By Jon Gaffney
on 2.5.09

bamford-watch-department-rolex-submarinerThe Rolex submariner has been a cultural icon ever since Sean Connery wore one in Dr. No.  It’s a watch that wasn’t created just to be pretty, but also to thrive under pressure (in this case, 300m under water)…kind of like a good Bond Girl.  However, even though this is my dream watch, aside from that little crown on the dial, they’re visually unremarkable.

Bamford Watch Department has taken it upon themselves to rectify this situation.  They offer the ability to create a one of a kind watch by selecting different colors for the dial, luminescent indices, date wheel, date, and even the ability to add 8 characters of text to the dial (“TRUSTFND,” perhaps).  The coup de grace is their unique PVD formula or “physical vapor deposition” coating for the stainless steel.  This process blackens all of the stainless steel with a near diamond hard coating, which looks bad ass.  With an intuitive website (similar to that of Nike ID) and endless possible combinations, it’s wicked cool.  An extra four grand is enough to buy a second used Rolex, but if individuality is imperative, Bamford is the place to go. If we can do it for our cars, computers, and shoes, why not a watch?

bamford-watch-department-rolex-daytonaEditor’s Note: Purists will probably choke on their caviar at the defiling of this Swiss masterpiece.  But, for way less than some of the more limited-run luxury watches you’re getting a classic timepiece and it’s one of a kind.  If you’re interested in one of the other Rolex Professional watches contact BMD for pricing.   Now if only they’d add orange to the color options, maybe I could expense myself a GP style Sub, or at the very least, design one.

Outside Perspective by Ben Bowers: After discussing Bamford with Brian (one of the many watched obsessed staffers of GP), I learned some interesting facts.  For instance, if after having Bamford customize your sub, you find the need to send it to Rolex for repairs/maintenance, apparently they will remove all of the customized work added by Bamford, replace them with standard Rollie parts and bill you for the labor! Talk about purist!

Cost: ~$10,000 (£7,000)

More photos of Bamford Watch Department Watches after the jump.

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