Smart people have been hard at work coming up with ideas for new watch designs for well over 100 years. But for anyone who has strong opinions on watch design (or who simply enjoys the distinction of owning something one-of-a-kind) custom is the way to go. In the past, your customization options might have been limited to a strap or an engraved case back, but these days a custom timepiece is just a few clicks away. Here are the top brands with customization on offer.
The Seiko5 Sports is one of the best watches out there for under $500 and is already available in a good variety of dial, case and bracelet styles. A new feature on Seiko’s website, however, now lets you remix the watch to your own specs, playing with cases, hands, dials, straps and bezel inserts to create your perfect Seiko5 Sports. Sadly, you can’t actually order the piece you make (yet?), but the creation that gets the most votes online will be added to the Seiko lineup.
Bamford Watch Department
This London-based brand got its start offering uniquely customized versions of popular watches, before becoming the official customizer for TAG Heuer, BVLGARI and Zenith. Now you can customize your own Autavia Chrono, Monaco or Carrera (among others) in a truly impressive array of colours and case treatments or pick one of founder George Bamford’s own designs.
The newly-launched “Infinitely Personal” concept offers customers an exhaustive breadth of personalization on two of Piaget’s watches – the Altiplano Ultimate Concept (the world’s thinnest mechanical watch) and the Altiplano Tourbillon. A configurator available at Piaget boutiques allows for 195,000 permutations of the Altiplano Ultimate Concept and a dazzling 4,000,000 different versions of the Altiplano Tourbillon. In addition to choosing your own dial and strap combination, this also includes incredibly minute details such as the colour of the bridge, screws, hands and the movement’s main plate. Even the ring around the tourbillon cage can be customized with an engraved secret message.
Similar to the way Nike By You lets you create the candy-coloured Air Force 1’s of your dreams (or just some white ones with your initials on them), Timex’s customizer lets you riff on their most popular designs. Start with a Waterbury, Weekender or Scout, and mix and match your own case, dial, strap and even the colour of the Indiglo night light. It also has the option to engrave a message on the back.