April 1, 2023
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We greatly favor thin watches randomly, to the point that we often find ourselves with manual end movements over automatics. Obviously, there is no way we’d bypass utilizing the El Primero, so that was not a viable option, yet it is a testament to the engineering of a movement from 1969 that the watch only had to be 13.75mm thick. That is barely an ultra-thin, but in an age when even average three hand watches are frequently 14mm or longer, it stays impressive.The El Primero movement is, by far, the biggest change to this A273 source material. The A273, fantastic as it was, was powered by a more prevalent, by a technical standpoint, manually wound movement. The El Primero, conversely, is not just a good movement, it is a genuine legend. It is easily one of the two best known chronograph movements in the world, another being the highly respected, though less prestigious, 7750. There are numerous reasons that the El Primero has survived the test of time where so few different movements have. The first is the characteristic by which it derives its name, specifically that it’s the first automatic chronograph.The second, more impressive feature, however, is its unusually large frequency. It quickly developed a solid reputation for accuracy and precision. In reality, the El Primero inside this watch is, if the name did not give it away, a certified chronometer, and it thus carries with it a greater assurance of accuracy than even most other El Primeros. As it’s one of very few chronographs that beats 10 times per second, it can also quantify events in 0.1 second increments, assuming that your response time is up to the challenge.

Swiss watchmaker Zenith has officially authorised a UK company to create customised version of its watches.

Bamford Watch Department (BWD) can work with customers to create personalised timepieces, or the company can design its own bespoke versions of Zenith watches and and sell them through its own website and retail network.

It is the first British customisation brand to be officially recognised and approved by a Swiss watchmaker of Zenith’s stature.

The agreement means BWD will source all watches, spare parts and other dedicated supplies directly from Zenith.

Top tier Swiss watch brands have typically shunned independent customising businesses by invalidating warranties for any pieces that are not factory maintained. This put a brake on the growth of businesses like BWD, although it has still built a reputation within the watch making world as a creative innovator over the past decade.

“This is a new chapter and one of the most significant steps we have taken as a business. It is amazing not only to gain such a strong foothold in the Swiss watchmaking fraternity, but also to receive such a wonderful validation of our overall customisation concept. I have long admired the quality and precision of Zenith timepieces as well as their pristine craftsmanship, and the chance to work so closely with them now allows us to constantly evolve and drive forward the world of luxury watches to bold new ground,” says BWD founder George Bamford.

Today (June 30) is the official launch day for new customised Zenith watches that will be unveiled simultaneously at the Swiss Watch Zenith Manufacture in Switzerland and online at banfordwatchdepartment.com.

The new range of customised watches will be available for purchase from all BWD stockists including Dover Street Market and Colette. Prices are available on request.

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