What We Know
Announced earlier this morning in the U.K., Bamford Watch Department's latest collaboration is a solid gold Carrera made in collaboration with the American artist Wes Lang. Made in very limited quantities; this special TAG Heuer blends the classic automotive-derived form of the Carrera with elements of Lang's own distinctive style and perspective.
Rendered in solid 18k rose gold, this Carrera is 42mm wide and 14.4mm thick, with a sapphire crystal, 100m of water resistance, and a gold dial with a pair of black sub-dials and a matching black rehaut.
Executed without a date or even a display of the running seconds, the layout of this Carrera – which shows time, active chronograph seconds, and a 12-hour chronograph measure with a 30-minute display – feels focused and very well balanced.
Befitting of a solid gold modern Carrera, this TAG Heuer is powered by the brand's own Heuer 02 caliber, which is an automatic chronograph movement with a column wheel that ticks at 4Hz and has a power reserve of 80 hours.
With a dash of red accents throughout and a display case back, the Lang element is largely formed by an automotive-theme design at six, where you might otherwise find a third sub-dial. Instead, we find a tire with wings and, above it, a flaming skull. If you're familiar with Wes Lang's work, you'll quickly see the connection, and it forms a reference to the Carrera's place in post-modern automotive iconography.
With a price tag of £19,000 ($23,683.78), this Bamford x Wes Lang collaboration is limited to just 15 pieces and will certainly be an immediate collectible among Lang and Bamford acolytes alike.
What We Think
Those of you who don't know Lang (or his work) may not understand the underlying context here because, arguably, the coolest part of this collaboration is that Wes Lang is a dyed-in-the-wool watch enthusiast. In fact, you can check out Ben's interview with Lang in Volume 6 of Hodinkee Magazine.
I met Wes at his LA studio last fall, and while I might be one of the first to roll my eyes at a solid gold and very limited Carrera collaboration, I think this example fits the vibe and feels like something you could find on his wrist.
As we sat in Wes's cavernous studio, surrounded by skulls, wings, and references to post-pop Americana, we chatted about deep-cut Grand Seikos and Wes' interest in the (then newly announced) Patek 5935A – all while Wes strolled around his space and produced watches from his collection.
I guess this is their take on a logo for Lang (or at least for his aesthetic), and it sits on the dial in a manner similar to that of the Gulf logo on a Monaco, or even the Aqua-Lung logo on some special Doxas. Beyond the design on the dial, I really dig the full idea of a solid gold Carrera.
My fav-ever Heuer the 1158CHN, which also featured a gold dial with black subdials. Match that base with the red accents and the decision to mount the watch on a black textile strap with red stitching, and you get a Carrera that feels kind of old school at its core but with casual touches that I think suit the personality of the collaboration rather well.
Brand: Tag Heuer
Case Material: 18k Rose gold
Dial Color: black/gold
Water Resistance: 100 meters
Strap/Bracelet: Black textile with red stitching
Caliber: Heuer 02
Functions: Hours, minutes, chronograph seconds, 12-hour chronograph measure
Power Reserve: 80 hours
Frequency: 28,800 vph
Pricing & Availability
Price: $23,683.78 (£19,000)
Availability: Sold via Bamford's website
Limited Edition: 15 pieces