TAG Heuer is releasing a new Bamford Limited Edition within the Aquaracer family, and it may be the most OEM looking watch to sport the Bamford name yet. This watch represents the most mature take on the Aquaracer we’ve yet to see, at once showing reverence to its origins and pairing down some of the more superfluous elements that have taken hold within the family at large. There’s still a healthy dose of personality, however, adding up to what may be the most compelling Aquaracer we’ve seen in recent memory.
Seeing the word Bamford on the dial of a watch may trigger some readers out there who bristle at the thought of clapped out Rolex and Audemars Piguet watches, but since joining forces with LVMH group of watch brands his work has taken a turn toward more palatable collaborations done in house with brands like Zenith and TAG Heuer. Whether you love them or hate them, Bamford watches are clearly modified takes on factory designs. This limited edition Aquaracer begins to blur those lines, and were it not for the name on the dial, this is a watch that we’d welcome right into a regular production slot within the Aquaracer family. I’d go so far as to say that if you’re not a fan of the Aquaracer, this watch might even bring you around to it.
The Bamford Aquaracer features a titanium case and bracelet that’s been sandblasted to a uniform texture throughout. The metal takes on a warm tone that plays well with the angular case of the Aquaracer. This execution pushes focus to the dial and the small pops of color found within. It also highlights some of the more intricate details found in the bezel and case, inviting a closer look than you’d otherwise expect from an Aquaracer. The case itself is 43mm in diameter, but thanks to shortened lugs it should wear reasonably well for its size. The grade 2 titanium means it will be hypoallergenic and corrosion resistant.
The dial features concentric circles emanating from the center that are recessed into the dial. Printed crosshairs split the dial into quadrants, with a date aperture at 3 o’clock, and branding at 12 and 6 o’clock. The hour makers are simple blocks of lume, doing away with the highly polished and beveled markers seen on other Aquaracer models. Minutes and seconds are marked in hashes between the hours, and at their outset are a track of orange markers laid out perpendicular to the hour markers. The markers run the width of every other second, and while they add a visual flair to the dial, I can’t imagine they serve any practical function. The tip of the seconds hand also features alternating white and orange sections, while the hour and minute hand are outlined in orange. The end result is a highly legible dial that reads straightforward, even with the embellishments.
The Bamford Aquaracer uses the TAG Heuer Calibre 5 automatic movement, which is based on the ETA 2824 (25 jewels). Its use makes the $3,900 price tag of the watch a bit of an eyebrow raiser, but there is value to be found elsewhere. The case and bracelet are titanium and provide an impressive 300m depth rating, and the production is limited to 1,500 examples. More from TAG Heuer.