A renowned car lover and founder of British watch company Bamford London, George Bamford describes the number of Land Rovers in his personal collection as: “Like my watches, not enough and, if you ask my wife, too many.”
Given his relationship with the Midlands-based car-maker, it was only a matter of time before Bamford and Land Rover joined forces for a commercial collaboration. Today that partnership comes to fruition with the launch of the perfectly formed LR001 watch.
Referencing the fact that, since the debut of the Series 1 in 1948, Land Rover has gone on to sell more than 7 million vehicles earning a reputation as the ultimate off-roader, Bamford praises the 4x4s adaptability as well as its distinctive aesthetic.
“I love Land Rovers, and particularly the Defenders, for their utilitarian nature – they can go almost anywhere – as well as the iconic design that has changed only minimally over more than 70 years.
“Take the new model, it totally embraces that famous look, but it also moves the product on for a new era. The Land Rover has stood the test of time, and the brand-new Defender proves that.”
Unsurprisingly, the LR001 takes its inspiration from the Defender and is designed, like the original 1940s vehicle, to incorporate style and substance.
Taken right back to basics, this is a watch to be worn and used with little fuss and minimal interaction. The 40mm case is lightweight and robust thanks to the material choice of titanium and has 100m of water resistance.
Powering the watch is the ‘Premium’ grade Sellita SW200 self-winding movement (one grade away from the COSC-certified version) with 38 hours of power reserve.
Both Bamford and Jaguar Land Rover’s chief creative officer Gerry McGovern refer to the “intrinsic longevity” of the watch, making the solid SW200 – a calibre that has been used by brands including Sinn, Eterna, Alpina, Oris and Christopher Ward – a safe choice and one that should keep the LR001 ticking for years to come.
Designed by the team at Land Rover and built by Bamford London, the watch reflects the restrained and precise tool aesthetic of the Defender.
The tone-on-tone cool greys of the case and face are highlighted by the Bamford Blue “LR001” legend at 6 o’clock and the luminescent material that glows green below the cutaway dial.
Reflecting the mood and demands of the market, the four straps for the LR001 reject animal-based materials in favour of bio-based alternatives – a corn-based PU leather for the black, light tan and dark tan options and recycled nylon for the navy variant.
“For me, collaborating on this watch was a pleasure and the final piece is the epitome of modern luxury,” says Bamford.
“I am so pleased to have worked with Land Rover on the LR001. As a company, we’ve had some amazing ‘pinch me’ moments this year, but this is something special and something I’ve been looking forward to creating for a long time.”
In the Telegraph’s 5-star 2022 review of the Defender, the conclusion was: “Time and Land Rover’s reliability will determine how it goes down with the company’s traditional commercial markets, but on this evidence it should be out there doing the tough jobs for years to come.” The same can be said for the Bamford London x Land Rover LR001.Only 100 examples of this first model will be made, priced at £1,350 and available from bamfordlondon.com