OnlyWatch 21: Bamford Watch Department Steal the show...
When an email or Whatsapp comes in from our good friend George Bamford, we always know that the contents are going to be something very exciting... Considering some of the watches of his that we have got to play with over the years, it is easy to see why!
We have played with all three of these, and they are all equally as awesome...
However, the email that we received on Thursday is certainly a contender for the best email we have ever received from them. What it contained was the press release and information for their contribution to the Only Watch Auction. For those of you who do not know, George has had a love affair with the Girrard Perregaux Casquette for many years now, and when we have spoken about this watch in the past, you can see his love and passion shine through. And unsurprisingly, a reinterpretation of that very watch is what Bamford is contributing to the auction this year.
The Casquette is not your everyday watch. It was first unveiled in the 1970's, which for a watch that looks as it does, it some pretty earth shattering watch design, Genta level If I may say so! Whilst not the most popular of watch designs, which you could argue is easy to see why given its aesthetics, it has maintained a cult following ever since. This style of watch are commonly seem in the realm of racing watches. The benefit here being when your hands are firmly planted at 10 and 2 like they should be, it is possible to see the time without having to move your wrist to look at a traditional wrist watch.
Two stunning examples of Casquettes from the 70s...
At the time of its release, the design was avant-garde to say the least, it also tapped into what was at the time an industry changing rise of the quartz movement. It also, I think, quite interestingly tapped into an era of people who were obsessed with the likes of Star Wars and Star Trek. Imagine being a young boy in the 70's seeing this watch available to buy? It would be like having a piece of Star Wars on your wrist. Hard to argue with that level of cool.
"Back in the 1970's, the Casquette was produced in a choice of steel, hyellow gold-plated metal or Makrolom. This new model is houised in cutting-edge forged carbon, whilst the caseback and push bottons are made of Grade 5 Titanium... Although some observers may descibe the 70s design of this watch as retro, I would argue that the shape of the case and the use of forged carbon make it look decidely futuristic." George Bamford
I think the above quote from George sums the watch up perfectly. Whilst the original design was indeed avant-garde and futuristic, what says futuristic like casing a watch like this in forged carbon? It reminds me of space ships that I used to draw as a child. I think the design and the re-interpretation is spot on, and frankly if these were made as production models i'd be very interested.
As I mentioned, George has had a love for these watches for many years, and with the Only Watch Auction being a time for unusual, groundbreaking and frankly awesome piece uniques, what better thing to do then reinvent a cult icon?
Now, this watch combines perfectly the original 70s design with modern execution. Staying true to its roots the watch houses a quartz movement, powering that awesome red LED display. The beauty here is that the new movement gives the watch additional functionality. It now provides a second time zone, a chronograph and a 'secret date' alongisde the traditional hours, minutes, seconds and date found on the original models.
It is almost impossible to put this watch into words, and whilst I could go on for hours about how brilliant this watch is, photographs are the only real way to show you how brilliant it is. So with that being said, have a look for yourself at this fantastic piece unique.
I honestly cannot get over how much I love this watch... It just oozes cool...
The Casquette - Only Watch Edition will be auctioned on the 6th November 2021 in Geneva. As with all of the Only Watch Auctions, all of the proceeds will go to further the cause of finding a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Whether you are in the fortunate position to be able to bid on this, or any of the other watches or not, I strongly urge you to check out the auction online. It is a truly wonderful event where the heavy hitters of the industry flex their muscles solely for the enjoyment of us all and to help a truly wonderful cause.
Editor and Co-Founder