With Montblanc announcing the release of their replica 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter Limited Edition in bronze, I’m interested to find out your opinion on bronze-cased watches.
Not too long ago, Tudor released a bronze version of their Black Bay, which garnered mainly positive reviews. Although, generally speaking, dive watches aren’t really my cup of tea, I do find Tudor’s Black Bay Bronze and more so, fake Montblanc’s new reiteration of a 1930’s military chronograph in bronze, to be quite charming. I especially love the warm glow that radiates from the bronze case when seen under natural lighting and how one can witness the oxidation and transformation of the case through time and wear as though the stainless steel black leather strap watch were a living organism.
Anyways, to you, Watch Snob: bronze watches, yay or nay?
Well, it’s like anything else, isn’t it – if you do the thing properly it’s fine and if you don’t, it isn’t. Bronze for a watch case is always going to be a poorer choice from a functional standpoint; spin it how you like but a case material that leaves green stains on your skin is a non-optimal choice. It can be interesting cosmetically and from a design standpoint I think montblanc unisex swiss automatic chronograph copy watches has done something quite nice with the chronograph you mention – it looks lovely with the rose gold treated German silver plate and bridges. I can still remember the Gerald Genta Geficas, though – the bronze would corrode so rapidly that those watches looked, to borrow Rupert T. Gould’s notes on the condition of the Harrison sea-clocks when he first started restoring them, as if they “had gone down with the Royal George and been on the bottom ever since.”
Manufacturers need ways of setting themselves apart and there is nothing wrong, as such, with the use of bronze in montblanc 1858 small second black imitation watches cases, and there is no reason that everything in watchmaking should always, and forever, be justifiable from a purely rational perspective. In fact, since mechanical watchmaking itself cannot, nowadays, be justified from a rational perspective, perhaps we can all be a little broadminded about things like bronze (as long as you don’t mind verdigris stains on your wrist).