We’ve always maintained that rose gold cases are best paired with a deep blue dial. The contrast, as we know, is perfect and lends an air of Italian dress style. One can easily imagine it being paired with a navy blue suit and a pair of brown tassel loafers. While that’s all fine and dandy should you be dressing up like the sartorial mafia everyday, there needs to be a casual option too.
Enter the bronze case.
Over the past few years, bronze has slowly made its way back to the forefront of watchmaking. There’s a tendency to use bronze on dive watches, inspired by diving equipment of old. And while the material has been updated with several new alloys being researched and developed, the fact of the matter is: it looks great with blue dials as well BUT can be worn in a casual, sporty manner that rose gold didn’t afford us.
Here are some examples of the bronze/blue combination.
Oris Divers Sixty-Five Carl Brashear Limited Edition
Released back in 2015, Oris’ limited edition release has probably the best back story of all the watches featured here. The watch, Oris’ first bronze, was made in remembrance of Carl Brashear, the U.S. Navy’s first African American master diver, the inspiration behind Cuba Gooding Jr and Robert de Niro’s 2000 film, Men of Honor. The watch comes in a 42mm bronze case and is powered by the Oris calibre 733, based on a Sellita movement. The caseback of the watch is engraved with a bronze diving helmet as well as Brashear’s own quote, “It’s not a sin to get knocked down, it’s a sin to stay down”. Be warned though, it’s limited to just 2,000 pieces worldwide.
Edox Delfin Fleet 1650 Limited Edition
Edox’s Delfin Fleet 1650 was announced earlier this year at Baselworld and accompanying a good-looking timepiece was an interesting story. Edox had recently partnered up with Arqueonautas, a company that researches shipwrecks and surveys archaeological grounds (read: treasure hunters) as well as Indonesia’s Bureau for the Protection of Cultural Heritage, to find the final resting place of five ships of the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, the famed Dutch East India Company. The fleet drowned in March 1650 onto a reef off the island of Kabaena in Southeast Sulawesi. The commemorative timepiece comes in at 43mm and sees “There is no certainty, there is only adventure” engraved on the stainless steel caseback. This one’s limited to just 200 so if you’re an inspiring Indiana Jones, you might wanna hop on that fast.
Tudor Black Bay Heritage Bronze Blue (for Bucherer watches)
Unless you follow the watch retail scene worldwide, it’s highly unlikely that you’ve come across this special piece done in conjunction with European watch distributors Bucherer. Singaporean watch journalist WatchesbySJX however was lucky enough to have landed a piece after its launch and covered it right here. We haven’t seen the watch in the flesh but from pictures, it’s an easy observation just how well the colours go. Tudor’s bronze alloy, unlike the previous two timepieces we’ve covered, features more aluminium than copper. Instead of the highly polished reddish-brown, Tudor’s bronze is slightly more muted and when the oxidisation process occurs, turns the watch darker according to SJX.
Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic Bronzo
The Bronzo was first released in 2011 and if you ask any Paneristi worth his weight, he’d probably swear that it was the best watch the brand has ever produced. And it’s understandable. With Panerai’s history in the military diving scene, diehard fans wanted something that was truly inspired by the past. They got what they wanted and when the 1,000 limited edition pieces were snapped up, demand grew even more. This year, Panerai released a blue-dialled version at SIHH and we’re sure that the 1,000 pieces are probably gone. At 47mm, the watch retains that hefty Panerai look that the brand is known for but in this colour combination, it almost feels a little more regal.
We’re pretty confident that once bronze is easier to obtain as a case material, we’re going to see plenty of brands produce this colour combination. Or one can hope.