Community is the place where people and passion connect. Spirited conversations sparked by shared excitement lead to new friendships, cherished memories, and shared visions – from shared visions comes collaboration. This is precisely what happened when RedBar Group’s CEO Kathleen McGivney and George Bamford, founder of Bamford Watch Department, sat down and chatted about the possibilities that could come from cooperation. Thus, the RedBar x Bamford B347 Limited Edition was born.
The Low Down
The B347 has become a cornerstone of Bamford London’s offerings since its release in 2021. A 41.5mm monopusher chronograph, offered in both forged carbon and titanium cases, the B347 has a certain retro aesthetic despite not being an exact reference to or approximation of any one vintage timepiece in particular. With short, restrained lugs, just barely protruding from the cushion-esque case, it’s a watch that fits comfortably on a wide variety of wrists, even if it doesn’t squarely fit into any one narrow category of design. Significantly more wearable than the automotive icons of the 1970s, but still faintly motorsport-inspired; sporty, yet not diluted with weekend warrior delusions of grandeur, it’s just a cool watch design pure and simple.
Perhaps it is because the B347 sits at the intersection of modern and retro that it lends itself so well to adaptation. As such, the RedBar x Bamford B347 feels entirely distinct from its brethren. The forged carbon case, Sellita SW510 automatic movement, and monopusher functionality all remain, but that is where the similarities end. In a combination that could not be more well suited to one another, the watch features RedBar Group’s trademark red, black, and white colors. The color scheme is applied throughout the minimalist precision dial with restraint, a simple amalgamation of “Bamford” and RedBar’s handset logo positioned at 9 o clock.
Easily the most prominent feature of the dial is the single 30-minute subregister positioned at 3 o’clock, a lone white triangular emblem floating against a textured black void. The subregister, a 30-minute counter, is the first of its kind – a mystery subdial, the result of Kathleen McGivney’s vision and George Bamford’s ‘hell yes’ attitude and approach to design. For those who enjoy the mystery part of a mystery dial, maybe skip ahead a few sentences, for a magic trick is never the same once its explained.
Mystery dials, traditionally, are used in timepieces of a more unconventional and avant-garde nature. Conspicuously absent are traditional means of telling time, like hands, with some sort of indicator seemingly floating on its own. The indicators are usually applied to a clear disk which rotates around as a handset normally would. It’s a charming and mesmerizing thing to see. In case of the RedBar x Bamford B347, the mystery disc is only within the subregister. The white ring surrounding the subregister, numerals along the 60 second outer track, precision cross, and handset are all heavily lumed for added utility and visual flare.
Limited to just 100 pieces, the B347 is RedBar’s fourth collaboration watch, having grown naturally from a conversation between two friends and a passion for creating something unique. The watch is brilliant, but it really is only part of the story – the rest is the community that surrounds the watch and everything it represents about a shared love for mechanical timekeeping. It is a physical personification of that shared love. In keeping with RedBar’s charitable mission, a portion of the sales has already been donated Maggie’s, a UK-based charity providing free support for those fighting cancer.
Over the past 16 years, RedBar Group has stood as the gold standard of watch-collecting communities, having experienced an unparalleled grassroots style of growth that has led to chapters on every continent with the exception of Antarctica. It is a community that is firmly grounded in the idea that a love of watches, regardless of rarity, price, or prestige, is the only passcode necessary for one to earn a seat at the table. It is a philosophy that has resulted in countless friendships, professional connections, business ventures, and even a handful of marriages. This is the fertile soil from which the best collaborations are grown.
But to launch the watch, RedBar and Bamford London wanted to not merely celebrate the fruits of their collective labor, but rather to celebrate the watch community, and, indeed British watchmaking as a whole. As such the launch party for the RedBar x Bamford B347, hosted at Iris Studios in London, featured not just Bamford but also fellow British brands Fears, Bremont, Studio Underdog, and Anordain. Also in attendance were members from RedBar chapters all over UK. It was a true celebration of not just a single watch, distinct and thrilling as it is, but of the entire community of passion and enthusiasm which lead to its creation.
Movement: Self-winding – Monopusher Chronograph, Sellita SW510 MPc, 28,800 (4 Hz) per hour, 27 jewels, 62 hour power reserve
Function: Cam operated chronograph – single push-button at 2 o’clock, Hours, minutes and small second at 9 o’clock, 60 seconds counter in the center, 30 minutes counter at 3 o’clock, Self-winding mechanism with ball bearing, Stop second device, Water resistance 100m / 10 ATM
Case: 41.5 mm Forged Carbon Fiber