5 minutes with…

George Bamford, founder of Bamford Grooming Department and Bamford London watches

15 May, 2019

George Bamford created Bamford Watch Department in 2004, with a focus on servicing and customising luxury timepieces. More recently he also launched Bamford Grooming Department, with a boutique at The Royal Exchange offering a selection of gentlemen’s skincare products and beautifully crafted accessories, alongside watches from the Bamford London Mayfair, Mayfair Date and GMT collections, and a selection of unique, customised editions of timepieces by the world’s most esteemed watch manufacturers.

How did you get started in this business?
I started Bamford Watch Department 14 years ago and it was all about the personalisation of luxury timepieces to create something unique for a client. I built the Bamford London Mayfair watch as a service watch for clients to wear while their usual watch was with us, but clients started phoning us up and asking if they could buy one, so we produced about 100 of them and they disappeared within a couple of months.

What do you think it was that people liked so much about them?
I think it was the asymmetrical case and the very simple colourways. And it said ‘Property of Bamford Watch Department’ on the actual watch. I think people just loved the idea of the watch. Anyway, we ran out and we had a lot of clients asking for them, so we went through six to eight months of development and upgrades to create the Mayfair watches as they are today. We have 49 colour options, with three different case options – black, dark grey or steel – along with approximately 125 strap options, so there’s a lot of scope for making it yours.

How would you describe your approach to design?
I always strive to create something that is individual to the client, because that’s what I want for myself. The basis for any of our designs is: do I want it and are there people who may want it too? If so, there may be something here.

What inspired you to create Bamford Grooming Department?
The idea came when I was looking around the bathroom I share with my wife and noticed that all the products were predominantly targeted at women. I wanted to create something for men, using the highest quality ingredients. Of course, all the products are slightly unisex, and we have many female customers, but the vision was to create something that I would want to buy and use myself.

What products are available from the Bamford Grooming Department boutique at The Royal Exchange?We have quite a wide variety of products. As well as the watches and skincare products, we have watch tool kits, desk accessories, playing cards, luxury manicure sets and scented candles. The focus is on having everything created with the best possible materials, and in the best factories, to create beautiful individual gifts you wouldn’t find anywhere else.

Why did you choose to open a boutique at The Royal Exchange?
I really wanted to find something different and The Royal Exchange is an amazing building. I loved the idea of this small space that was once an old cigar shop – it’s a little gem that you might not immediately imagine as a store.

Visit the Bamford Grooming Department on Threadneedle Street to learn more about Bamford timepieces and personalisation services, and to discover a selection of high-end skincare products, travel items and luxury accessories