The British brand's first watch with a Swiss movement is built with travel in mind.
While the Bamford Watch Department made its name customizing mostly Rolex watches (and later becoming the official customization partner of the LVMH watch brands), the London-based brand also makes watches under its own name. The Mayfair, a quartz-powered time-only watch, was released in 2017, and now Bamford is coming out with its sophomore effort, the London GMT. This watch has a 40mm stainless steel case in a semi-cushion shape with a fitted link bracelet to complete the package. Powering the watch is a Sellita GMT movement that uses a central hand and a rotating inner bezel to track a second timezone (the bezel is operated by the second crown at 10 o'clock), making this Bamford's first house label watch to be powered by a mechanical movement and the first to be powered by a Swiss movement.
As with anything coming from Bamford, the design and color choices are a big part of what makes the watches special. There are four main colorways (plus a limited edition in black and yellow for retailer Selfridges): black with Bamford aqua blue accents, steel with a navy and orange dial, steel with a blue and white dial, and gunmetal grey with a grey and orange dial. They have the coherence of a real collection while still provide four totally different takes on the London. Pre-orders start in a week and watches should begin delivering in March 2019.
I know that Bamford's work can be polarizing, believe me. All you have to do is check the comments on any story we've ever written about them or do a quick hashtag search on Instagram. However, I've got to say, I've been a fan from the beginning. Once you meet founder George Bamford and see how genuinely passionate the guy is about watches and making great products for his customers, it's hard not to buy in, and then when you see the watches in the metal and realize the level of quality of his work, the deal is done.
With all of that in mind, I'm excited to get my hands on a London GMT sometime soon. I like that Bamford opted for a sort of 70s-style case shape that sets it apart from the mass of travel watches already out there, and the ambition to include a bracelet right off the bat is nothing to scoff at. The dial designs are clear and legible – as any travel watch worth its salt is – and the color choices are fun. My personal favorite is the simple blue and white, but I'm curious to see how the slightly aggressive grey and orange looks on the wrist. In any case, at under $1,500 I think you're getting a lot of bang for your buck here too.
Brand: Bamford Watch Department
Model: London GMT
Case Material: Stainless steel
Dial Color: Various
Indexes: Batons and Arabic numerals
Lume: Yes, Super-LumiNova on hands and markers
Water Resistance: 100 meters
Strap/Bracelet: Stainless steel link bracelet
Caliber: Sellita SW330-1
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, GMT, date
Power Reserve: 42 hours
Frequency: 4 Hz (28,800 vph)
Pricing & Availability
Price: £1,100 including VAT (approximately $1,415)
Availability: Pre-order begins November 26, with deliveries starting March 2019
Limited Edition: The black and yellow edition is available exclusively at Selfridges London from November 26, 2018.