A new kind of dial

When the floor of the Ford car factory in Michigan becomes part of a watch.




Intrigued? So were we. These technicolor dials immediately caught our attention with their swirling designs that could be mistaken for a psychedelic precious stone. They are the result of a collaboration between the custom watchmakers at the Bamford Watch Department and contemporary jewelry and watch designer, Black Badger. Together they have customized a series of 10 TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 5 timepieces with unique dials made out of Fordite.


Fordite, or Detroit agate as it is also often called, is the name of old paint that builds up in the industrial paint bays of car factories over the years. In modern-day car factories, car parts are mounted on jigs and moved through various stages of the painting process, from primer to colored paint, topcoat etc. before going into the hardening ovens.


Where the cars pass through the process once, the rigs go through this process hundreds, if not thousands, of times before the remaining spray paint becomes cumbersome and removed. These chunks of layers and layers of different colored paint are hard like stone and when cut and polished reveal the most extraordinary patterns and colors that rival any geological creation.



“What I really find fascinating about working with the Fordite material is that it is very close to actually being able to create 4D art. As well as the normal 3D aspects, you are actually incorporating time as an additional element. You are quite literally moving through layers of time, of human endeavor. Each layer you uncover represents someone painting a car, and then that car went out somewhere into the world. It’s a very fun concept to have kicking around in the back of your head,” shares James Thompson a.k.a. Black Badger who has been working with Fordite to decorate the inside of his rings. You can check them out on his website – www.blackbadger.se


George Bamford, Bamford Watch Department founder says, “Thank you to Instagram for helping me to discover the wonderful world of @blackbadger. A fantastic guy, I am so happy and proud we are working together on our first project, of hopefully many. I love how each watch is a unique piece that can never be replicated. The decisive moment of these dials is truly unique and captures what inspired me to create Bamford Watch Department.”


These 10 unique pieces are made of Fordite from the 1970 – 1990 era and show the magic that occurs when you slice through paint and time. Add to this the creativity of the Bamford Watch Department and the Black Badger and the result is a stunning collection of timepieces with a real story to tell.


The watches are powered by an automatic movement and are available for sale on the Bamford Watch Department website www.bamfordwatchdepartment.com for £5,500.



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