The Bamford Watch Department doesn’t make watches; it customises them, the way some workshops wouldn’t do an oil change but are wholly specialised in executing the most radical, paint jobs on your car or fitting body kits and spoilers on the cutting edge of automotive style. Take a brand name watch, run it through BWD and out comes something extremely new, it’s like looking at the very familiar through a set of weird and wonderful lenses.
What has Bamford done now? For a factory-authorised mod, BWD and Zenith have collaborated on a new watch that brings together inspiration from Zenith’s archive pieces and Bamford’s unique artistic vision. The result is the Chronomaster El Primero Radar, in a limited edition of 50 pieces that will be available from November, exclusively at Zenith boutiques.
In 42mm microblasted steel and domed sapphire crystal with display back, the Chronomaster El Primero Radar features burnt brown gradient dial, with three different subdials, inspired by vintage Zenith watches and radar display. The most striking element is the toothy seconds track – this was inspired by the Zenith A3818 ‘Cover Girl’ and gives the watch a 1970s rawness that is somewhat unusual in contemporary designs which seem to communicate largely in whispers. For us, it looks like a Navajo blanket, and we like it very much for it.
Beating within is an El Primero movement beating at 5Hz, a breakthrough when it launched in 1969, and still heads and shoulders above much of the field to this day.
El Primero 400 B automatic chronograph with column wheel; date; 5 Hz; 50 hours power reserve
42mm matte microblasted steel; domed sapphire crystal and sapphire crystal display back; water resistant to 100m
Cordura effect black rubber strap with red stitching and matching microblasted clasp