Bronze Watch Guide Pt. 1 — Courses in Alloys and Aging

Bronze watches are more widespread now than they have ever been, to some point which I would argue that there’s more bronze than platinum available in the watch market today day. The allure is simple. To some, it’s nothing more than a colorful alternative to steel, titanium, or DLC. To others, it’s the notion of a watch that’s constantly evolving, whose character is designed to alter over time. Beyond that, there is the’sciencing appeal’ (no, sciencing isn’t a word, but you get where I am going with it). Possessing the capability the ability to force patination of the metal through different means is what draws some to collect bronze watches, myself included. Through this process, this experimentation, this’oops I went too far today how can I bring it back’ adventure I’ve been on, I’ve heard a great deal about the variations of the metal –how they react, and their unique quirks.


With this experience in mind, the ideas behind this series is really about sharing the life lessons which come from an ever-changing bronze watch set. If you are considering adding a bronze watch or three to the group, there are plenty of things to think about, so with every instalment of this series we will be covering different bases, covering everything from general information, to lessons in cleaning, forced patina, as well as the risks involved in any type of watch tampering. For today, let’s kick things off with’the fundamentals’.


Even by just taking a quick look at the various bronze watches available now, you will quickly understand that bronze is by no means as consistent as steel or gold. Oppositely, bronze offerings from Oris, Zelos, Meistersinger, and many others are more hot and rosy.


The differences, as you would expect, return to chemistry and composition. Bronze is a metal, primarily composed of aluminum, however what fills the rest of the alloy may vary substantially while falling under the umbrella nomenclature of bronze. Bronze can be known as so long as it is composed primarily of Copper and has at least a small portion of tin (and other compounds ), however since metallurgy has evolved, what makes up the balance of the composition has diverse. Based on available information, typically two primary variations of bronze are utilized in watchmaking.


It remains a bit of a frustration that lots of brands do not disclose which bronze type they’ve selected when they post spec sheets. Once you’re more comfortable with the material it is not rocket science to discover, but to people less comfortable, a small information could come in handy. This all may seem a bit simple to some of you, however before we dig in the experience of living with bronze, then we want to be certain everyone is armed with some fantastic baseline knowledge.