So we’re stretching the definition of Watch of the Week with this, but it’s certainly news worth sharing: Zenith has officially teamed up with Bamford Watch Department.
The first question of course is: why is this a big deal? Admittedly Bamford Watch Department is one of the most respected businesses of its kind. It’s been running for a decade and a half and has churned out more stunning custom Rolexes than anyone you’d care to name.
Even so, for any watchmaker – let alone one part of a tightly regulated group like LVMH – to start an official partnership is ground-breaking. Of course, important or not, who really cares if the watches aren’t up to scratch? Considering Bamford’s penchant for DLC coatings, scratching is nothing to worry about – nor, thankfully is style.
BWD’s newly launched website is pretty much a toybox for anyone that’s wanted to design their own Zenith, with (we’re told) a trillion different options. Dials, indexes, colours, unique bespoke elements, you can play with anything across the core Zenith range.
While we’re expecting the El Primero corner of the toybox to be the most played with, we have our collective eye on the Pilots. Having seen the Type 20 in Bamford’s signature black and blue anyone using that particular model as a base is on to a winner from the get-go.
It’s a watch we’ve always wanted to see more done with and we’re looking forward to seeing some strange and wonderful iterations of the aviation classic. We’ll be playing with it on the BWD website for weeks. It’s frighteningly addictive.
It’s also good to know that the warranty for the movement comes from Zenith itself so you’re getting the best of both worlds. You get the Zenith you genuinely want; Zenith can ensure there’s no tampering with their technicalities and Bamford Watch Department, after years as a black sheep of the industry, have been fully legitimised.
What this says for the culture of customisation as a whole, who can say? It can however only be a good thing.
- Bamford Watch Department has now been fully endorsed and authorised by Zenith
- Each custom Zenith comes with a warranty from the watchmaker itself
- A trillion different options available through the BWD website
- A huge step forward for Zenith and custom watches as a whole… watch this space