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Bamford London and seconde/seconde/ stick two fingers up to mass-produced watches

French artist turns Bamford London GMT into a subversive artwork.

The words of the prophet are written on the subway wall. One person’s vandalism is another person’s art.

Watch customiser seconde/seconde/ brings this sentiment to the horological world by butchering vintage timepieces — ripping off their original hands and replacing them with something more eye-catching such as a pixelated sword on a Rolex dial.

“I vandalize other people’s products only because I failed at building mine,” Romaric André, the French artist behind seconde/seconde/, wryly admits.

Seconde seconde rolesMr André has found a kindred spirit in the form of Bamford London and Bamford Watch Department founder George Bamford, and the two customizers have come together to make a limited edition GMT automatic.

seconde/seconde/ replaced the seconds hand of the watch with a hand that might be flipping the pejorative up-yours V, or the V for victory sign.

But a more unique contribution is the Bamford name, which has had its letters jumbled to spell out Bad Form on the British Racing Green dial.

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“I made kind of my trademark to play and distort watch brand logos and names. When I saw the Bad Form in Bamford’ it just tilted. This kind of offence against conventions immediately resonated with that English cliché: the anti-social, the rock, the punk, all that urge for irreverence in a society where you must wear uniforms at schools,” Mr André says.

“And there was no better symbolism for this ‘English bad form’ than this typical ‘up yours’ hand sign popularized (consciously or not) by Churchill. So all that concept blending Englishness and disrespect made sense to me.”

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The Bamford London Bad Form GMT is made in a limited run of 50 pieces.

The 40mm steel watch houses a Sellita SW330-2 movement and is waterproof to 100 meters.

It goes on sale today for £1,600.