While stainless steel sports watches are experiencing their heyday right now in terms of popularity, bronze watches are another option that shouldn’t be overlooked. Bronze has the unique trait that it will develop an oxidation layer on its outer surface, resulting in a beautiful and rugged patina. The level of patina can be controlled quite easily; the case can be kept bright and fresh, it can develop a nice dark tone, or the patina can be accelerated to get a mean, green discoloration.
The first bronze watches started appearing on the market towards the tail end of the 20th century, and nowadays, there are bronze watch options from a wide range of brands. Here are seven of the best bronze watches for your viewing pleasure, ranging from $649 to $17,800.
BOLDR Odyssey Bronze Pine Green
Prices start at $649
One of the lesser-known brands featured on this list is BOLDR. The brand based out of Singapore makes some great watches for the stylish adventurers of the world. This Odyssey features a CuSn8 bronze case and is furnished with a pine green dial that will fit right in when venturing in the great outdoors.
The 45.5mm case is certainly one of the larger ones we’re featuring, but why not have a little extra wrist presence to display the patina accumulated over countless travels? A Seiko NH35 automatic movement is fitted within the 500m water-resistant case. A fluoroelastomer rubber strap completes the look of this beast of a bronze dive watch.
Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical Bronze
Prices start at $825
Hamilton is known for its no-nonsense field watches (and plenty of fun ones as well!). This Khaki Field Mechanical Bronze (ref. H69459530) brings the same formula that makes the Khaki Field Mechanical a favorite among watch enthusiasts and pairs it with a bronze case.
The 38mm case is perfectly sized to fit a wide range of wrist sizes, and the hand-wound H-50 movement has a massive 80 hours of power reserve. So if you forget to wind it for a day or two, the utilitarian black dial and Arabic numerals will keep you on time. The clean, no-date dial means it’s easy to set again when picking it out of your watch box. A 20mm lug width will allow for plenty of strap options if you choose to take it off of the brown leather NATO strap.
Christopher Ward C65 Aquitaine Bronze COSC
Price starts at $1,325
One of the best value watch brands out there is Christopher Ward — the company is known to pack loads of features into a competitively priced package. That holds true for this C65 Aquitaine (ref. C65-41ADC2-B0BB0-RB), which features a 41mm bronze case and a marine blue dial and bezel. The bezel is unique with its curved sapphire profile and luminous markers while the exhibition caseback shows off the Sellita SW200-1 COSC automatic movement within.
There are several strap options available, including blue tropic rubber, brown vintage leather, and blue canvas. If you’re looking for a solid, quality option without breaking the bank, this Christopher Ward bronze watch fits the bill.
Oris Divers Sixty-Five Cotton Candy
Price starts at $2,450
The Holstein-based independent brand Oris has a plethora of bronze offerings in its catalog today. This Divers Sixty-Five Cotton Candy in sky blue (ref. 01 733 7771 3155-07 8 19 15) was one of three colorways released in the spring of 2021 with just one goal in mind — to bring a smile to your face. The 38mm bronze cases feature a bronze, unidirectional bezel around the double-domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on the underside.
While you may choose the matching bronze metal bracelet, there are also leather and textile strap options. The time and date are kept in motion by the automatic Oris 733, base (Sellita SW200-1) movement. The size and profile of this watch make it just as much of a joy to wear as to look at. A nice patina will develop even quicker if you choose to take the watch to some seawater, which would be no problem given its 100m water resistance.
Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze
Prices start at $4,625
In 2018 Tudor released a smash hit in the form of the Black Bay Fifty-Eight. So Tudor cleverly brought the same well-loved proportions of 39mm diameter and 11.9mm thickness into a bronze case with the Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze (ref. 79012). A no-date automatic manufacture Caliber MT5400 keeps the Tudor snowflake hands sweeping across the gradient brown-bronze dial. What’s more, Arabic 3, 6, and 9 numerals differentiate this even more from the standard Black Bay Fifty-Eight models.
The matching bronze bracelet features a T-fit adjustment system so there’s no more fiddling with a pin to get just the right fit on your wrist. The brown-bronze aluminum bezel insert completes the look of this sure-to-be future classic from Tudor.
IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Spitfire
Price starts at $8,000
IWC has several bronze offerings in its catalog, and it would be hard to go wrong with this Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Spitfire (ref. IW387902), which boasts a day and date complication on a dark green dial. The 41mm across and 15.3mm thick bronze case houses the IWC-manufactured movement, Caliber 69380. A 20mm lug width allows for a wide range of strap options if you choose to take it off of the brown calfskin leather strap.
For optimal legibility, IWC applied generous lume on the oversized hands, as well as at the 3, 6, 9, and 12 markers. The screw-down crown and 60m water resistance will give you peace of mind — whether you choose to take it for a little splash or soaring through the air.
Panerai Submersible Bronzo 47mm
Price starts at $17,800
Last but certainly not least is the current version of the watch that reinvigorated the use of bronze in watches back in 2011. The Panerai Submersible Bronzo (ref. PAM00968) presents an authoritative presence with its 47mm wide case. Protruding from the right side of the case is the signature Panerai crown guard, just in case you were looking for even more metal on the wrist. The dark brown leather strap, tapering from 26mm down to 22mm, secures the bronze case in place, which is equipped with a titanium caseback.
Despite the watch’s hefty price tag, the Panerai Caliber P.9010 automatic movement, unidirectional rotating bezel, date window, and luminous features come together to make this a top-notch solid functional tool. This is not a watch for the faint wristed. Rock it if you dare!
That wraps up our list of the seven best bronze watches on the market today. Are you a fan of bronze watches? Are there some great other options that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!