I know that the watch enthusiasts has been on the "Bronze" bandwagon for quite some time. However, I paid little or no attention to the bronze watch segment until I came across the Tudor Black Bay Bronze (especially the Bucherer Blue edition). As, at present, my budget doesn't permit me for an investment of this magnitude and was looking to satisfy my itch with something inexpensive compared to the Black Bay Bronze. Maybe sometime in the future I would surely like to invest in one.
For the past few weeks I have been on the hunt for a budget bronze diver with an automatic movement, preferably under the $500 bracket. I have a small wrist and wanted to avoid something very chunky, so anything beyond 44 mm case diameter & 15 mm case height will be overkill for me. I was also slightly inclined to get a watch with bronze bezel (without any inserts) for the retro / steampunk look. Also wanted the watch to have original design cues and not an all out homage. Finally, I would have liked to have a bronze watch with meteorite dial (which Phoibos had) but seems like all of them are sold out. Other bronze watches with meteorite dials are well above my range.
After doing a bit of research, I have been able to shortlist following 2 watches which ticks most of the boxes (not in any order).
- Phoibos Eagle Ray Bronze
- Movement: Sellita SW200-1
- Diameter: 41 mm
- Height: 14 mm
- Case Material: CuSn8
- Case Back: Embossed
- Glass: Double Domed Sapphire Crystal with AR Coating
- Lume: 15 layers Super-LumiNova C3
- Diving Depth: 500 m
- Price: $420 (Shipping Included)
- Warranty: 2 years
Concerns: Doesn't have see-through case back. Reviews for the straps have not been very positive.
- Vancouver Watch Co. Crossfire Bronze
- Caliber: Miyota 9015
- Diameter: 43 mm
- Height: 13.5 mm
- Case Material: CuSn8
- Case Back: See-through
- Glass: Sapphire Crystal with AR Coating
- Lume: Super-LumiNova
- Diving Depth: 200 m
- Price: USD 399 + Shipping
- Warranty: 1 year
Concerns: How does the Miyota 9015 will hold up against the Sellita SW200-1. Doesn't have adequate reviews or feedback on the net.
Apart from the above 2 watches, the following were also considered:
- Steinhart Ocean 1 Bronze Green
- Christopher Ward C60 Trident Bronze Pro 600
- Spinnaker Tesei SP-5060-03
Any idea how any of them compares to the shortlisted watches? Both the Trident Bronze & Tesei are above the $500 mark. I have shortlisted the above 2 watches from microbrand manufactures and both the pieces are understandably limited editions. Will they will be good investments and hold their value in the future? Which watch do you guys think is better bang for the buck?
Any other recommendations / suggestions will also be appreciated.
Thanks for your time. Stay safe!