TAG Heuer Monaco Bamford
TAG Heuer Monaco Bamford
Image: Supplied

Most new cars leave me cold. Except for a handful, they’d be difficult to even tell apart if it weren’t for their badges. In this age of mass production, we are fortunately seeing the rebirth of customisation to meet the increasing needs of individuals who’d like to set themselves apart from the crowd. Even sports brands and watch manufacturers are riding the trend, facilitating various levels of customisation.

When it comes to cars, no longer is this only the reserve of the super-rich who approach coachbuilders such as Karmann, Bertone, Pinanfarina or Touring to create unique body designs. From the extreme makeovers of the Japanese Bosozoku car culture to the bespoke stance cars of the Cape, there are performance specialists, body kits for enthusiasts or custom car shops who’ll turn both modern and classic wheels into unique works of art to complement your personal style.     

At the 2018 BaselWorld watch fair this past week, TAG Heuer revealed its gorgeous customised black carbon and aqua blue Monaco Bamford produced in collaboration with the Bamford Watch Department in Mayfair, London. There are many watch brands that offer in-house customisation and at the very top end, even unique or limited edition pieces but Bamford was the first to take some of the world’s most iconic luxury timepieces and offer full aftermarket personalisation.

Started in the early 2000s, George Bamford’s company has customised models by Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and Panerai but is probably best known for the black PVD finished Rolex and other bespoke updates to the brand. This all appeared to have changed last year when Bamford debuted a range of limited edition Zenith watches, which signaled the beginning of a new and exclusive relationship with the LVMH Watch Division under the leadership of Jean-Claude Biver, who is also CEO of TAG Heuer.

The bold new take on the Monaco features a solid carbon case, a black dial and aqua blue chronograph counters. The most iconic timepiece in the TAG Heuer collection has been completely reinvented in the signature ultra-modern, futuristic Bamford style. This version does, however, still feature the hallmark square 39-mm case and crown positioned on the left. Bamford's signature style is most noted in the chronograph counters with their aqua blue Super Luminova® marks on the indices and the date window. The chronograph is powered by a Calibre 11 automatic movement. Accompanied by a black alligator leather strap, it will retail for £7,500 (approx R125,000).

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