One of the earliest metals known to man – bronze – refers to a wide range of copper alloys, usually with tin as the main additive. Because it is strong and tough, bronze is mostly used to craft tool watches. It was used in boat fittings – prior to stainless steel – because of its resistance to saltwater corrosion. It oxidizes but only on its outer layer, and that greenish layer protects the metal from further corrosion. This is what makes bronze so special, but you have to be ready for it. The patina that slowly grows over time adds that rugged, vintage, distinctive touch and makes every watch unique and different from the rest. Here are 6 Bronze watches released in recent years that you might want to consider, if you like your watches to live and become unique.
Note: what makes bronze watches so special is that they will age and gain a patina that is unique to each wearer. This patina, basically the result of oxidation of the metal, depends on the way these watches will be used. From a slight green colour that will only make the metal darker, to a strong layer of oxide, these watches will live together with you. Yet, no worries, they can be cleaned and brought back to their original look with a simple cleaning process (the best solution remains a mixture of baking soda and lemon juice…)
Anonimo Nautilo Bronze Blue
Anonimo has been crafting bronze watches for some 20 years. Their newest Nautilo Bronze blue is equipped with a 44.4 mm case using a new alloy CUSN8 for the brand with a warm, slightly pink colour that grows a great, uniform patina over time (versus a darkening yellow for previous Anonimo bronze watches). The screw-in crown is protected by a crown shield at 4 o’clock to ease operations. Rated water resistant to 200m, it features a unidirectional bezel with a blue ceramic inlay matching the dial.
Quick facts: 44.4mm bronze case – water resistant to 200m – automatic movement (base Sellita SW200) with hours, minutes, seconds and date. Leather strap with pin buckle – CHF 2,790. For more information, visit www.anonimo.com.
Tudor Black Bay Bronze
The successful vintage-inspired Black Bay is also available in a bronze version (bronze-aluminium alloy) that rocks – and that is quite resistant to external aggression, as their in-house alloy ages quite well and doesn’t develop a too strong patina. Some differences to be noted compared to the standard steel versions: a rather large 43mm in diameter and a rather cool, vintage-inspired 3-6-9 dial. It also features a brown rotating bezel and dial. The in-house self-winding calibre MT5601 can store up to 70-h of power reserve and is certified by the COSC. As usual with the brand, a strong package.
Quick facts: 43mm bronze case – water resistant to 200m – automatic movement MT5601 (COSC) with hours, minutes, seconds and date. Aged leather strap with pin buckle (+ one additional fabric strap) – EUR 3,800. For more information, visit www.tudorwatch.com.
Reservoir Tiefenmesser Bronze
The Tiefenmesser is inspired by submarine equipment. Reservoir watches are based on an original yet functional way to tell time with an exclusive automatic movement combining jumping hours, retrograde minutes and a power reserve indication. The well-proportioned case is 43mm in diameter. The case back is opened at 240° and secured with 5 screws.
Quick facts: 43mm bronze case – water resistant to 50m – automatic movement (base ETA 2824-2) with jumping hours, retrograde minutes, power reserve indicator. Leather strap with folding buckle – EUR 4,100. For more information, visit www.reservoir-watch.com.
Zenith Type 20 Extra Special Bronze
The vintage flair of the oversized Zenith pilot watch is enhanced by a bronze case. The luminescent hands and numerals ensure optimal readability. The solid titanium case back is engraved with the Louis Bleriot plane. At the heart of the 45mm case beats the automatic calibre Elite 679, operating at 28,800 vibrations per hour over 50h of power reserve.
Quick facts: 45mm bronze case – water resistant to 100m – automatic movement calibre Elite 679 with hours, minutes and seconds. Nubuck leather strap with pin buckle – EUR 6,900. For more information, visit www.zenith-watches.com.
Panerai Submersible 1950 Bronzo PAM00671
Panerai unveiled at SIHH 2017 a new bronze limited edition of the massive and impressive 47mm Submersible 1950 3 days Automatic, the PAM00671. The bronze case features a rotating bezel and the signature bridge device protecting the winding crown. It houses the calibre P.9010, a twin-barrel automatic movement boasting three days of power reserve. This 1,000-piece limited edition retails for a hefty CHF 14,200.
Quick facts: 47mm bronze case – water resistant to 300m – automatic movement calibre P.9010 with hours, minutes, small seconds and date. Calf leather strap with pin buckle – limited edition of 1,000 pieces – CHF 14,200. For more information, visit www.panerai.com.
Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter Bronze
This bronze version of the vintage-inspired single-push piece chronograph by Montblanc is simply superb! The 44mm case is paired with a champagne colour dial surrounded by a tachymeter scale. It protects the breathtaking hand-wound column-wheel chronograph Minerva M16.29 with horizontal coupling. Limited to 100 pieces, this stopwatch is priced at CHF 27,500 – which is excellent value considering its outstanding movement (recently introduced with a new salmon-coloured dial).
Quick facts: 44mm bronze case – water resistant to 30m – manual movement calibre MB M16.29 with hours, minutes, small seconds and single push-piece chronograph. Alligator leather strap with pin buckle – CHF 27,500. For more information, visit www.montblanc.com.