Watches made with bronze, a material that has been used for thousands of years, were not always part of watchmakers’ luxury lines. Back then, stainless steel was always preferred because of its resistance to oxidation and discoloration. Bronze, meanwhile, is the opposite—it quickly oxidizes and tarnishes way faster.
However, these are the two things that made bronze watches popular later on. Vintage-style watches slowly gained popularity, and bronze was a material of choice for those looking for a tarnished look. Bronze watches develop a patina or a layer that forms on the copper surface as it ages. An article by Haute Time talks about how it became a “charismatic alternative to steel.”
The unique patina on aged bronze watches offers a vintage look that many watch aficionados and collectors love, although those who prefer modern-looking stainless steel or titanium watches may not like the “tattered” look,
Below, we’ll take a look at some of today’s best bronze watches that have an antiquated look but modern construction. We’ll take a look at some well-known brands, and introduce you to some newer ones.
Best Bronze Watches for Men
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special Bronze
Inspired by the classic Zenith aviation watches, this model has a simple yet stylish design—a casual watch with legible hands and large Arabic numeral markers with Super Luminova technology.
The Zenith Pilot Type 20 automatic watch is a 40mm round timepiece with a bronze case and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. The band is a nubuck leather with a titanium pin buckle clasp, as well as a pull/push crown. The matte blue dial has luminous and gold-plated hands, and the water resistance is up to 100m.
Learn more about Zenith on this Watch Review on Watch Ranker.
Laco Bronze Pilot Watch 862086
This is an aviation-inspired watch by German brand Laco, known for its pilot and Flieger watches. The Pilot Watch Friedrichshafen is an elegant, vintage-looking timepiece with a 45mm sand-blasted bronze case, Arabic numeral markers, and luminous blue steel hands.
This vintage-looking automatic watch, powered by Swiss Laco 24 automatic self-winding movement, also has a domed and anti-reflective sapphire crystal, as well as a brown leather strap with rivets.
We wrote about Laco on the site and talked about its history and collections. You can read more about the brand here.
Oris Big Crown 80th Anniversary Edition
This Oris Big Crown watch is an 80th Anniversary Edition model, an homage to the 80th year of its Big Crown Pointer Date watch.
This has a striking polished bronze bezel and a 40mm case with a green dial, leather band, and a domed sapphire crystal.
The watch has big Arabic numeral markers and luminescent hands. It also has a unique design for the date, which is around the outer rim of the dial and is indicated by a red pointer (which makes the watch have four hands total). This model is powered by the Oris Caliber 754 self-winding automatic movement and up to 38 hours of power reserve.
Read more about Oris in our Watch Review article about the brand.
Glycine Combat Sub Bronze Automatic Watch (GL0200)
The Glycine Combat Sub is an already well-respected dive watch that comes in a wide range of color and dial options. This Bronze version of the Combat Sub has the same quality specs as the original but with that characteristic bronze case material you’re seeking that will add some unique character as it ages and acquires patina over the years. The dark blue dial is encased with a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. The 25-jewel Glycine GL224 movement offers 38 hours of power when fully charged. The unidirectional diving bezel and 200 meters resistance make it a solid dive watch.
Bell & Ross Diver Bronze (BR 03-92)
Bell & Ross, a French watchmaker that makes aviation-inspired watches, is known for its square-shaped cases, like this diver bronze watch, a limited edition model.
The Bell & Ross Diver Bronze BR 03-92 is a 42mm watch with a brushed and polished bronze case and a leather strap. It has a marine blue dial with white ring indexed and gold-plated luminous hands, with a unique position of a date window between 4 and 5 pm. The water resistance is up to 300m, making it a diver’s watch.
This watch, with movement caliber BR-CAL.302, was released as a part of a limited edition collection with only 250 pieces made.
You can read more about Bell & Ross in our Watch Review article, where we discuss the brand’s history, style, reputation, and collections.
Maurice Lacroix Aikon Bronze
Maurice Lacroix is a Swiss watchmaker that has been around since 1975. The brand, which can be considered as having mid-range models, is known for its contemporary style and innovation.
One example is this Maurice Lacroix Aikon Bronze watch, a 44mm quartz analog watch with stainless steel brass case and a combination of Arabic and index markers. The dial has a unique smoke effect on the horizontal lines across the case. The hands are rose gold-plated, and the strap is vintage brown calf leather.
Read more about Maurice Lacroix on Watch Ranker.
Oris Carl Brashear Chronograph
This is another watch by Oris, this time a chronograph. The Oris Carl Brashear Chronograph is a limited-edition analog watch.
This elegant model with a two-counter chronograph is 43mm, with a dark blue dial with hands and ring indexes powered by Super Luminova light old radium. The strap is a handsome dark brown leather with a bronze buckle. The water resistance is 100m.
The watch was inspired by and named after Carl Brashear, the first African American member of the United States Navy, and a first amputee Master Diver. This watch is made in his memory—it comes with a special wooden box, and is limited to only 2,000 pieces.
Anonimo Nautilo Automatic
Anonimo is an Italian brand that makes watches with Swiss technology. According to their website, they are a pioneer in using bronze “with the commercialization of the world’s first diving watch made of this alloy.”
The Anonimo Nautilo is a 45mm watch with a bronze case with a blue dial and gold-tone dots index markers and luminescent hands, ad well as a domed anti-reflective sapphire crystal. The crown is positioned at 4 o’clock, and the date window is at 6 o’clock.
The watch is powered by Sellita SW200-1, with a power reserve of up to 38 hours. The water resistance is up to 200m.
Boldr Odyssey Bronze Meteoblack
Boldr, a brand based in Singapore and Malaysia, makes tough watches and watch gear that are fit for adventure.
This robust dive watch is 45.5mm with a marine-grade CuSn8 Bronze case and a Muonionalusta Meteorite dial, with 3D-printed indexes. The hands are luminescent, and the bezel is a 120-click unidirectional bezel with Super Luminova. The strap is made of calf leather and has a double-domed sapphire crystal.
The Boldr Odyssey Bronze Meteoblack is powered by an NH35A Automatic movement and has a 42-hour power reserve. It’s a dive watch with a high-resistance screw-down case back and a water resistance of up to 500m, and a screw-down crown with a secure triple lock feature. See all of the features here.
Learn more about the brand and its journey to watchmaking here.
Tag Heuer Autavia
The Tag Heuer Autavia automatic watch has a vintage pilot’s watch design. It has a 42mm bronze case with a smoked brown dial and a calfskin leather band. The hour markers are legible Arabic numerals, with minute markers and sword-shaped hands on the brown bezel. The date window is positioned at 6 o’clock.
This watch is powered by Calibre 5 COSC, and has water resistance to 100m. It has a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and a screw-down crown. The case back is made of titanium, while the bidirectional bezel is made of ceramic.
The Autavia has a number of versions, all of which you can check out on the Tag Heuer website.
Watch Ranker has many Tag Heuer features, from brand comparisons (with brands like Tudor and Tissot) to features on its alternatives. Check them out here.
Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze 79250BM
This watch by Tudor has a similar look to the Tag Heuer watch above, but this model is pricier. The 43mm Tudor Heritage Black Bay watch with a bronze bezel has a self-winding and automatic chronometer movement and is COSC-certified (it’s water-resistant to 200m), making it an excellent dive watch.
The Tudor Heritage Black Bay watch has luminescent hands and hour markers, as well as a unidirectional rotating bezel. It has a vintage look with an aged brown leather strap and a brushed bronze case. According to a feature on A Blog to Watch, this is Tudor’s first bronze watch.
Other Black Bay Bronze models are available on the Tudor website, like this one with a bronze bezel and a slate-grey dial.
Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 PAM
The Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 PAM 507 is a limited-edition automatic watch with a large, 47mm bronze case and a brown leather strap with a titanium buckle.
The watch has a weathered bronze treatment and an olive green dial and has hours, minutes, and small seconds functions. It also has a power reserve indicator (three-day power reserve) and a water resistance to 300m.
A newer model, the Luminor Submersible 1950, is available on Panerai’s website. Powered by the brand’s P.9000 caliber, this watch has a green dial with luminous dots and hour markers, as well as a bronze case. See the specs here.
Here’s a unique watch made by Graham, an independent Swiss watch brand that has been around since 1965.
The Graham Swordfish watch is a chronograph powered by caliber G1710 and has 48 hours of power reserve. The case is a 47mm bronze, with the crown and bezel made from bronze as well. It has a green sun-brushed dial, a see-through titanium case back, and indexes powered by Super Luminova. The strap is a green rubber mesh with a bronze pin buckle.
What makes this watch unique are the two portholes on the dial, which is magnified +20%. It has a flat sapphire crystal and an anti-reflective coating. This watch is water-resistant to 100m.
IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Expedition Charles Darwin
This IWC Aquatimer Expedition is a chronograph watch with a bronze case and luminescent black dial that has an automatic and self-winding model with a 44mm case and chronograph functions.
Powered by IWC-manufactured caliber 89000 movement with 68 hours of power reserve, this watch also has a flyback function, small hacking seconds, and a water resistance to 300m.
According to IWC, the bronze case is an homage to the HMS Beagle, a ship that carried Charles Darwin in his Galapagos Island expedition. You can read more about the story, and see the features on the IWC website.
You can also check out our article IWC Brand Overview on Watch Ranker if you’d like to learn more about the brand’s history and collections.