Although the wild custom designs of its sister company Bamford Watch Department tend to dominate enthusiast discourse, the in-house watches made by Bamford London are impressive pieces in their own right. The B347 monopusher chronograph series first introduced in 2021 sits at the top of the brand’s range, and presents its sportiest, most aggressive profile to date. A racing-themed edition is a natural extension to the series, then, and the brand goes above and beyond with a new collaboration design with legendary tire brand Michelin. Sporting a unique strap made from Michelin Pilot Sport 5 test tires and incorporating a series of bold motorsports-inspired touches, the new limited edition Michelin x Bamford B347 Pilot Sport delivers the brand’s most sporting look to date.
Measuring in at 41.5mm-wide and 14.5mm-thick, the forged carbon case of the Michelin x Bamford B347 Pilot Sport is shared with the rest of the B347 line. As with the rest of the series, the angular tonneau case shape is vaguely ‘70s Zenith-esque in images, with broad continuous case side chamfers, abrupt wedge-shaped lugs, and a simple raised smooth bezel. However, the complex organic striations and matte finishing of the forged carbon material give this a far more modern look than its ‘70s-inspired shape would suggest. The line’s signature rectangular monopusher at 2 o’clock sets it apart from competing chronographs at a glance, advertising its unique movement design front and center. Around back, Bamford tops the black coated stainless steel caseback with a detailed engraving of Bibendum, the Michelin man, in a victory pose that is rarely used outside of Michelin’s own materials. Bamford rates the watch for a solid 100 meters of water resistance.
For the dial of the Michelin x Bamford B347 Pilot Sport, the brand blends its signature aggressive minimalism with vibrant and graphic racing-inspired touches. Naturally, the most eye-catching element in images is the sloping outer rehaut, which adds a dynamic checkered-flag pattern the base design. With that said, although it is undoubtedly striking in images, this black and white checkerboard texture does drastically affect the legibility of the outer tachymeter scale in initial images. The Michelin x Bamford B347 Pilot Sport also abandons the bold chronograph subdial graphics of some of its stablemates in favor of stark, high-contrast printed outer subdial rings in optic white. Bamford breaks up this monochrome layout in images with subdial hands and a central chronograph seconds hand in energetic Michelin yellow, adding both a subtle reference to the Michelin brand and a well-executed shot of racy color to the design. The addition of a printed Michelin logo also helps this model to appear more visually balanced in images than its regular production counterparts, adding an effective counterweight to the dial text at 12 o’clock.
Inside the Michelin x Bamford B347 Pilot Sport beats the Sellita SW510 MPa automatic monopusher chronograph movement. Beyond the somewhat exotic monopusher chronograph actuation, the SW510 MPa offers impressive performance for this price range, including a robust 62 hour power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate. Bamford completes the package with a unique rubber strap. This strap is made with reclaimed rubber from Michelin Pilot Sport 5 tires destroyed during R&D testing and features a tread pattern texture directly modeled after the Sport Pilot 5 tires used for several historic performance cars including the BMW E36 M3, the Lotus Evora, the Morgan Aero 8, and the VW Golf GTI. This strap also adds flecks of vibrant Michelin yellow for an added visual punch, one which reinforces the wild customized feel of the design in images.
With colorful sporting touches and a smoothly integrated connection to one of the most prestigious brands in the tire industry, the limited edition Michelin x Bamford B347 Pilot Sport gives the B347 line its raciest look to date. Only 133 examples of the Michelin x Bamford B347 Pilot Sport will be made, and the watch is available now through the Bamford London website. MSRP for the Michelin x Bamford B347 Pilot Sport stands at £2,500 including VAT as of press time. Learn more at Bamford London’s website.