For some time now I have been wanting to see in person a watch cased in bronze. Several new small companies have been producing some examples of timepieces using different materials, of course there was steel, gold, silver, platinum, titanium and some other but bronze/brass is a different beast. It tarnish giving the watch an aged look, vintage, worn type of feeling that some really like. I was indifferent at first specially considering the price point of sale of some of these watches. Then I got mighty curious and after a few months I finally was able to get a Magrette. I got it by trading another watch that even though had been a keeper for me for a while, I had not worn for a long time and so I figured that I would prefer try out another watch and that mine could sit in someone elses box or wrist since I was no wearing it anyway.
Apparently the Magrette case is made of a composite metal that is more like brass rather then bronze. In practical terms it does not matter since they both look similar and both have been used for similar applications. Personally I don't care, the Regattare Bronze is a very nice watch. It has a case similar to the other Magrette models which are shaped simlar to the Panerai. The size is 44mm but because the case is not round it looks a little larger. The lugs are 24mm apart and are drilled through with a screwed bar. The bar does not screw on the lug but it has a thread on one side and a nut like hole on the other, so essentially it is made of two pieces that screw together. Both sides of the bar are slotted so one can use two flat screwdrivers.
The crystal is sapphire and it is domed. Not hugely like some other watches but enough to see it immediately and enough to look good. It feels nice and sturdy.
Since I got this used the case had already a certain amound of patina and it looks pretty good. I was thinking already on how to accellerate the process but I am not totally closed on the watch so I will let it as is for the time being.
The dial is brown and looks very nicely made, the markers and numbers are pretty sharp and seem of good quality. There are only two hands for the hour and minute so no ticking seconds hand. This increases the vintage look of the watch in my opinion. The hands are gold framed in accordance to the color of the case.
The crown is steel and it is signed. The caseback is really nice, it's steel and it has a window on it but you don't see the movement behind the glass. What you see is a piece of antique wood. It is pretty nice actually and even though I don't know the whole reason and significance of it, I like it a lot.
The kit includes the watch and a leather strap, a fold up pouch where one can insert both. The whole thing is inside a wood box that is pretty nice. I installed on it my favorite zulu that coincidentally has a similar color to the case and wore the watch for a day or so. There is a little lume on the dial but not much. It makes it visible in total darkness and it lasts a few hours. The hands are might brighter but seem to last the same. It is usable at least until the middle of the night.
The thing I like the most is that it is not very tall but it still feels very solid without being heavy. It is also well shaped with the lugs pointing down toward the wrist and even with the zulu it hugs the wrist nicely and comfortably. The size is also great, it does not look huge but large enough to have a nice presence.
The lugs are not too long either so the watch can easily fit a smaller wrist.
In conclusion I am impressed with this watch but I am more impressed with Magrette and their quality. Now that I have tried I have to say that I like it but I don't know that it is a keeper. Everything is nice about the watch but knowing that this is a great company I would really like to get a Regattare 2011, the one that has two crown with the internal rotating bezel.
Please enjoy a few pics, unfortunately I have not been able to take nice shots showing the color of the case correctly. A bit challanging for my limited photographic skills. I will try some wrist shot outside later: