his wrist. At the moment my favourite watch is the Rolex Skydweller in Everose gold with the chocolate dial but this customisation just seemed to work. It popped! Due to the weight of the Skydwellers he chooses to wear it with a red Nato strap to add to the customisation.
As I had never been to Paris before George walked me down to a few local watch boutiques. It was crazy to see that within one stretch of road you had Rolex, Patek Philippe, Richard Mille, Audemars Piguet, Hublot and many more. This is definitely something I’m not used to in Australia. All in all it was a great day. Great food, wine and watch talk. The only thing is I wish I got to leave with a Bamford Watch Department timepiece on my wrist.