TAG Heuer X Bamford Autavia, Monaco, & Carrera Watches

TAG Heuer X Bamford Autavia, Monaco, & Carrera Watches

TAG Heuer X Bamford Autavia, Monaco, & Carrera Watches Watch Releases

Today, London-based Bamford Watch Department debuts their very first "official" watches produced in collaboration with TAG Heuer. This includes some pre-made designs along with a customizer program that allows people to design their own. Last month, aBlogtoWatch announced that Bamford would no longer be working with Rolex watches, to instead focus on LVMH watch brands such as Zenith, Bulgari, and TAG Heuer. Now, the first official timepieces produced by Bamford as both an authorized dealer and modifier of TAG Heuer watches are being launched – and already there is considerable variety (along with expected pricing).

TAG Heuer X Bamford Autavia, Monaco, & Carrera Watches Watch Releases

Bamford's main forte (in addition to irritating some conservative watch purists) is in taking classic designs and making them a bit more hip and trendy. Bamford also has a lot of expertise in case coatings and dial modifications, which makes the company special – along with the fact that they service many of their watches in-house. Bamford Watch Department also spends considerable time producing bespoke or customized watches for clients. This is done either in person at the BWD "The Hive" headquarters in London, or via their website.

George Bamford applied exactly what he is good at in these new Bamford TAG Heuer watches, taking the new TAG Heuer Autavia Heuer 02, Carrera Calibre 5, and Monaco Caliber 11 in a range of interesting directions. Again, Bamford will not only have specific sets of pre-made designs available, but via their online customizer (which for TAG Heuer opens up today) consumers can play with colors and designs more or less how they like. If the online customizer doesn't give you want you need, then give George a call and visit his office.

TAG Heuer X Bamford Autavia, Monaco, & Carrera Watches Watch Releases

TAG Heuer X Bamford Autavia, Monaco, & Carrera Watches Watch Releases

It is interesting to contemplate how TAG Heuer might make best use out of working with Bamford. Being the subject of expensive art projects (which is more or less how I consider personalized/customized watches) is certainly a brand boosting opportunity for TAG Heuer. More importantly, Bamford's activities serve as valuable tests on what colors, styles, and overall looks work and don't work for the brand's products. This value is similar to what brands like Zenith and Bulgari get out of working with Bamford.

Personally, while I am disappointed at how little I can afford from Bamford, I love the playfulness of their watches. Taking something classic, and making it more trendy and fun with colors and interesting designs is endlessly entertaining for me, and wearing Bamford watches is fun. These are among the best luxury toys out there – and it just wouldn't work as well if the underlying product was not a timeless classic.

TAG Heuer X Bamford Autavia, Monaco, & Carrera Watches Watch Releases

TAG Heuer X Bamford Autavia, Monaco, & Carrera Watches Watch Releases

Take, for example, the modified TAG Heuer Autavia Heuer 02 (aBlogtoWatch review here) watches produced by Bamford. These might not do particularly well in large quantities at traditional TAG Heuer watch stores, but they are interesting, inspired, and certainly neat-looking. They are also the type of thing that today's luxury novelty seeker might want - especially the type of person who is far more keen on products from new brands versus historic ones that are slow to change.

More so, given their accelerated pricing, the Bamford TAG Heuer watches will be at a level above most other TAG Heuer watches – especially the unmodified "stock" models that these are based on by a margin of at least a couple thousand dollars. In a sense, working with Bamford allows each of these LVMH brands such as TAG Heuer to reach new customers and demographics, while not hurting the salability of their core collection, without doing very much at all. It's a compelling strategy to say the least, and again due to the leadership of Jean-Claude Biver.

TAG Heuer X Bamford Autavia, Monaco, & Carrera Watches Watch Releases

TAG Heuer X Bamford Autavia, Monaco, & Carrera Watches Watch Releases

Each of these various Bamford TAG Heuer watches doesn't mechanically alter any of the watches, but rather focuses on case coating treatments (black color) as well dial design modifications (which in most instances are colors and other light applications). I also rather like that these are all very legible (though I'd have to see that otherwise cool-looking black and red dial Autavia in person to see how easily one can read the time).

My understanding is that for now, these Bamford TAG Heuer watches are available for purchase either directly through Bamford on their website (clearly, if you are going to customize a model there) or through various Bamford authorized dealers around the world. It isn't yet clear if these watches are available for purchase through select TAG Heuer dealers (though if there is enough demand I am sure there will be). Bamford pricing is up there just like Bamford's ability to call attention. Expensive yes, but don't knock them until you try them. Prices start at £4,500 for the Bamford TAG Heuer Calibre 5, £7,000 for the Bamford TAG Heuer Autavia Caliber Heuer 02, and £7,500 for the Bamford TAG Heuer Monaco Caliber 11 watch. bamfordwatchdepartment.com

What do you think?
  • I love it! (18)
  • Interesting (8)
  • Thumbs up (6)
  • I want it! (3)
  • Classy (1)
  • Bamford – adding interesting colorways and shitty looking case and bracelet finishes to LVMH watches since 2017. And dial printing that a Chinese factory would be greatly ashamed of.

  • IanE

    Insane money for mostly rather annoying tweaks which nobody will notice anyway.

  • The TAG Heuer Autavia goes for about $4300 on the street. But for only $4900 more, I can have some guy coat it in PVD and make it look like absolute trash?

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3f3daa78b60fe2ec54fefb6ebc03155c311f060c9df643f6a195b8e3faf7d3e1.png

    • Berndt Norten

      Yes, you’ve nailed it.

      Black Bumford
      For the douche bag lover in you

      (Not you, you. You know….)

  • Tim Archer

    I wanted to like these but I do NOT! Perhaps they will appeal to hipsters. I am not a hipster.

    • Sheez Gagoo

      For some aging hipsters with goatee, fedora and Bumfart.

      • WINKS

        Bamford is surviving on Biver’s bum farts.

      • Hey – settle down – my beard is sometimes trimmed to be a goatee and I’m certainly aging. Good thing I’m not hip (or have a fedora). No comment on noxious gasses.

      • Mikita

        Lol! Seen a dozen of such guys: getting white hairs, wearing converse matched with fedora.. These Bumfarts are right up their alley.

    • error406

      Hipsters are about irony. There’s nothing ironic about actually having poor taste.

  • SuperStrapper

    Improves the watch by 0%. In fact, having BAMFORD on my dial is about as enticing as having a watch cobrands with something as tedious and uninspired as an “I CANT BELIEVE ITS NOT BUTTER” Monaco.

    Whoever pays 4500 quid for a caliber 5 TAG should be segregated from the public and made available for viewings on evenings and weekends. 2 bits a gander.

    • For my quarter I want to see “KRAVITZ DESIGN” on the dial.

      • SuperStrapper

        I can’t like this comment. Even ironically.

      • Gokart Mozart

        Don’t diss the Kravitz. Look what he had to work with.

      • Berndt Norten

        KRAVITZ,,,!!!!!

  • Norbs K

    Oh look, more black.
    Good for funerals I guess.

    The green on black Monaco is interesting, but still…
    It’s just black and nothing more.
    At least the date background is matching the dial and blends in nicely.

    God! Everything is black on their website!
    The 18 year old in me likes this, but I grown out if it. Realised there are colors around me.

    And they have stickers for your car. Awesome!
    I heard they give 1 horsepower per sticker.
    Put 200 on your Toyota and you don’t need to buy that Lamborghini you were dreaming off.

  • TrevorXM

    I have no problem with Lord Bamford’s spoiled son having this hobby as long as he’s wrecking TAG Heuers. After all, look at his dad’s hobbies:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3542839/Britain-s-blingiest-couple-comes-flashing-cash-glitzy-slightly-ghastly-friends-ritzy-parties-lavish-mansions-cars-count-Bamfords-make-Gatsby-look-positively-restrained.html

    • Berndt Norten

      Like most things one reads in the Daily Mail, it boggles the mind that this story is in fact real. A soap opera producer dreaming up her ‘bible’ of characters for a new show (Agnes Nixon RIP) couldn’t come up with such a parade of clowns. I like how the Daily Mail says Bumford “spray paints Rolexes.”

      • TrevorXM

        Yes, it’s some paper! It’s like news that should be fake news but it’s not!

        • You do know what an “Irish Truth” is don’t you? Something that isn’t true, but it ought to be.

        • Marius

          “Like fake news, but true” – nice one, should be the DM’s strapline!

      • Chaz

        Love that line…”spray paints Rolexes and coats them in titanium…” 😀

    • Chaz

      So this is how young Bumfart got the LVMH deal? Daddy owns “JCB”???

  • Gokart Mozart

    Let the insults begin!

    • Berndt Norten

      Just let the Bumfarts flow
      Like a mountain stream
      Let’s hit em high and low
      Bamturd’s so worthy

  • Mark1884

    Any watch that is touched by Bamford, is now tainted garbage. At least they are only destroying junk starter watches now.
    Perhaps George can get together with Nick & Giles. They can collaborate on producing their co-branded watch. It will be insanely overpriced, and have the Bamford signature sloppy black paint job.
    Bamford: You suck!

    • They are on opposite sides of South Audley Street in the Mayfair section of London. Only a couple of short blocks apart. I walked past both of them one Sunday morning a month ago. Bremont boutique was closed and Bamford has no markings, but I knew where they were.

      • Mark1884

        Coincidence????

      • Mikita

        Suspicious! To say at least

    • Just think how hard it is to paint “BAMFORD” onto the dial with a teeny, tiny can of spray paint by hand. Pixies with shakey hands are called upon to do the job with predictable results.

    • BNABOD

      The BrewBam group

    • Pete Pete

      bumfording a bremont. holy crap, that’s the point where I’d say: hand me that purple brüggler with pink hands instead.

      • Marius

        Some great marketing wheezes in this thread!

        I love the idea of the Bremont Bamford, painted battleship grey using original WW2 battleship paint. Only $20k…

  • error406

    So basically, they take the only tastefully designed TAG watches left (because, taking their cue from the Heuer era instead of the tasteless celebrity bling era), and make them as horrible as anything else by TAG.

    This is a match made in hell. PVD coated hell. TAG + Bamford is a black hole of bad taste.

  • BNABOD

    So for 7000 yes seven thousand pounds one can get a PVDed Autavia w blue sub dials yeah or a green dial yeah or a white dial with such high quality as Mark pointed out. Me think this is a spectacular deal. There will be lines waiting for these things to come out lines I tell you.
    I don’t get how they even are still in business but what do I know

  • Pete Pete

    the old slogan was: bumford – devaluing fine timepieces since 2003
    the new one is: bumford – devaluation not so fine timepieces since 2017

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Just awful……………………………I have nothing more to add.

    • That’s exactly what Bamford technicians say when they’ve completed a piece.

      • Berndt Norten

        You mean ‘technicians’ ??

        • Raymond Wilkie

          That’s what he said.

  • eRZé

    Well, based on the images in this post it seems Bamford debuts their first official renders of TAG Heuer watches.
    TAGH will shot themselves in the foot if they won’t put stricter control on Bamford and e.g. point them to a supplier that has the facilities and skills to properly carry out Bamford’s ideas. Otherwise all these efforts will be just some guy tampering with their product lines and lowering their image. Ironically enough, and unlike in the case of Rolex, with their permisssion.

  • drThrillman

    Not a fan of Bamford at all – but I sort of like the idea of being able to have a Monaco Dark Lord made. Would prefer it if Tag (without Tag on the dial though) made one from factory and not through a 3rd party request at 2x the price though

  • Yan Fin

    Match made in hell.

  • Sorry, everybody, I think they look fantastic.

  • Tea Hound

    Bamford also has a lot of expertise in case coatings and dial modifications…

    How can you write this? I’ve never yet seen a Bamford job that stands up to any close-up scrutiny whatsoever. Their work seems shoddy to the extreme, especially galling given the absurd prices they charge. This time around, Mark Carson provides the photographs.

    Still, I’d much rather they vandalise Tags than Rolexes.

    • TrevorXM

      What do you mean? The computer generated images all show extremely well-executed modifications.

  • John Stevens

    Who buys this stuff ?, there’s obviously a market, but to me it’s crass.

  • MrJKLFoams

    TagBumHeuer

  • Roger Goodgion

    Tag Customer: Hey Bamford and Son, can you polish this turd for me?

    Bamford: yes, we are authorized to polish turds. how would you like it?

    Tag Customer: I want a mirror polish on the beveled edges of my turd…then Black DLC that thing, diamond that sh!t bro. add a red triangle and make sure its done with all the care and consideration a kindergartner gives a finger paint project right before a Christmas holiday.

    Bamford: That is well within our Wheelhouse. I hope you have a Platinum card.

    • SuperStrapper

      TAG Customer: yes, 3 of them actually. I steal them for a living.

  • Chaz

    No comment.

    Wait…does that count as a comment?

    Shit…

    • WolverBilly

      Dammit, I had sworn off reading, much less commenting, on this chintzy blog yet here I’ve done a Chaz. OK, I didn’t read it. But I did comment, so it’s a 1/2 Chaz. I’m getting better, right?

  • commentator bob

    If you get past the stupid, hero to football hooligan high school drop outs, “Bamford” name, there is an interesting mass-customization proposition here.

    And you can get rid of the “Bamford” name, either replacing it with nothing or two-letter initials. I played with the online configurator a bit and came up with the “Gulf” example below, not so much as an example of a great design, but as an example of depth of customization options available. One can choose plain steel instead of Bamford’s chintzy PVD.

    The problems are two fold:

    1) As Mark went through the effort of detailing below, even if you skip the chintzy PVD the hand and dial quality are quite poor.

    2) The example I made costs £7,500, or $9,875 at today’s FX rate. Compared to $5,900 MSRP / ~$4,000 grey for the same “Heuer” Monaco without the much less the stellar hand and dial modifications. That ~$4,000+ premium would be steep if this was perfect execution.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/652064724287883f860fbdcdc66a39ee5370450677ecc58cae52892900d19c12.png

    • Agree – the concept has merit (customization/personalization) but the execution and price are deal killers as done by Bamford.

  • Marius

    After explaining how the Brewmont Archibald Chesterfield I (AC I) is “…elegant and classy, but sporty and built for purpose,” it’s now time to give Crapford the ABTW “Spa Treatment.” A few quotes from this advertorial:

    1. “Bamford also has a lot of expertise in case coatings and dial modifications, which along with the fact that they services many of their watches in-house.. makes the company special.”

    What “expertise” are you talking about? Are you trying to say that the spray painting that Georgie applies under the staircase of a London strip club is an expertise? I have seen two Crapfords in person — a “modified” Submariner and an AP Royal Oak — and let me say that they were absolute shite. I don’t understand how a watch blogger who reviews watches on a daily basis can describe such mediocre quality as “expertise.”

    2. “Bamford Watch Department also spends considerable time producing bespoke or customized watches for clients.”

    By “considerable time” you mean the time it takes Georgie to fetch a spray paint bottle from the nearest hardware store.

    3. “George Bamford applied exactly what he is good at in these new Bamford TAG Heuer watches…”

    What exactly is George good at? Looking at the case & dial quality, it’s quite obvious that spray painting is not his main forte.

    4. “These are among the best luxury toys out there.”

    Unfortunately, I have bad news. A Tag Heuer is not exactly a luxury watch, and a Tag Heuer with a low-quality and ugly quality case & dial is even less so.

    5. “If the online customizer doesn’t give you want you need, then give George a call and visit his office…”

    I’m afraid that’s not so easy as it sounds. You see, Georgie drives a Bentley Mulsanne, and lives in a mansion, so I highly doubt that you can simply contact him.

    6. “Personally, while I am disappointed at how little I can afford from Bamford, I love the playfulness of their watches.”

    Worry not! If ABTW churns out a few more advertorials such as this, I’m quite certain that you will warm Georgie’s little cold hart, and that he will invite you on a “factory visit” followed by a brand-new Crapford as a gift.

    • TrevorXM

      Now now now — you’re ruining Ariel Adams’ chances at hanging out with the Man himself. The accommodation at the estate, rides in the classic Ferraris, the expensive meals and wine that Lord Bamford’s son pays for, the yacht rides, the nightclubs! How is Ariel Adams going to be a top notch klingon watch blogger and live “the life” unless he’s writing pieces like this? The Brewmont Brothers can only give so many racing yacht adventures and Richard Mille isn’t always as generous as he could be. Or maybe your bucket of cold water on the fever dream presented as an article will actually work in his favour? The noble watch blogger standing up for the creative maverick spoiled rich puke poseur, against all these nasty low-life comment makers who are only sneering at his watches because they’re jealous?

      • Ariel Adams

        “Klingon” really caught my eye. May I ask what made you believe I have any affinity or connection to these militant Star Trek universe characters?

        More so, I really do wish that I lived this fantastical lifestyle which you gentlemen so kindly imagine for me. Would it be fruitful to use some type of live video system in order to bring the audience along with me so that if happen to be at a lavish estate, you all can experience it with me?

        • So that cell phone video of you going through an In-N-Out burger doesn’t cut it?

        • Jon Snow

          The fact remains that these articles about Bamford do omit to criticise or even evaluate the quality of the finishing. Given that their only service is to re-finish watches, it’s a pretty significant omission.

          • TrevorXM

            TO SAY THE LEAST.

        • PollyO

          Ariel

          We all love you guys and no one is seriously suggesting that you really influenced by suppliers. Most sensible people would also acknowledge the delicate nature of having to critique companies who you rely on for access and co-operation. It’s just that ABTW has recently had some articles that have avoided any real criticism. Who knows, maybe that’s because you only put up things you like. Either way, it just feels sometimes like your non-sponsored posts are leaning a little too closely to appearing like sponsored ones.

          The sponsored post issue also adds to this feeling. The commercial reality of requiring sponsored posts isn’t lost of most of us. Sometimes they throw out some interesting reads. But there is also a significant number which actually cheapen this site with their presence (regardless of the usually disclaimer you offer up). No one confuses them as anything but advertising but you could be a little bit more selective about some of the absolute garbage that gets its time in the sun.

          And that’s mmyyyy two cents.

        • Pete Pete

          at least he didn’t say ferengi

      • JosephWelke

        qaStaHvIS may’ Qapla’ qaStaHvIS ghItlh Qapla’!

  • Marius

    I see that Bamford also does a range of expensive but not terribly pleasant looking leather goods and a personal grooming line. Expect shoes, cookware and a children’s book next.

    A few people have asked: “Who buys this stuff?” Well, Daddy is a billionaire, so maybe no-one…

  • Gokart Mozart

    I want a Tag Monaco Quartz to be modified to contain a mechanical movement.

    • Chaz

      I want it to be modified to fit a hamster running on a little wheel inside…

      • Jon Snow

        I want it to be modified to have a chain and fusee transmission made out of a re-purposed JCB tread. However, I think that anything beyond crudely spray-painting is beyond Bamford’s ability.

  • Kuroji

    Why do they all look powder coated?

  • Chaz

    Actually, I’ll chime in after all…FWIW…

    Companies like Bamford ought to be shunned and ostracized by the manufacturers, not be enabled and given legitimacy.

    “Customization” should be something done in-house (such as IWC and their weird turd brown pilot watches, Panerai and its “Carbo-tech” or even PVD vintage Heuers) so that QC would be more uniform and legitimacy would be of no concern for the consumer down the road. Much like Benz and AMG or Nissan and NISMO.

    I suppose – purely speculating – that “JCB” (the watch baron, not the company owned by young Bumfart’s dad) wanted to co-opt the Bamford brand to keep it close, exploit the potential of customers with no taste, and…well…I can’t think of any other reason. Hopefully they’ll buy out young Bumfart’s shares and eventually just let the brand DIE.

    Anyway, thanks for the space.

  • Framlucasse

    Is it PVD or DLC coating? The work seems quite poorly done.

  • Lurch

    What happened to James Stacey? I no longer see his name at the bottom of the page. I enjoyed his videos.

    • G Street

      His articles have been appearing over on Hodinkee recently, I too noticed his name had been removed from this site. Guess it’s between him and Ariel…

  • Mikita

    So, what do we have here? A crudely spray-painted entry-level Sellita-based TAG for $6k and a pair of similarly crudely finished ETA-based pretenter models for ~$10k. These put to shame even their majesties holy duo from Brewmont! How to double your profit creating no value, except for praising articles in the media.

  • 24810

    Of course this was to be expected after the Zenith and Bvlgari announcements. Overall still an interesting move.

    A few thoughts;

    – I actually find the configurator to be hugely entertaining. An Albino Autavia – interesting! A Spirit of Japan Autavia – pretty wild!
    – How will this work with regular limited editions created by the manufacturer, like the recent green Men’s Club Monaco or the upcoming Jack Heuer Autavia? Will it devaluate these or will they now be considered bargains seeing how Bamford prices these custom versions?
    – I’m interested to see if and how Authorized Dealers will fit into this picture.

  • Coert Welman

    Way too expensive, but I rather like the Autavia right at the top.