Watchuseek Blog

Monday, November 7, 2011


'I see a Rolex and I want to paint it black'


Looks like I am going to have to add another venue to my forthcoming trip to Hong Kong. Guru Pop-up store, at the Landmark in Hong Kong’s Central area have just opened for business and to celebrate it they commissioned special edition Bamford X Guru watches – actually Rolex DEEPSEA blackened watches from luxury watch blackening specialist, photographer and watch designer George Bamford.

 As Bamford’s website reports, for a man, luxury watches are not a symbol of identity but also a reflection of style and taste. While most people would opt for the more classic and traditional designs, George Bamford went the the extra mile in making luxury watches a true representation of individuality – by blackening luxury watches.

Bamford Watch Department

The Bamford Watch Department, more than anyone, is responsible for the new craze for blackening luxury timepieces.

 Bamford began colouring watches black 10 years ago simply because he wanted something unique and personal.

“I heard about this beautiful painted black Rolex that was made for the South African military (painted black so they could use it in camouflage operations). I loved the mythical idea of this watch and decided to make my own.”

Bamford first experimented with the blackening process by using military grade physical vapour deposition (PVD) on vintage watches and the product turned out to be unique and successful.

 Sold out


Of course if everyone starts to blacken luxury watches it will inevitably start to lose that individual look, but for the time being the idea is very much 'in the black'. The black watches his company produces are sold out as soon as they land in stores and are also fetching high prices at auction.

For example, the Bamford & Sons Black PVD Rolex Daytona sold for US$48,000 at an Antiquorum auction in 2008.

If you want to blacken your own luxury watch (it doesn’t have to be a Rolex) just visit the website and place the order. The watch will take around six to eight weeks to deliver. The blackening process will not affect the inner mechanism of the watch and Bamford will offer its own lifetime guarantee and service for the watch.

The Guru pop-up store in Hong Kong will be offering a special Guru X Bamford edition possibly with the attache case shown in the picture.

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