Zenith, Bamford break new ground in custom-made watches

LVMH boss turns to the master of watch customisation to bring personalisation to Zenith’s Pilot line.

By Justin Mastine-frost 07/07/2017

It's official: Zenith Watches has become the first Swiss watch brand to formally partner with Bamford Watch Department to offer custom versions of four of their watches. Previously building sleek customised versions of Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet watches (without formal consent from the brands), this backing by Zenith and LVMH pushes Bamford's brand further into the horological mainstream.

Starting with the Type 20 Chronograph, El Primero Original, Heritage 146 and Cronometro Tipo CP-2, an online configurator is available to modify each model. Pricing starts from $US10,377 (about $A13,680) — a modest premium over Zenith's standard offering. In a brief phone interview, George Bamford — the man behind Bamford Watch Department — was quick to note that these four models were just the beginning of what's to come.

George Bamford and LVMH watch department president Jean Claude Biver first met roughly two years ago, and talks of this collaboration have been ongoing ever since. A move like this is precisely the sort of shake-up Biver has long been known for, and in the custom world, George Bamford is miles ahead of the competition.

With the growing popularity of bespoke in all industries we weren't exactly shocked to see this partnership come about. George is also a longstanding fan of both Zenith and Heuer— brands both under Biver's guidance — making this partnership a logical fit.

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