Bronze, one of the first alloys concocted by man, has been used to centuries. This durable metal is known for a wide range of uses including for crafting watches that stand out with their vintage appeal and golden-brown hue. However, all that glitters is not gold! Strong and tough, it is often used to craft tool watches. However, you need to be aware that bronze oxidizes… but only on its outer layer that protects the metal from further corrosion. As such, it slowly develops a patina that makes each watch unique. Pretty cool but you need to be ready for this! Here are some of the best bronze watches presented over the past few months.
Rado Captain Cook Bronze
At Baselworld 2017, Rado brought back the ‘Captain Cook’, a cool dive watch based on a model from the early 1960s. The brand has now enlarged the collection with different sizes and materials including three bronze versions presented in three different colour iterations. For the 42mm case, Rado opted for a CuAl, (copper and aluminium) alloy. Given its resistance to corrosion, it will only develop a light surface patina. The rotating bezel is fitted with a ceramic insert (hey, this is a Rado after all!). With its screw-down titanium caseback and crown, the watch is water-resistant to 300m. The automatic movement inside is based on the tried-and-tested ETA C07 with its healthy 80-hour power reserve.
Quick Facts: 42mm diameter x 12.55mm height – bronze – 300m water-resistant – domed and sunray brushed dial in green, grey/brown or blue– ETA C07 calibre, automatic – vintage leather strap matching the colour of the dial – CHF 2,600
Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer Bronze
Presented last year, the ‘Venturer’ is the all-terrain iteration of the Maurice Lacroix Aikon. The model has just been released in a bronze edition fitted with a military green dial. Water-resistance is rated to 300m and this 43mm watch is fitted with a unidirectional bezel with a ceramic insert. Its automatic ML115 calibre is based on the ubiquitous and reliable Sellita SW-200. The Aikon Venturer Bronze comes with two straps: green rubber and brown calfskin. An easy change system allows you to swap these in seconds with no tool needed.
Quick Facts: 43mm diameter x 12mm height – bronze case – 300m water-resistant – green sunray-brushed dial – calibre ML 115, based on Sellita SW 200-1, automatic – green rubber strap and brown leather strap – CHF 2,490
Oris Holstein Edition 2020 Bronze
Designed to pay tribute to Holstein, the village where Oris was founded in 1904, this limited edition watch was one of the cool releases of the past week. If Oris has crafted numerous bronze watches in the past, this one stands out for featuring a solid bronze bracelet! And that’s pretty cool. This 43mm chronograph with vintage flair is powered by the Oris cal. 771, based on Sellita SW 510. It is released in a limited edition of 250 pieces. Last, the steel caseback is engraved with a smiling Oris Teddy bear.
Quick Facts: 43mm diameter x 16.93mm height – bronze case and bracelet – 100m water-resistant – gold-coloured bi-compax dial – Oris calibre 771, based on Sellita SW 510, automatic – CHF 4,800 – limited edition of 250 pieces
Bell & Ross BR V2-94 Aeronavale Bronze
This nautical-inspired limited edition watch is presented in a 41mm case made of CuAI7Si2 bronze. This alloy composed of 91% copper, 7% aluminium and 2% silicon has a distinctive yellow-gold colour. Although stabilized, the material changes over time and will gain a reasonable amount of patina. The anodized aluminium insert matches the colour of the dial. The screw-down crown and pushers ensure a 100m water-resistance. The blue canvas strap is NATO stretch.
Quick Facts: 41mm diameter– bronze case – 100m water-resistant – blue sunray bi-compax dial – BR-CAL.301 calibre, based on ETA 2894-2, automatic chronograph – blue elastic canvas strap – EUR 4,900 – limited to 999 pieces
Baltic Aquascaphe Bronze
The Aquascaphe, Baltic’s retro-looking dive watch has been released in a cool bronze version, including a bronze unidirectional rotating bezel. This confers an interesting rough, tool-watch look to the 39mm case. Thanks to the screw-down crown and steel caseback, the water-resistance is rated 200m. The watch is powered by a Japanese movement, the automatic Miyota 9039 and worn on a blue rubber ‘tropic’ strap.
Quick Facts: 39mm x 12mm diameter– bronze case – 200m water-resistant – blue sunray brushed dial – Miyota 9039, automatic chronograph – blue rubber tropic strap on pin buckle – EUR 750