MICRO MONDAYS: The Beaucroft Bespoke allows you to design your own watch for an affordable priceFergus Nash
It’s not often that I get to review watches that haven’t actually been designed yet, but Beacroft Bespoke has given me that opportunity. Watch customisation has been a growing trend lately, departing even from the classics such as Seiko modding. Brands like Certina have experimented with modular cases and dials, but the young British brand Beaucroft are taking things a step further still. After working with artists such as Lionel Ritchie at the Cambridge Club Music Festival to build them customised watches, Beaucroft have decided to extend this service to the public at surprisingly attainable prices.
When Beaucroft use the word bespoke, they truly mean it. Certain aspects of the case and dial are locked in, however the experience of creating your own unique watch is usually reserved for the super-wealthy or influential. The first stage involves discovering your preferences, ideas and aesthetics for what your watch could eventually look like. With guided steps, Beaucroft will help to distill your personality and ensure that the finished product speaks directly to your heart. You’ll be asked to describe the story that the watch could tell, and it could be anything from a favourite memory to a certain feeling. Whether that sparks an emotional connection or simply an entertaining one, the story could be laid out overtly or planted in subtle details. Once all that is established, the choice of colours, case finishing, printing and straps should fall into place naturally.
After your Bespoke Kit has been completed, you’ll get a one-on-one consultation call with the Design Director to finalise your preferences and guarantee a mutual understanding of the perfect result. Matt, the Design Director, will then work from all of the gathered information to create your personalised watch. Before anything happens in the physical world however, you will be presented with a digital render of the design. You’re free to make some final tweaks of the dial text, and then your unique piece will be finalised. Once it’s signed off, the production can begin.
Embracing their roots in Cambridge in the UK, the Beaucroft Bespoke watch will have its dial painted in-house by their airbrushing team, and then the chosen details will be printed. The components are then assembled by the Horologium workshop in Reading, based on Beaucroft’s Senate watch. The 40mm case has elements of robust strength thanks to a solid bezel, but overall a delicate sophistication aided by the petite flared crown and small lugs. The lug-to-lug distance is only 44.4mm, easily allowing for gender-neutral comfort and decent wrist presence. The 10mm thickness contributes to the air of dressiness, which can be played up or down depending on your choice of strap.
Although the dial is the most customisable part of the watch, the Beaucroft DNA remains firmly planted thanks to the applied indices. If you’re into classical looks, then the slightly eccentric teardrop markers at 12 and 6 o’clock probably won’t be for you, but then again you wouldn’t likely be ordering a customised concept watch. It’s powered by the Miyota 9039 — their premium automatic movement that offers wonderful value for money. The accuracy tolerance of -10/+30 seconds per day is generally much closer to the centre, and the 4Hz beat rate gives off a smooth sweep of the seconds hand to indicate quality. Its automatic winding tops up the 42-hour power reserve, and the Beaucroft Bespoke watch also includes a display caseback for viewing the teardrop-etched pattern.
The Beaucroft Bespoke experience pricing and availability:
The Beacroft Bespoke experience is launching as a Kickstarter on July 25 2023. Price: Starting from £599
|Case Dimensions||40mm x 44.4mm x 10mm|
|Case Material||Stainless steel|
|Power Reserve||42 hours|
|Availability||Kickstarter launching on July 25th 2023|
|Price||Starting from £599|