Bamford, the watch customization specialist, and Black Badger, a Swedish industrial design house, have partnered to create a new timepiece that dares to reveal a very special main dial color (and material) and does so in one of the most innovative ways we’ve seen in recent years. The limited edition BWD X Badgerworks TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 5 watch features a brown dial made of… coffee!
The “tropical” dials and their distinctive “chocolate” colors represent a rather important chapter in watch collecting. The name refers to the color of the dial, usually a dark-to-light brown hue which is the product of the degradation of the tint of the dial over time, mostly caused by sunlight and air. They are a much discussed and appreciated argument among collectors.
Consequently, brown dials are an acquired taste and are mostly associated with vintage watches and not necessarily with new pieces. However, brown is becoming more and more common in new watchmaking. It is precisely within the independent creators where we are beginning to find fascinating executions of this idea, where the warmth and elegance of brown become an unexpected canvas for time telling.
It was important for Bamford to create his own version of a tropical dial, but not to just do it in a simple, industrialized way. For this series, George Bamford set out to create a limited series of unique pieces, where each watch would clearly show its unique character. In addition to this, the idea of using a recycled resource for the dial was paramount, and this led to the idea of using roasted and ground coffee to give the modified Carrera its main color hue. To achieve this specific goal, Bamford approached Black Badger again, the Gothenburg-based industrial design firm that specializes in the use of innovative materials.
About the idea, George Bamford says: “It’s great to be working with Black Badger’s amazing James Thompson on our second collaboration. I’ve always wanted to create a wonderful tropical dial, but in a modern way, and I think this recycled coffee dial has a real tropical vibe”. Thompson, aka the “black badger,” adds, “For me this is a natural progression for the BWD Badgerworks project. In the same way that we previously used Fordite, we’re exploring materials outside the traditional realm of watchmaking”.
Specifically, the dial of each of the twenty BWD x Badgerworks watches is finished with a thin layer of roasted, ground coffee. According to Bamford, the coffee was specially roasted and ground at Café Da Matteo. This roastery and coffee shop in Gothenburg has been ranked among the top 5 in the world by the Lonely Planet tourist guide. This specialty coffee from Badgerworks was then formed into the dials and finished by hand to bring out its natural brilliance and colors. Because of the very nature of the raw material and the creation process, each BWD x Badgerworks is unique.
Inside each “aromatic” Carrera timepiece beats the Caliber 5 automatic caliber. The 41 mm steel case is accompanied by a brown leather strap that nicely coordinates with this new “tropical” dial concept.
Mechanical selfwinding, TAG Heuer Caliber 5; hours, minutes and seconds; 21,600 A/h, 38-hour power reserve
Stainless steel, 41 mm diameter, stainless steel and sapphire casebook, water-resistance of 100 meters
Compressed and treated toasted, ground coffee.
Brown leather with prong buckle
£5,500. Limited to 20 unique pieces.
Available from Bamford Watch Department