London’s Bamford Watch Department is a profound name in the world of horological customizations and specializes in giving luxury timepieces a unique and personalized appeal. Recently the folks at Bamford collaborated with Black Badger to create the new Zenith El Primero Superconductor. This new watch features a visually striking case that has been constructed using a mix of superconductors.
Superconductors as the name suggests are materials that have a strong conductivity allowing them to transmit a massive amount of electrical energy. MRI machines, nuclear reactors, etc. all make use of superconductors. However, today we are not here to understand the technicalities of superconductors from but will rather look at what they bring forth aesthetically. The case on the Zenith El primero has been crafted using a combination of copper and niobium. Filaments of niobium metal are housed within copper and extruded to the desired length. The material has been machined down into the mid-case of the watch and it has been lightly acid etched to make the honeycomb stand out more. The honeycomb structure takes on a wood grain effect when the material is cut across the grain at an angle and gives the watch a distinctive visual appeal. As far as the dimensions are concerned, the case measures 42mm in diameter and has a thickness of around 12.75mm which is a great feat considering most modern chronographs are overly thick. The case is water-resistant to 100 meters and features a sapphire crystal on both the front as well as the back.
To complement the copper and niobium blend, the dial has been presented in black with golden accents in good measure. The hour markers, the sunken rings surrounding the sub-registers, the tachymeter scale, the minute track, and even the date window have all been rendered in gold to offer a high contrast against the black background. The hands, on the contrary, have been presented in polished steel. The hour and minute hands have been painted with luminous material to ensure good low light visibility. In all this does look familiar but manages to stand out.
Powering the watch is the highly popular El Primero 400B caliber. This is an automatic column-wheel based chronograph movement that operates at a frequency of 36000 VPH that results in a super-smooth sweep of the chronograph/seconds hand. The movement comprises 326 components and offers a power reserve of around 50 hours when fully wound. It has been nicely decorated and can be view through the exhibition case back.
The new Bamford Watch Department and Black Badger Zenith El Primero Superconductor to a black suede leather strap with contrast gold stitching. The retail price has been set at GBP 14,500.