Best Bronze Watches for 2022

Best Bronze Watches for 2022


If there is one element of watch ownership that speaks to the human psyche more than almost any other, it's the notion that what you wear is unique to you. And it's true, there simply isn't another watch out there with your dings in the case or your aged strap. No material creates such allure through the aging process as bronze. And watch designers have known this for some time. With wear, your bronze watch case will evolve far quicker and more obviously than any steel case (swimming in salt water really speeds things up!).

Bronze is a copper alloy generally containing around 12% tin. Its discovery dates back several millennium BC. Before giving way to cheaper iron and stronger steel, the Bronze Age lasted almost three millennia. Bronze possesses a number of advantageous properties. And the versatility of its application has continued its use right up to modern day.

One of those properties is its resistance to salt water corrosion. Typically, when exposed, bronze only oxidizes at the surface, forming a protective layer over the underlying metal. In the past, this made bronze the material of choice for boat and ship fittings. (Prior to the wide employment of stainless steel.) It also featured in early diving equipment. More recently, it has spurred a growing trend of tool watches. Not all bronze watches are created equal though. That’s why we’ve put together this hand-picked selection of some of our favorite references from 2022 - enjoy!

Rado

Rado Captain Cook Bronze

All in, 42mm of burgundy on the burgundy bezel and dial greatness - inspired by an original look from 1962. This model features a bronze case as well as a NATO. A perfect combination of traditional and modern materials. Unmistakable vintage lines, as well as the fact its build quality is next level - really make the Bronze a winner.

Price: $2,600

Case Size: 42mm

Thickness: 12.5mm

Lug-to-Lug: 48.3mm

Water Resistance: 300m

Movement: Auto ETA C07.611

Crystal: Sapphire

TB
Zenith

Zenith Pilot Type 20 Chronograph Bronze

Zenith's 'Pilot Type 20 Extra Special' reference is based on vintage aviator's watches, updated with modern technology and hardy construction. The Swiss-made Elite 679 automatic movement, with a 50-hour power reserve, is housed in a bronze case designed to gain a patina quickly, while the sleek black dial has gold-plated Super-LumiNova® hands and easy-to-read Arabic numerals.

Price: $7,900

Case Size: 45mm

Water Resistance: 100m

Movement: Auto El Primero 4069

Crystal: Sapphire

TB
Hamilton

Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical Bronze

Since its release in 2018, Hamilton’s 38mm steel field watch has been wildly successful, and it's easy to see why. Super rugged, perfectly proportioned, and full to the brim with heritage. When the brand launched its bronze case version of the almost exact replica of the Vietnam war era US government-issued field watch, it made a great choice for an everyday beater.

Price: $825

Case Size: 38mm

Thickness: 9.6mm

Lug-to-Lug: 47mm

Water Resistance: 50m

Movement: Manual ETA 2801

Crystal: Sapphire

TB
Oris

Oris Big Crown ProPilot Big Date Bronze

Oris has been experimenting with bronze in its diver’s watches for years. For the first time now in 2022, it's the Pilots turn and the hugely popular Big Crown ProPilot Big Date. The warm tones of the new model come from its bronze case, fluted bezel, and signature oversized crown, which are complemented by a deep black dial with printed golden indices. This is a true pilot’s watch, so the hands are filled with white Super LumiNova and the markers solid Super LumiNova, creating a high contrast dial and instantly readout (important at 36,000 feet and in the office).

Price: $2,200

Case Size: 41mm

Thickness: 12.4mm

Lug-to-Lug: 48.6mm

Water Resistance: 100m

Movement: Auto SW200

Crystal: Sapphire

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Longines

Longines Legend Diver Bronze

Pulling in everything that has made Longines the great Swiss watchmaker it is over the last 180 years. The original Legend Diver, first released in 2007, is a powerful – and popular – example of a vintage reissue done right. The Legend Diver in Bronze builds on the foundation of the original with new case material and the highly anticipated removal of the date display (a first for the line since the date function was added in 2012) and a choice that helps bring this bronze model closer to the original ref. 7042.

Price: $3,000

Case Size: 42mm

Thickness: 12.7mm

Lug-to-Lug: 52.3mm

Water Resistance: 300m

Movement: Auto ETA A31.L11

Crystal: Sapphire

TB
Tudor

Tudor Black Bay Bronze Bucherer Blue

Bucherer is one of Europe's biggest watch retailers. For its 130th anniversary in 2018, it unveiled over a dozen “Bucherer Blue” special editions created just for the occasion. One of the most affordable, and perhaps the most compelling, is the Tudor Black Bay Bronze Blue. Tudor’s first retailer-exclusive edition, and for just under US$4000, you get an in-house movement and of course the eye-catching “Bucherer Blue”.

Price: $4,150

Case Size: 43mm

Thickness: 14.5mm

Lug-to-Lug: 52mm

Water Resistance: 200m

Movement: Auto Tudor MT5601

Crystal: Sapphire

TB
Oris

Oris Divers Sixty-Five Bico

The Sixty Five Series from Oris’ might hold the top spot for value for money alongside the Tudor 58. It is certainly as well-loved. Available in a range of color options and inspired by an Oris divers watch first released in 1965, this all-new Divers Sixty Five Bico is trademarked by its bicolor bracelet and bezel. Unlike some bronze hues, this one from Oris is golden vs rose. The case is 40mm in diameter and has a slim profile with a curved sapphire glass. It has 100m water resistance, and a really great signed screw-down crown. It runs a Swiss-made Oris 733 movement, based on the well-tested Sellita SW 200-1, with a decent 38 hours power reserve.

Price: $2,450.00

Case Size: 40mm

Water Resistance: 100m

Movement: Oris 733, base SW 200-1

Crystal: Sapphire

IWC Schaffhausen

IWC Schaffhausen Aquatimer Chronograph Special Edition “Darwin”

Dedicated to Mr. Charles Darwin, 'the father of evolution', this 'Aquatimer' style pays homage to his journey to the Galapagos Islands. The bronze case references the famous HMS Beagle's gleaming fittings and is designed to develop a characterful patina over time. It’s the sort of watch that inspires adventure every time you put it on.

Price: $10,600

Case Size: 44mm

Water Resistance: 300m

Movement: Auto 89365 Calibre

Crystal: Sapphire

Glycine

Glycine Combat Sub Bronze

From its clean dial and diver’s bezel to its 200-meter water resistance rating it has been done in a wide spectrum of colors and finishes, but never before in bronze, until now. All the rugged, tool watch vibes of the original Combat Sub, just in bronze. Fitted with a sapphire crystal, it’s scratch-resistant and easy to read. The 25-jewel movement beneath offers a 38-hour tank on a full charge. Does it get better than a military spec watch in a heavily patinated case?

Price: $650

Case Size: 42mm

Thickness: 11mm

Lug-to-Lug: 49.5mm

Water Resistance: 200m

Movement: Auto SW200

Crystal: Sapphire

Tag Heuer

Tag Heuer Autavia

A seriously rugged men’s automatic watch with bronze case and killer khaki smoked dial. Inspired by classic explorer’s watches, the design is upgraded by 21st-century materials, including titanium for the case back and black ceramic for the bidirectional turning bezel. This might just be Tag, it's modern best.

Price: $3,850

Case Size: 42mm

Thickness: 13.5mm

Water Resistance: 100m

Movement: Auto Calibre 5

Crystal: Sapphire

Zelos

Zelos Hammerhead 2

The Hammerhead was first launched by Zelos in 2016. It was a no-nonsense, tool watch, born of the glory days of dive watches of the 1970s. An update in the form of the Hammerhead 2 came this year boasting a new case now which features a Helium escape valve, dual C3 and BGW9 lume on the hands, and overall improved build quality. The bold CUSN8 Bronze is water-resistant to 1000m and the high double domed crystal tops off the vintage vibes.

Price: $449

Case Size: 44mm

Thickness: 17.1mm

Lug-to-Lug: 47.4mm

Water Resistance: 1000m

Movement: Auto Seiko NH35

Crystal: Sapphire

TB
Ulysse Nardin

Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronometer Torpilleur

The Marine Torpilleur is inspired by Ulysse Nardin’s strong bond with the seas and its history in making marine chronometers. The dial that is finished in a blackish dark blue color features a small second’s counter at 6 o’clock with the watch’s individual serial number and C.W. (Initials of Chronometer Watch) text representing the model’s C.O.S.C certified movement. Leaf-shaped hands finished in matching matt gold tone accompany the dial that refers to the Military Watch style with large Arabic number indices. Limited to 300 watches, it's not one you will see in the wild very often.

Price: $7,990

Case Size: 44mm

Water Resistance: 50m

Movement: Auto UN-118

Crystal: Sapphire

Bell & Ross

Bell & Ross BR 03-92

You either love Bell & Ross or hate them. And that’s what great design does - it can’t be for everyone. In this instance, we see its iconic square BR03 model designed for professionals in extreme environments, this time in bronze and faithful to the brand's watchwords of legibility, functionality, reliability, and precision. This BR 03-92 is bold, no doubt, and certainly one you will spot across the room.

Price: $3,400

Case Size: 42mm

Water Resistance: 100m

Movement: Auto SW300

Crystal: Sapphire

Montblanc

Montblanc 1858 Automatic Limited Edition

The Montblanc '1858' family is inspired by the classic Minerva watches from the 1920s and '30s. These were watches developed for one purpose: mountain exploration. We love the details on this reference - for example, turn the watch over and you will see the signature mountain, compass, and crossed ice pick-axes. Powered by the calibre MB 24.15 automatic movement, it has a polished and satin-finished bronze case with slim beveled horns - can't go wrong.

Price: $5,200

Case Size: 42mm

Movement: Auto MB 25.11

Christopher Ward

Christopher Ward C60 Trident Bronze

Born in the UK, and made in Switzerland, this C60 from Christopher Ward is as hardy as it is good-looking. Inspired by the use of bronze in maritime history, the C60 Trident Pro 600 has a 40mm CuSn6 marine grade bronze case and applied baton markers. Flat sapphire crystal protects the textured blue dial (that bronze case and blue dial is something special over time) and you gotta love the Trident on the center seconds, now instantly recognizable as Christopher Ward.

Price: $995

Case Size: 40mm

Thickness: 13mm

Lug-to-Lug: 47.5mm

Water Resistance: 600m

Movement: Auto SW200

Crystal: Sapphire

IWC Schaffhausen

IWC Schaffhausen Spitfire Bronze

This modern incarnation is inspired by the 'Mark 11' that IWC produced for the British Royal Air Force during the wars. It's powered by a new 32110 calibre movement that’s been developed and manufactured in-house and features robust mechanics protected from magnetism by a soft-iron inner case. At 39mm - it’s spot on for many.

Price: $5,150

Case Size: 39mm

Water Resistance: 60m

Movement: 32110 calibre

Baltic

Baltic Aquascaphe Bronze

Baltic has taken the watch world by storm in the last 24 months. The French-based micro brand has really captured the hearts of the collector community by honoring the past, in a classic, stylish way, and moving fast to produce what the audience asks of them. One of the brand's key designs? The beautiful compressor Aquascaphe. 39mm in size, and now with a case in Bronze (made from an aluminum bronze called CuAL8, which is 92% copper and 8% aluminum). It is water-resistant to 200m, and quite simply, everything on the case looks and dial just works. Between the new crown guards in bronze and the dark blue tropic strap, this might just be our pick for 2022 thus far.

Price: $700

Case Size: 39mm

Thickness: 12mm

Lug-to-Lug: 47mm

Water Resistance: 200m

Movement: Auto Miyota 9039

Crystal: Sapphire

Oris

Oris Carl Brashear Calibre 401

Oris continues its collaboration with the Carl Brashear Foundation, this time in its third-generation watch inspired by the US Navy master diver's legacy. Limited to just 2,000, it's been manufactured in Switzerland with a bronze case and the new in-house calibre 401 (a highly anti-magnetic automatic movement) that has a five-day power reserve. We love the history but also the small design touches, like the helmet on the case back.

Price: $4,200

Case Size: 40mm

Thickness: 12.8mm

Lug-to-Lug: 48mm

Water Resistance: 100m

Movement: Auto Oris 401

Crystal: Sapphire

Tudor

Tudor Black Bay 58 Bronze

Tudor released the Black Bay Fifty-Eight in 2018 (to much acclaim - especially those who love a sub 40mm case). It featured a new, thinner movement packed into a 39mm case. Ironically, the new watch was closer to the original Rolex Submariner than Rolex's own current-generation watch. This variant is rendered in bronze, both the case and bracelet will gently age and turn darker in color with time - what’s not to love?

Price: $4,525

Case Size: 39mm

Thickness: 11.9mm

Lug-to-Lug: 47.5mm

Water Resistance: 200m

Movement: Auto MT5400

Crystal: Sapphire

IWC Schaffhausen

IWC Schaffhausen Pilot Chronograph Spitfire Bronze

For the first time ever IWC has upgraded its iconic ‘Pilot's’ chronograph with a movement from the in-house-manufactured 69000-calibre family, but housed in a reduced 41mm case. Inspired by the brand's timepieces worn by Spitfire pilots of the ‘40s, it’s encased by rough-hewn bronze, topped with an olive dial, and has a brown leather strap. This is rugged, urban chic at its finest.

Price: $6,500

Case Size: 41mm

Thickness: 15.3mm

Water Resistance: 60m

Movement: Auto IWC 69380

Crystal: Sapphire

Panerai

Panerai PAM00968

Submersible Bronzo, which dropped in 2010, created a frenzy among collectors. Its matte green dial and bronze case just hit a cord in an all-new way. In response to the success of the very first Bronzo model, Panerai launched this, the Submersible Bronzo 47mm PAM00968. Offering all the designs we loved in the original Bronzo, except this time with a blue dial and brown hues with a modern ceramic insert bezel. In the water and out - it’s a looker!

Price: $17,000

Case Size: 47mm

Thickness: 15.7mm

Lug-to-lug: 56mm

Water Resistance: 300m

Movement: Auto Panerai P.9010

Crystal: Sapphire

Oris

Oris Big Crown Pointer Date Bronze

Oris has just extended its Big Crown Pointer Date collection with the addition of a full bronze bracelet. Yup, a full bronze 7-link bracelet that pairs perfectly with the classic Pointer Date design. The new Big Crown Pointer Date Bronze rocks a 40mm case, housing the Oris 754. The gentle case profile works as well as we’ve seen with prior models of the BCPD, and the new bracelet has plenty of articulation points thanks to the 5 inner links, creating a natural flow around the wrist. This is a full bracelet watch you can really beat up.

Price: $2,600

Case Size: 40mm

Water Resistance: 50m

Movement: Oris Calibre 754

Crystal: Sapphire

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