Article By: Logan Hannen

What is up, watchfam?! Today, we’re going to briefly go over the ins and outs of timepiece customization.

There are a metric ton of strong opinions on this subject, so we’re not going to pick all of them apart, but just know that some people love the idea, some people think it’s an abomination, and others, like myself, think “What the hell? It’s your watch, do what you want.” Still, it is one of the more controversial aspects of luxury ownership, and I do specify “luxury” because that’s where a ton of this kind of thing happens that causes a heated debate. You will also see it in the entry-level, most typically with Seikos where the idea of “modding” isn’t just a weird outlier, but an entire community of people. That, however, is another article entirely.

So looking at wristwatch customization in the luxury sector, there is one company that springs to mind above all others: Bamford. If you’re interested, have a listen to Christian’s opinion on Bamford. The folks at Bamford specialize in taking your luxury watch and creating a design from it that matches your vision perfectly. Whether you want a PVD coated Explorer II, or a Heuer Monaco with a bright red dial and green subdials/accents (which I totally built but can’t seem to link here – oh well), the options are essentially endless and y’know what? It’s a ton of fun to play around with their site, too.

Bamford Heuer Watch Customizer
Source: Bamford Watch Department

But it doesn’t end with customizing an existing watch – oh no, there are now companies that allow you to literally built your own basically from scratch, making a true piece unique for significantly less than most proper brands would charge for that sort of thing. Take the ever-growing, ever-popular Undone Watches, a company whose two model lines (the Aqua, a 45mm dive watch, and the Urban, a line of 40mm vintage-inspired chronos) are endlessly customizable, and offer a way to really go crazy with the design that most other brands don’t even consider. Another option here is Revolo, a brand with a similar philosophy as Undone but with, in my eyes, a bit more room to play around with the design.

Undone Watches Urban Customizer
Source: Undone Watches

The world of timepiece customization goes even deeper than that, but just thinking about that rabbit hole is giving me a headache, so we’ll stick to what we know already. The question that comes up most with respect to customization is this – what does it do to resale value? With respect to a company like Revolo or Undone, it obliterates the very idea. You’ve created a watch that is specific to your tastes and likes, and while someone else might share in those tastes, it’s also just as easy for them to create their “perfect” watch on their own, so there is almost no guarantee of resale. When it comes to Bamford and companies like them, however, things get kind of tricky. On this front, Bob’s Watches has you covered with a bit more detail but, generally, the value of the watch in its original form is worth far more than the added monetary value of the materials used to customize it. So basically…don’t try to resell it unless you already have a buyer in mind, and if you do, be aware that it’s probably not going to do the price much good.

That’s it for today, geeks. For more of Christian’s thoughts specifically on Bamford, check out the YouTube video I sneakily linked in the middle of this sentence. It may have been sneaky, but at least I remember to keep it classy, watchfam.