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Highsnobiety Q&A May, 23 2013

A Conversation with George Bamford and Hiroshi Fujiwara About Their New Collaboration

The Bamford Watch Department and fragment design are proud to unveil their latest collaboration, the fragment Daytona and fragment Submariner – two effortlessly stylish pieces created by eminent designer Hiroshi Fujiwara.

Hiroshi Fujiwara is a famed streetwear designer, having created highly lauded collections in collaborations with Nike and Levi’s. The new release marks Hiroshi Fujiwara’s second partnership with the Bamford Watch Department under his fragment design label. Bamford Watch Department founder George Bamford was thrilled to get the opportunity to work with Hiroshi Fujiwara again. Regarded as the world’s leading creators and designers of PVD-coated bespoke luxury watches, Bamford will be celebrating their 10th year of business in 2013.

We had the chance to sit down with George Bamford and Hiroshi Fujiwara to talk about their collaboration and love for timepieces:

The latest collaboration between Bamford Watch Department and Hiroshi Fujiwara and fragment design includes a Rolex Daytona and a Submariner. What was the inspiration for the new design?

GB: The inspiration for both watches came from two of Hiroshi’s watches from his collection – a 369 vintage non-date Submariner and a Paul Newman Daytona. With the hints that Hiroshi has put into these watches, we have been able to reinterpret these classic designs with a modern  twist.

Hiroshi Fujiwara is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to watches, especially Rolexes. How is it different working with something that has such a deep connection to the Rolex brand and its watches than it is with somebody who customizes one of these iconic timepieces for the first time?
GB: It is always a treat and an honor for us to work with Hiroshi – he is such an artist in design. As we have a similar understanding of the nuances of the different designs, it has been an absolutely phenomenal experience and a joy to work on.

How long did it take to design the watches and what is the process between BWD and Hiroshi Fujiwara on such a project?

GB: We started a while back, maybe a couple of months ago, and Hiroshi came in to see our graphics department, and we sat down in front of the computers, personalizing, creating and tweaking the individual watches. The normal length of time it takes to create a watch from concept to finished product is normally six to eight weeks. But because we really wanted to get everything completely perfect on this, this one took a little longer.

Where will the watches be available, how many were produced, and how much do they cost?

GB: The watches are launching tomorrow (May 22) at Lane Crawford in Hong Kong, and will then be rolling out through our distributors within the next six to eight weeks. There are going to be 15 of each watch – limited editions with unique boxes and packaging that was designed with Hiroshi’s heritage in mind, and were inspired by speakers, as you can see from the images. Prices are available on application.

As with many of your design projects, you seem to enjoy keeping products as close to the original as possible while adding your very own twist to things. Would you say that is also true with this project? What is your signature design language?

HF: That is really true, I enjoy keeping things original. I always pick something I really like anyway. I love Rolex and BWD, nothing compares to this project.

It is not the first time that you work with BWD. What makes a custom Rolex great for you?

HF: A custom Rolex is great for me because it is something really personal and special.

Where does your love for Rolex come from, what makes the watches so special to you?

HF: Rolex watches are very special to me because the designs are so simple and yet so beautiful.

What is your favorite Rolex of all time?

HF: I really like the Air King. I always come back to Air King. I also like the 5513 Submariner.

What do you like about high-end watches? You seem to have been a collector for some time.

HF: I am not sure about high-end watches. I only like the watches that I like;
it does not matter whether they are high-end or low-end.

Do you already have any exciting ideas for future projects in the field of watches?

HF: Yes, with BWD. I can’t wait.

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