For a long time, to paraphrase Henry Ford, you could have your sports watch in any material you liked — as long as it was steel. These days, however, there’s never been more variety in watch materials, from titanium to ceramic to shades of gold. This week, Tudor and Hamilton — two Swiss brands with very different price points and equally unique approaches to watch design — pulled back the sheet on a pair of tantalizing watches cased in bronze. Here’s what you need to know about both brand’s new bronze watches.
Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze
The basics: Following hard on the heels of two new Black Bay Fifty-Eight models in silver and yellow gold, this new “boutique edition” (meaning, in a first for Tudor, it’s only available at Tudor boutiques like the one in Toronto’s Yorkdale Mall) reimagines their popular vintage-inspired diver in a bronze case and bracelet. While this isn’t Tudor’s first bronze case, it is the first time the brand has created a full-on bronze bracelet.
The metal: Bronze is an unusual choice for a watch because, unlike stainless steel, it tarnishes over time. In the case of this watch, however, the unique patina that will develop due to reaction with both your skin and the elements is part of its charm. Tudor’s proprietary alloy combines copper and aluminum, meaning that — unlike traditional bronze — this watch won’t turn green over time. All-over satin-brushed surfaces ensure that the patina will develop evenly.
The essential details: The newest Black Bay Fifty-Eight stands out thanks to its gold-accented bezel, matching hour markers, and domed dial in matte “brown-bronze” which is shaded concentrically towards its centre. The new Tudor T-FIT adjustable clasp, meanwhile, easily adds up to 8mm to the bracelet for on-the-go adjustments. Inside the case, a Tudor calibre MT5400 movement offers 70 hours of power reserve and an impressive degree of finishing behind a closed case back. Like all new Tudor models, it’s equipped with a 5-year international guarantee. It’s also certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC). $5,190
Hamilton Khaki Field Bronze
The basics: With its classic field watch design and sturdy Swiss-made movement, along with a variety of metal, case size, and strap options, Hamilton’s Khaki Field is popular for good reason. This piece’s popularity is only going to get a boost from the latest addition to the family, a 38mm model in “sunset tone” bronze.
The metal: Playing on the brand’s long military history, Hamilton’s new Khaki Field Bronze is a tribute of sorts to the bronze details long found in warships and service medals. As with all bronze watches, this one will develop a distinct patina as it interacts with oxygen, creating something that’s unique to the wearer over time.
The essential details: This version sees the Khaki Field’s military-inspired three-hand dial rendered in black beneath a sapphire crystal with SuperLuminova markings and bronze-toned hands. Behind the dial is Hamilton’s robust H-50 calibre, a hand-wound movement with a long weekend-proof 80-hour power reserve. A brown calf leather NATO strap with titanium pin buckle comes standard. $1,040
All images courtesy of Tudor Watches and Hamilton Watch Company.