Bamford Watch Department has been approved as an official TAG Heuer partner with the right to create customised watches for the Swiss company.
It is the third LVMH watch brand working with Bamford, following agreements with Bulgari and Zenith announced earlier this year. An agreement with Hublot is widely expected to be signed next.
As part of the contract with LVMH, Bamford has agreed not to customise and sell watches for any other brand, unless it has an official partnership with that brand, so there will be no more Rolex, Panerai or Omega watches going through its Mayfair workshop.
“We used to operate in the shade, but now we are in the light,” joked founder George Bamford in reference to the way in which he used to personalise watches against the wishes of major watch companies.
The company has certainly been accepted by LVMH. At a press briefing today, the group’s head of watchmaking Jean-Claude Biver sent a personal video message to mark the signing of a partnership with TAG Heuer.
“I love George,” Mr Biver said. “Bravo for your passion, bravo for your innovation, bravo for your entrepreneurship,” he added.
This is the first time TAG Heuer has signed such a partnership, Mr Biver stated. “It is a new horizon; a new world,” he said.
The agreement means that BWD will source all watches, components and other supplies directly from the TAG Heuer Manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland.
Customers are able to design their own watches on the Bamford Watch Department website. They first choose model, in the case of TAG Heuer they can start with a Monaco for £7500, an Autavia for £7000 or Carerra for £4500.
Next they can choose the colour of the dial, the markers, the logo, the hands. BWD says the customiser has over a billion options.
Mr Bamford is delighted to have extended his agreement with LVMH to include TAG Heuer, a brand he fell in love with as a young motor racing fan.
“I absolutely could not be happier. I have always been an unapologetic racing fanatic and that, coupled with my dedication to the art of watchmaking, has ensured that for me this collaboration is one of the most exciting and rewarding achievements we have accomplished as a business,” he says.
As well as selling direct to customers online, BWD also works with a network of retail partners including Dover Street Market and Colette.