Bamford Drops B80 Collaboration with Ace Jewelers

Vintage aesthetics with a fun spirit.

London-based Bamford Watch Department’s latest is the B80 Limited Edition, a collaboration with Ace Jewelers of Amsterdam. In keeping with Bamford’s vintage-with-a-twist house style, the B80 boasts a “ghost” dial with a gradient finish and numerals inspired by historical military watches. The 39 mm titanium case has a black finished that’s been treated to appear aged.

Initial Thoughts

There is something about all-black watches that makes them cool. Part of it is the no-nonsense, military-instrument look they evoke. Black-coated watches, at least most of them, suffer from a major drawback — coatings wear off in time, resulting in a worn look that is more often than not unappealing. But here the wear has been done in advance for a fuss-free watch. According to the duo behind the B80, this is a “tool” watch conceived according to the notion “if [the watch is] too perfect, fix it”.

Bamford, a company that got its start by modifying Rolex watches, often with vintage inspired styling and black-coated cases, is perhaps poking fun at its roots with the worn-out PVD finish of the B80. Even the dial features a “smoked” patina along with hands and indices with aged lume, thereby creating a “vintage” watch.

But as with most Bamford watches – the brand now mostly makes original watches under its own name – the B80 is affordable and imbued with a spirit of fun. The back, for instance, is engraved with “You’re Ace”, and the watch is delivered with a small container of miniature tools, including a hammer, plier, and a saw, a reference to “tool” watch.

Like all contemporary Bamford watches, the B80 is priced reasonably at £1,250, offering an opportunity to have fun with a mechanical watch without breaking the bank. While it’s decent value proposition, though not as well priced as some micro brands. Most of its rivals, however, lack the brand of Bamford and its unique approach to watches.

Built as a tool watch

The B80 was conceived as a workhorse tool watch inspired by the military-issue “field” watches of the 1960s and 1970s, particularly those used by US Army infantry. Its dimensions are a compact 39 mm by 10.5 mm in keeping with the inspiration.

It utilises the no-frills Sellita SW300-1, a clone of the ETA 2824 that’s been upgraded. The self-winding calibre beats at 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz) and offers 56 hours of power reserve.

The “ghost” dial is finished in a gradient mustard hue that darkens to black on the edges to match the case, matched with faux aged hands and markings.

Although the B80 is a new watch, the case has a factory-original patina. This is achieved by coating the case and then partially wearing off the black coating, revealing the case material underneath the coating.

Key facts and price

Bamford x Ace Jewelers Limited Edition B80 ‘Ace’

Diameter: 39 mm
Height: 10.5 mm
Material: PVD coated titanium
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: Sellita SW300-1
Functions: Hours, minutes, and seconds
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 56 hours

Strap: Cordura strap with pin buckle

Limited edition: 50 pieces
Direct from Bamford starting April 2, 2024 at 2:00 pm GMT
Price: £1,250

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