Nov 13, 2017

How do you feel about customized luxury timepieces?

Bamford has been offering customized watches for a while now, and more recently, the work they do was legitimized and qualified by Zenith, and last month Tag. This brings me to the question as stated, how do you feel about customized watches.


https://www.bamfordwatchdepartment.com
Bamford will take virtually any watch and customize it to the owners wishes. All indicators point to them doing very nice (and expensive) work, ranging from Titanium coatings to customized dials and crazy lume work (Hello Mickey and Snoopy!) They've also done special collaborations with various art studios and designers in making limited edition models. I have to say however that I am still not a fan. Granted, my tendencies have mellowed and like things just clean and simple for the most part. Furthermore, unless we are talking Zenith or Tag, any other watch will still be returned as unserviceable for voiding of warranty by the factory. Considering how pricey the work is though (We're talking thousands of dollars in addition to the donor watch), maybe this is of little concern. In the end though, it's still a "Frankenwatch", all be it a very expensive one. A dear friend who races cars, and is a terribly good mechanic told me that if you want a race car, buy a race, but don't mod a street car to become one. In the end it will be more headache and expensive taking the later route. (I used to have cars modified... A lot).
All that said, does this really do anything for the advancement of Horology, or is it another money grab, especially for brands that command less market share than others? Am I just helping them even more by talking about it?? Thoughts?

Cheers and Happy Monday (To those of us not on Monday, Happy Tuesday!)
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Hell to the NO !!!
Modding... That a no go zone...
That helps luxury watches to look like cheap watchs. It will increase security level of a Rolex for sure :)
Just say no. Isn't this why microbrands exist? Nothing wrong with creative designs, and micros can push the envelope in many ways (and perhaps should more than creating another homage). I'm not a fan of modding a luxury watch and don't see how it adds to horology at all. Even if I saw one that I admired on, say, eBay I would never buy it.
You want to mod/customize a lower tier watch... fine. But a Rolex/Omega/JLC/Blancpain/et al?

I don't care how well executed it is, I only SMH
When executed properly, the result can be excellent. Project X seems to do good work with their blacked-out watches, focusing on perfecting their process. Bamford on the other hand looks like utter dogshit, anything with coloring looks either like the cheap plastic you see in fashion watches or haphazardly spray painted, like plasti-dipped wheels.

How to do it right: Tempush Machina. They specialize in 'throwback' Rolexes, re-imagining historical models as if Rolex released them today with modern materials and movements. Almost everything on their watches is from a Rolex, either being a brand new component machined down or a piece from an older model that their piece is trying to replicate. Their execution is excellent.
YCheez
I read about Tempus Machina back when they were laying ground work with the press releases and all a few years back..... I admire the guts and effort of these guys, and they look well thought out and executed. Again though, it hits that "no" button for me. I am not sure about in Canada, but Rolex in the US cracked down dramatically on dealers, especially those with liberal parts accounts, happening in the last eight years or so. I imagine this will create issues at some point for them, as they would need to service the piece come that time, as the same issue with services arises, an AD will not touch them.
Now that I have seen some of theses custom watches, save that stuff for the cheap ones, !!leave the high end be high end!!!!!
Blackout Concept is a Swiss company that I posted about a day or two ago in the context of the glowing skull watch drop, since Blackout does skull versions of, is it Rolex?, as well as other customizations.

https://www.massdrop.com/buy/armourlite-isobrite-skull-tritium-watch/talk/1878303
http://www.blackoutconcept.com/en/
I personally would prefer a modified version of some watches to the originals. For instance, Panerai is just such a cliche, something that you expect on the wrist of a somewhat dull-witted pro basketball player in the process of "taking a knee," and for the generation before Panerai became a cliche, Rolex was the cliche, so it's a cliche for old geezers, of which I'm one, but I don't want to advertise it.

These cliche statement watches are like Louis Vuitton handbags in Japan. There is something pathetic about a Japanese woman with a Louis Vuitton handbag: money, check; personal style, nope. There's nothing wrong with the bags themselves, or at least the qauality of manufacture (but seriously, would a graphic designer with any taste design that letter pattern today?). But if literally everybody else is zigging, you gotta zag.

So these modified versions of the cliche watches at least show that you have some self-awareness, although they take you into millennial "irony" territory, which may be worse than cliche.

One thing that I could get into is "fixed" watches. Maybe deal with the "branding at 9" issue by moving it back to 12 or just getting rid of it. Maybe putting decent hour and minute hands on an otherwise great diver. Maybe getting rid of the stupid shark teeth on the Megalodon. Maybe 86ing the lame logo of a watch companay with good design sense for watches, bad design sense for logos.

Also, you could fix the too-slim Glycine Combat Sub by substituting a hugely thick bezel with 5 mm of sapphire and a hugely thick back plate, to chunk it up, while keeping the beautiful watch face and hands.

And now I'm thinking about whether I could buy a watch I really like and get it modded into an einzeiger, which come in limited design variations.
I’m a purist like keeping things how they come from the factory but a nice hotrod or two in the collection is something to talk about!!
My thinking it is best to let the vision and design of the original piece speak for itself, especially if it is a higher end brand to start, no need to junk it up.
Generally, no.

HOWEVER - Joe Cool dancing on my dial would be pretty neat.
NO. Do this with less precious watches. Doing it on a rolex is just silly. You're destroying the value of these precious watches. A rolex holds its value really well. But when you mod the rolex you're just dropping its value down to the salvageable parts at trade price.

Note parts with a serial number aren't salvageable, owners do not want multiple serial numbers on their watches.
Yeah one person’s idea of tasteful is not another’s! I am in to modding things, motorcycles , cars, hell even my lawnmower but I would rather leave my two tone sub as it comes from the factory.
Erikesp
" but I would rather leave my two tone sub as it comes from the factory. ".... Amen brother
I think it can be cool in some cases, but it's terrible when it shows the lack of taste of some consumers...
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That made me giggle
StainlessOnly
I live to increase global giggle levels.
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