Bentley blackens the Mulsanne Speed into a 530-hp luxury watch showcase
When two pillars of personalization and luxury get together to develop a unique ultra-premium car, you can bet the results will be brilliant. The Bamford x Bentley Mulliner is just such a collaboration, bringing together the bespoke minds of Bentley's Mulliner personalization service and George Bamford of British timepiece personalization company Bamford Watch Department. The result is a dashing, tastefully blacked-out Mulsanne Speed designed to carry very precious cargo: Rolexes and Patek Philippes wearing Bamford's signature style.
How do you improve upon the wickedly opulent (and fast) saloon that serves as the flagship of one of the world's most luxurious auto brands? You personalize it to the buyer's very specific tastes, of course. And when the buyer is a renowned luxury customizer himself, we reckon you work overtime, side by side, to meet his every whim.
Mulliner has darkened and tinted the Bamford Mulsanne Speed bumper to bumper, giving it a black, stealthy appearance that still feels quite elegant – not always an easy balance to find, as many a questionable all-black tuner car proves. Bentley says the car includes more black and dark-tinted elements than any Bentley that has come before it, which is fitting for Bamford, who's known for black-on-black timepiece creations.
Mulliner's blackout treatment drenches the Mulsanne in gloss-black "Beluga" paint and turns brightware into "darkware" with a physical vapor deposition (PVD) process that Bentley explains molecularly bonds the dark finish to elements like the grille, Winged B hood ornament and vents. The blacked-out 21-in Mulliner-spec wheels follow suit.
The interior continues the black-on-black theme with "darkware" treatment covering components like the air vents, controls and bezels. The seats are trimmed in a combination of Anthracite fabric and leather.
The exterior stands as a block of black, but the interior includes a bright Kingfisher blue, also a nod to Bamford's signature watch designs, flowing through the contrast stitching and piping and into the depths of the glovebox and armrest compartment. The blue also extends to the bespoke clock face, helping make this a true watch tinkerer's car.
The real pièce de résistance of the customization is the bespoke watch case that is stored between the rear seats. Mulliner has finished Bamford's personal watch case in carbon fiber and integrated it into an adapted, first-of-its-kind version of its cocktail cabinet. This solution will hold Bamford's watches securely while he drives them to clients for presentation.
Below all that black and blue, the Mulsanne Speed maintains its virile stock build, with a 530-hp V8 shooting those bespoke watches from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 4.9 seconds and offering Bamford the ability to hurtle along at speeds up to 190 mph (305 km/h) should a buyer need his watch immediately.