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11 DAYS OF LONDONERS: The man we partnered with for our first watch releases, Sir George Bamford 11 DAYS OF LONDONERS: The man we partnered with for our first watch releases, Sir George Bamford

11 DAYS OF LONDONERS: The man we partnered with for our first watch releases, Sir George Bamford

Mike Christensen

George Bamford, founder of Bamford Watch Department and living proof that disrupting a traditional industry can bear new fruit for all and open it up to a more engaged, more youthful audience. 

Now drumroll, please, for a very special announcement. 

George Bamford

George, please tell us the story behind the watch you’re wearing today

I am currently wearing the brand new Time+Tide edition Bamford London Dual Time GMT. It has been amazing working with Time+Tide to design and create this watch. I love how Time+Tide have put some wonderful hidden Easter eggs into this watch and I cannot wait to see images of people finding them. Time+Tide connects their readers to watches all around the world and I love that we have used our Bamford London Dual Time GMT for this edition as it is inspired by travel with the automatic 24-hour GMT hand function with internal rotating bezel allowing users to view a separate time zone.

Collaboration excites me because …

It brings strengths from all sides and the focus and desire to create something unique. Before you sit down together, you never know what will be the end result as one word or suggestion can inspire a whole new chain of ideas. 

What I love most about watches

I describe myself as a magpie, as I love the colours and materials of watches. I like the span of the tick of a watch and wondering how someone designed or built it. Whilst a watch can look small compared to other items, they have huge stories. From engineering to design, every stage of development is amazing. We talk about the cabin of curiosity and there is depth in watches. Sometimes the movement has seven or eight finishes and this is something you never see, but the watchmaker is making a nod to a watch-repair person and showing them the genius of what they have created.

Image: watchtime.com

Tell us an entertaining watch-related anecdote

I feel like I should answer this question in the style of Christopher Walken in Pulp Fiction as my stories are never as good as someone else’s, but for me, anecdotes are more about discovery. I did an interview with a journalist in France and the journalist will know who he is, especially as he is an absolute rockstar. I was in a Zenith boutique in France discussing our boutique edition Zenith watch and we were chatting back and forth and I saw he had a beautiful Zenith on his wrist. I kept looking at the watch on his wrist and I had to interrupt his question to ask if I could buy it. I always look down at someone’s wrist to see what makes them tick and to see what watch they love and I loved seeing that Zenith and I knew I had to have it, if he would let me, and he did. He sold it to me right there and then, straight off his wrist. I still smile at the memory of that every time I look at that watch.

Christopher Walken gold watch
Christopher Walken, donating that gold watch.

Your favourite watches from 2020

Obviously, I love all the watches I have created this year but other brands have done some knockout pieces, too, like Panerai and IWC. I have to say that I love the history behind the titanium Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Tourbillon. I think it is an amazing watch.

George Bamford

Also, the rebirth of the TAG Heuer Carrera, especially the Jack Heuer. It is on fire and there are some great things coming out of TAG Heuer, but the Carrera is a model of design and a true evolution of an iconic watch.

George Bamford

Talk about five other watches you have in your collection

The BWD x TAG Heuer Carbon Monaco and now the Aquaracer are two seminal moments in my life. Also, I am a big Snoopy fan and our Snoopy Bamford London GMTs always make me smile. I think the Bamford G-Shock shocked quite a few people when it came out and I love having that, as it is different.

George Bamford

Finally, the Zenith Heritage 146 Solar Blue was amazing because Toby Bateman took a chance on us to create our first limited edition boutique watch with Mr Porter. It was the first collaboration watch between Zenith, Mr Porter and BWD.

George Bamford

Someone you know (or follow) who has an admirable watch collection

Oh my god, there are so many people I am obsessed with. I love looking at people’s accounts and discovering new watches and seeing someone’s love for a single watch or multiple watches. There are some of the most unusual TAG Heuers out there. Of course there are some guilty pleasures, but I love seeing what people put on their wrists and seeing different collections and looking at different designs. I end up going down a rabbit hole and being like Alice in Wonderland and discovering all kinds of amazing things.