Steve McQueen's 'Le Mans' Watch is Transformed Into A Blacked-Out Carbon Timepiece
Forget the most expensive or the newest new. Right now, the hottest thing is custom—custom suits, custom shirts, custom shoes, custom puppies, custom everything—because a made-for-you object will always set you apart from a herd that is content with the vanilla version of a suit, shirt, or puppy.
But would you do it with a watch? Do you dare take apart a luxury timepiece and replace its original band, case, or other bits with something else?
In the world of watches, where the design is sacrosanct, Tag Heuer makes the boldest move by turning over its most iconic model, the Monaco, into the hands of someone else, the Bamford Watch Deparment.
Bamford is the luxury watch personalization outfit where men can have their beloved timepieces re-fashioned into whatever they want. Run by George Bamford, a 37-year-old watch enthusiast, who grew up tinkering with watches and is notably a great fan of the Monaco, the London-based company can fine tune watch whims, from the color of the dial down to the tint of the minute marks.
The result of the collaboration is the Tag Heuer Monaco Bamford. Part of the new carbon collection, the square-shaped watch that was famously worn by Steve McQueen in Le Mans now sports a solid carbon case and a blacked-out dial, which just sets off the luminiscent baby blue chronometers beautifully.
The model is the first in a series by Tag Heuer and Bamford and, as custom pieces go, has a limited run of only 500 pieces.
If you want a similar dark feel, you can also turn your attention to the Aquaracer Carbon Edition, which is highlighted by a special treatment. An injection of fiber into high-temperature pressed resin results in the black-gray mottled carbon finish on its face. Completing the dark mood, the case is titanium and the band is black nylon.
There are three versions of the Aquaracer Carbon: yellow, blue, and rose gold, colors that appear as accents on the dial and in the topstitch of the bands. In Manila, the rose gold version of the dive watch is available, and that may be the most solid choice because it is the most elegant.