If you’re the type of person who sees watches as companions, you’ll definitely develop a relationship with a bronze watch. Much like the ritual of winding your watch to achieve a fully wound mainspring to ensure healthy amplitude, the act of cleaning off the natural patina, or simply watching the bronze age, will create more unique connections and memories with you and the watch. The look is polarizing, and if you would like to return it close to its original, beautiful, gold-like shimmer, you’ll need a counter-top chemistry lab utilizing lemon juice and baking soda. This may even make passing down these bronze timepieces all the more meaningful. 

Zelos Hammerhead Bronze

Image: Zelos
Case Size44mm x 13.5mm x 48mm
MovementSeiko NH35
Power Reserve41 Hours
Accuracy-20 / +40 Seconds per day
Price$449 – $549

Zelos has been a big player in the microbrand segment for a while now, with several popular models in stainless steel. They have made a name for delivering more than expected at their price point. Their watches are constantly selling out and the Hammerhead in Bronze is no different. It was $449 for most of the bronze models and $549 for the Meteorite dial, which sounds like an absolute steal. Two different types of lume aid in the supreme legibility of the Hammerhead and an aggressive angular case with a protruding crown makes it look “tough” like an apex predator. The stock rubber strap with huge “windows” cut into it will vent the wrist on a hot day, or ensure that no water gets trapped under the band when you are swimming or diving. If you hunt for the Hammerhead and find one, catch it.

Baltic Aquascaphe Bronze

Image: Baltic Watches
Case Size39mm x 13mm x 47mm
MovementMiyota 9039
Power Reserve42 Hours
Accuracy-10/+30 seconds per day

A watch that looks like it should be paired with an old-school diving helmet, the Aquascaphe bronze collection by Baltic is pleasantly retro but with impressive, modern specifications and dimensions. The Miyota 9000 series movement allows the case to be just 11mm thick when you don’t include the double-domed sapphire crystal. The C1 SuperLumiNova glows like a torch. The Arabic numerals at 3, 6, 9, and 12, harken back to some of the first dive watches ever produced, and the font styling is period-specific too. The elapsed, dive-time bezel is engraved with markers which will certainly patina with character as will the entire watch. This watch is suitable for all wrists because of its thinness and case diameter. If you are a bracelet fan, there are currently no options for this watch, but the supplied tropic strap enhances the watches look overall. In our eyes, the blue dial pairs best with the bronze.

Hamilton Field Mechanical Bronze (H69459530)

Image: Hamilton Watches
Case Size38mm x 9.6mm x 46mm
MovementHamilton H-50
Power Reserve80 Hours
Accuracy+/- 12 to 30 seconds per day

The Khaki Field Mechanical has been ordained into affordable watch royalty over the years, and deservedly so. It has solid specifications, is well sized, and is a simplistic black dial design that attracts most – so, why not make it in other case materials? Hamilton thought the same. The bronze used in this field watch appears pre-aged and/or burnished with DLC abrasions much like the TAG Heuer Autavia Bronze on this list (but for much less cash). To add more coolness, fans of Marvel’s Ant-Man may have spotted this watch featured in the recent film. Oh, and there’s that 80 hour power reserve. This watch is great for someone wanting to explore a new case material but they do not want to break the bank doing so. Enthusiasts with larger wrists may want to stay away due to the 38mm in diameter case.

Archimede Pilot 39 Bronze

Image: Archimede Watches
Case Size39mm x 9.8mm x 45mm
MovementETA 2824
Power Reserve38 Hours
Accuracy+/- 12 seconds per day

The Pilot 39 Bronze by Archimede won’t win any awards on originality, but neither will a host of other brands that are inspired by WWII era watches. This watch is a Type A flieger which has been done over and over, but the addition of bronze sets this watch apart from the crowd. The color-matched hardware on the strap and buckle is very respectable and should be expected at this pricepoint; however, the fired-blue hands are not always a given and are a nice touch together with the indices and matte dial. The use of a Powermatic 80 automatic movement keeps this watch extremely thin at 9.8mm, which means this watch will easily slide under the tightest dress cuffs. Let’s be honest: virtually all active pilots won’t be wearing the Pilot 39 as a pilot’s watch, but if you’d like a watch that can be dressed up or down, and can be your dress watch with a twist—consider Archimede.

YEMA Superman Heritage GMT Bronze

Image: Yema Watches
Case Size39mm x 14.5mm x 48mm
MovementYEMA 3000
Power Reserve42 Hours
Accuracy+/- 25 seconds per day

The Superman Heritage GMT Bronze gives you an opportunity to own a revived, French brand with designs loyal to their 1960s releases. Their bezel locking system, that secures the diving bezel in place when you screw in the crown, ensures time can neither be added nor taken away from a dive you are tracking. In the case of this GMT though, it may serve less of a purpose, but it is Yema’s DNA at this point. The satin finishing on the case is fairly rough and the brushing leaves deep grooves that may patina interestingly over time, but I do question whether any of it was intentional. Yema does need to be given kudos for making a GMT that is 12mm in thickness when not accounting for the crystal. So, if you want a retro-looking GMT in bronze that’s easy to read, look no further than the Superman GMT. 

Oris Big Crown Pointer Date Bronze

Case Size40mm x 11.2mm x 48mm
MovementSellita SW200-1
Power Reserve38 Hours
Accuracy+/- 20 Seconds per day

Pointer date watches do away with any ill-placed date windows and offer a more “high-horology-looking” complication. The 4th hand with the red triangle will work its way around the date ring, pointing to each of the 31 days and provides an interesting visual and talking-point to those new to watches. At 40mm in diameter and just 11.7mm thin, this watch has modern size specifications but still keeps it old school in its styling. The coin-edge bezel, cathedral hour hand, and exposed crown nod to the past, but Oris is more relevant than ever. With vibes similar to the Carl Brashear Chronograph Limited Edition, these models show just how good Oris has gotten at bronze watches. The full bronze bracelet tapers very nicely into a thin clasp with double, deployant pushers and will be very interesting when aging into a darkened (and sometimes greenish) tone.

Rado Captain Cook Bronze (R32504306, R32504407, R32504315)

Image: Rado
Case Size42mm x 12.5mm x 49.5mm
MovementPowermatic 80
Power Reserve80 Hours
Accuracy+/- 12 to 30 seconds per day

Rado’s Captain Cook is more than meets the eye and has plenty of charm. It is a very handsome diver that can be dressed up on a brown leather strap, and the Bronze (before patina) even trends towards yellow gold. Their anchor logo, featured on most of their watches, is able to spin freely in a red, cut-out circle. Its oversized broad-arrow hour hand is both cartoon-y and supremely legible. One more charming feature is the date window which features red numbers printed on a white disc. This date disc contrasts very well against the sunburst dials (the green dial with the splashes of red has me thinking of Christmas). Rado seems a little lost in its pricing since for a little more you can basically get a Rolex product in Tudor, but someone will purchase a Captain Cook because it neither imitates nor is imitated. It is a quirky dive watch with serious specs.

Longines Legend Diver Bronze (L3.774.1.50.2)

Image: Longines
Case Size42mm x 12.7mm x 52mm
MovementETA 2892-A2
Power Reserve42 Hours
Accuracy+/- 20 seconds per day

A vintage re-issue of their 1960s compressor style diver, the Longines Legend diver certainly has become stuff of legend. It is not a genuine supercompressor that will increase water resistance when you gain more depth and pressure, but that can be forgiven because it is super versatile. One crown will hack the seconds and change the time and the other will rotate the inner bezel underneath the crystal. This all allows for a dive watch without a 120 click rotating bezel on the outside of the crystal. The look this watch achieves  is sleeker, dressier, and more handsome than traditional dive watches. Take all this and add a bronze case and a titanium caseback and you have an interesting pairing of materials that will keep this watch intriguing for a long while.

Bremont Broadsword Bronze

Image: Bremont
Case Size40mm x 12.4mm x 47mm
MovementETA 2824
Power Reserve38 Hours
Accuracy-4/+6 certified by COSC

Bremont achieves a modern take on the ‘Dirty Dozen’ watch design with their Broadsword line of watches, which are now in bronze. Their bronze has a higher tin content which will add to its strength and resistance to corrosion. The Broadsword was made first in steel, and changing its case material seemed to be a no-brainer because Bremont is the only watch producer allowed to use symbols of the Royal Navy, British army, and Royal Air Force. If you didn’t know – Naval Engineering utilizes bronze due to its high corrosion resistance to salt water. The teal dial with the date disc in black is a very attractive combination, and I think anyone looking for an elevated, military-inspired watch should look towards the Broadsword.

TAG Heuer Autavia Bronze (WBE5190.FC8268, WBE5191.FC8276)

Image: TAG Heuer
Case Size42mm x 13.5mm x 50mm
MovementETA 2842
Power Reserve38 Hours
Accuracy-4/+6 certified by COSC

Whether you consider TAG Heuer a luxury company, a heritage-brand, an outlet mall mainstay, or all of the above, one thing is positive – the value of this Autavia Bronze. For TAG Heuer, the secondary market is your best friend compared to the retail price. Being able to get a TAG on your wrist that is tuned to a chronometer in an interesting metal with a titanium caseback is a huge value proposition. The bronze bezel is bi-direction and capped with a gloss ceramic insert, so, between that and the sapphire crystal, the face of this watch will be hard to scratch. Also, the bronze is made to look distressed already with deposits of PVD creating faux-abrasions, so that very first scratch under the lugs might not hurt as much as it would on a high-polish steel case.

Tudor Black Bay Bronze (M79250Ba-0001)

Image: Tudor
Case Size43mm x 14.5mm x 52.5
MovementTudor MT5601
Power Reserve70 Hours
Accuracy-4/+6 certified by COSC

Tudor’s black bay line is a nod to Rolex’s first diver watch. There may be no better way to celebrate 50s dive watches than with different case materials and Tudor does that here. We have seen the Black Bay in steel and gold, but now, the Black Bay bronze gets some shine and is equipped with Tudor’s in-house Manufacture Calibre MT5601. At 43mm in diameter, this Black Bay is bold in looks and size and rivals some larger dive watches from Blancpain, Panerai, and Rolex. The slate grey dial against the rich bronze case is a combo that is really pleasing and you won’t find anything like it at Rolex. There may be a waitlist for a no-date Submariner, but  there is no waitlist for this, more interesting, Swiss dive watch.

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