A bronze watch could be the most meaningful addition to your collection
In the watch world, a few materials dominate the scene. Steel, titanium, white and yellow gold are all the most commonly used materials, while things like bronze and wood are considered more novelty. Here’s why a bronze timepiece in particular could be the most meaningful piece in your watch collection.
We won’t get too bogged down in chemistry here, but it’s worth talking a bit about bronze as a material. Bronze is an alloy, meaning it is composed of a host of different materials. Unlike steel, also an alloy, bronze doesn’t necessarily have an industry-standard composition in the watch world.
What this means is the term ‘bronze watch’ can refer to a large variety of different looks and feels. Some bronzes look more like rose gold, some are shiny, some are duller, and some are darker than others.
Panerai Submersible Bronzo
If you have rows of steel watches in your collection, chances are all those cases look pretty much the same, if you start building up a taste for bronze cases however, you’ll notice all the different kinds of bronze you have got your hands on.
Oris Big Crown Pointer Date 80th Anniversary Edition
Another interesting quirk of owning a bronze watch is the patina. A patina is the oxidation that occurs to your watch, like how you see copper go green over time, a bronze watch will do the same, developing green, blue or even purple hues.
This however isn’t something the watch companies can control, which is interesting considering so many brands slave over making materials look a certain way. The patina that occurs on a bronze watch will always be unique to the wearer, over time creating a truly one of a kind watch.
It goes so far that even the pH levels of your skin will be deciding factors in how your watch will end up. In theory, any watch retailer in the know will not actually let customers try on a bronze watch or touch it as your skin can dictate how the watch will end up maturing.
The patina is actually something some watch retailers will scrub off for you if you want them to, so make sure to specify otherwise when you take your bronze piece in for a service!
A patina is something you can actually ‘force’ on your watch too, forced patinas normally have the goal of going for a more extreme aged/vintage look. This is where the owner will purposefully expose the material to what it needs to oxidise rapidly. In many ways, it allows a level of customisation you wouldn’t dare do to a gold, titanium or steel watch.
An Oris Carl Brashear with a forced patina
Another thing to knwo about bronze, it can take the resemblance of rose gold but it is far cheaper than precious metals. Bronze watches often serve as quite an economic alternative to steel if you’re not in the mood or position to fork out extra for some kind of gold.
Picture it this way, if your parent owned a bronze watch all their life and it gradually changed over time, once this watch is passed to you, you have both an entirely one-of-a-kind watch and one that holds a connection to the previous wearer.