Founded in 1924, the brand has had a focus on dive watches since 1969 with the launch of its robust, water-resistant Periscope. The Shell Star debuted in 1975 as a more mature, professional dive watch, establishing Delma as a go-to brand for serious divers. The current Shell Star collection adds contemporary features to the classic line, maintaining a vintage charm while upgrading the professional specs. Today, Delma is launching the Shell Star Bronze Limited Edition Divers’ Watch, following last year’s Shell Star Black Tag Limited Edition (DLC-coated steel). Let’s take a closer look at this latest diver with a solid bronze case and new dials.
Bronze has become increasingly popular for watch cases and is an excellent choice for dive watches. It’s referred to as a “living” metal, as it oxidizes over time to form a unique patina, but this alloy of copper and tin is also very resilient and has a long maritime history. The CUSN6 grade case of this new Delma Shell Star Bronze has a curved silhouette, reminiscent of the 1970s (helmet-shaped case) but with a contemporary 44mm diameter. The unidirectional, wide-toothed bezel is also bronze with Arabic numerals and markers filled with Super-LumiNova C3.
The trend for bronze dive watches isn’t dead, and this Delma is a cool, fairly priced example.
On this Delma Shell Star Bronze, the screw-down crown is protected by bronze guards and the case is water-resistant to 500 metres, well into saturation diving territory. Reinforcing this professional depth rating is a helium escape valve at 9 o’clock, allowing the watch to safely decompress during an ascent (preventing the crystal from popping off). The stainless steel caseback features a sapphire exhibition window, unusual for a piece with such a deep rating, and a sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating protects the dial.
The new sand-textured dials come in three vintage, earthy colours – blue, green or brown – with an outer two-tone railway track and large, applied indices framed in orange with Super-LumiNova C3. The (mostly) white sword-style hour and minute hands are also filled with Super-LumiNova, and the spade-style seconds hand is a contrasting orange. A framed date window sits at 3 o’clock. As required for a professional dive watch, all dial options are highly legible, day or night.
Powering the Shell Star Bronze Limited Edition is the proven ETA 2824 automatic with a customized gold rotor. It features 25 jewels, beats at 28,800vph (4Hz) with a 38-hour power reserve. Functions include central hours, minutes, hacking seconds and date. Colour matching distressed leather straps with bronze pin buckles come standard (and can be swapped for a contrasting aesthetic).
The Delma Shell Star Bronze Limited Edition is limited to 500 pieces and retails for CHF 1,490 or EUR 1,490. All watches come in a custom, natural wooden box. For more information, visit www.delma.ch.