Bamford Watch Department are back with a new and stunning addition to their collection. Whilst there have been iterations of both the GMT and the Mayfair, this release comes as an entirely new piece in their line up.
I was lucky enough to visit my good friend George at The Hive a few weeks ago to see the watch in question, and I have no doubt this will be their most popular model to date.
There is actually something exciting happening between George and I in a few weeks time that really emphasises the love that we both share for the monopusher. Certainly the more under appreciated of the chronographs out there, but one that we agree has infinitely more charm than it’s two crowned sibling. Whilst the functionality is slightly less than that of a two-pusher; given that only one controls the stop, start and reset, as opposed to two, this actually only serves to emphasise the charm of the complication. Being able to easily operate the chronograph from one single pusher makes it a breeze to use, if you are that way inclined. Whilst most people tend not to actually time things using their chronographs, I time anything I possibly can, so I have a great appreciation for its simple operation.
The B347 launched yesterday, and we were presented with two limited edition models. A reverse panda, and my personal favourite, the aqua blue. Honestly the Bamford aqua blue accents works on all of the watches featuring it released by Bamford, but the marriage of the aqua blue with the case and dial on this piece is an absolute home run.
The two current releases side by side... which one would you choose?
The watch itself comes in at 41.5mm, but for those of you 'big watch 'a' phobes' out there, do not worry. I myself am not a huge fan of 'big' watches, favouring between 36mm and 40mm as my sweet spot, and honestly on the wrist this fits the bill. The case profile and unusual, almost hooded lugs means that this wears even less than a 40mm. The feel of it on the wrist with the rubber strap is superb. It is light, comfortable and eye catching. Frankly I have been thinking about it and lusting after it since I went to visit George.
The movement is a workhorse Sellita SW510 automatic, which offers a bi-compax function with the 30 minute counter at 3 o'clock and the date at 6 o'clock. Not to emphasise the point too much but a 6 o'clock date is a fantastic touch, the dial symmetry is fantastic. Speaking of which, interestingly you will notice that B347 does not feature on the dial at all. This only adds to the symmetry and clean look of the dial. To see the model number of this watch, you actually have to turn it on its side, where you will see the laser etched model number in the head of the chronograph pusher. A really unusual touch, but something which to me seems very 'Bamford'!
In typical Bamford fashion the attention to detail here is second to none...
This querky little touch with the name being on the chronograph pusher leads me on nicely to the packaging. Bamford always smash their packaging out of the park... Need I remind you of the fluffy yellow box offered up with the Bamford London x Sesame Street Mayfairs?? The B347 is no different. Whilst the box looks like a normal, cube shaped box, it again is subtly nuanced adding even more charm to the overall offering. The hinge for the box is actually housed in the bottom corner of the box, with the join of the two halfs tracking diagonally to the oposing corner. When you open the box the watch sits on an angle, meaning that when you look at the watch in its box, you can clearly see the engraved logo on the pusher. This is the sort of attention to detail and the somewhat 'avent-garde' elements of Bamford which I really appreciate.
What a fantastically awesome box...
As you may have noticed, the watch is encased in matt forged carbon. Not only does this mean the watch is very light, it also gives a very stealth, military look to the watch, and whilst this may be odd to say, the feel of the matt carbon on your skin feels impossibly smooth. The watch ships as standard on a black rubber strap which works fantastically with the black/grey case, but in true Bamford style this watch is meant to be fun, so there are four other straps that can be purchased to match your B347. These are Red, Blue, Khaki and yellow. All of these straps would work equally well with either of the two variants of this watch, and I actually think it would be fun to buy multiple straps and put half of one colour and half of another on to really emphasise the playful nature of this piece.
The key point I want to make about this watch is that it is a truly new and modern interpretation of a monopusher. Most monopusher chronographs on the market today, think Longines, Patek, and Montblanc, harken back to the monopushers of the early 1900's. Whilst these designs are faithful and elegant, watch companies seem to be tied to emulating old pocket watch designs. What I love, and is something that George and I have spoken about, is that this is anything but. It modern, sharp and also does have a certain elegance to it. Not to say that you could 'dress this up' the same as a Patek 5372P for example, but this certainly has versatility that the Patek simply does not.
“The Bamford B347 is an exciting next step for Bamford London and it has been a long standing desire of mine to create this watch. The monopusher chronograph is one of my favourite types of watches as I love the asymmetric layout and simplicity of function" George Bamford
This is yet another home run for Bamford London. Building on the success of the GMT, this seems like a natural progression to add another complication into the mix. It really speaks to the brands philopsohy, and what I really love is that George decided he wanted to make a monopusher, so he did! It completely demonstrates not only his paassion, but his attention to design and nuances that only real watch geeks would appreciate. I am absolutely besotted with the aqua blue in particular, and once again George has released another watch that I have added straight away to my ever lengthening list of grails.
The watch has been released in the two colourways I have mentioned above, and will retail at £2,500. If like me you would bite someones arm off to get your hands on one, it will be available directly from Bamford, and also Hodinkee a month before it is available from Bamfords retail partners. So keep your eyes peeled and if you (or George) are feeling generous an aqua blue variant will do me just fine!
Editor and Co-Founder
The Young Horologist