The pros outweigh the cons when it comes to bronze watch cases, in our humble opinion

The pros outweigh the cons when it comes to bronze watch cases, in our humble opinion

Going for bronze

Text: Karishma Tulsidas

It's soft, it leaves a greenish hue on the skin, and it develops a patina over time. Why would anyone want a bronze watch case, you might ask? Because despite these cons, bronze has become the marmite of the horological world. Those who love it espouse the dull lustre of the colour, and the fact that it develops a unique patina over time, making for a one-of-a-kind watch.

As watchmakers are in this arms race to create the most durable, most lightweight, and most scratch-resistant case materials in the form of titanium, carbon fibre and more, the appeal of bronze lies in the fact that it endows the timepiece with an unmistakable air of nostalgia. The cons listed above? All easily fixed. For instance, watchmakers use a stainless steel case back so the bronze does not come in direct contact to the skin.

The patina that it develops merely gives it character, a quality so coveted by collectors that they employ surreptitious methods to speed up the oxidisation process.

Bronze is one of the oldest materials in existence, but was first used in watchmaking in the 1980s, by maverick watchmaker Gérald Genta. The use of bronze dwindled over time, and regained a new lease of life when Panerai launched its Bronzo series in 2011. Since then, bronze has found favour with watchmakers and collectors alike, and has found its way on a number of watch cases, like the Bell & Ross BR03-92 Diver Bronze shown above, released in conjunction with Cortina Watch. Below are some our favourites: