How to take on the Bronze Age in watchmaking


By Su Fen Tan

How to take on the Bronze Age in watchmaking

Bronze is officially having a moment—and we are all for it. Aside from its dignified, warm copper tone, the appeal of the ‘it’ metal largely lies in its transformative properties; its ability in embracing the passage of time by way of the formation of patina that is unique to every timepiece. Depending on a myriad of factors—how or when you wear it, what it comes in contact with, its alloy composition and such—each timepiece ages differently, so you’ll end up with a truly one-of-a-kind watch. There is just a certain beauty to it, showcasing time with a material that actually shows the effects of time.

Having a hand in the aging process

While some watches have the predisposition to age faster than others, it is possible to lend a hand to the aging process and quicken it should one have the passion for patina. Exposure to wear and tear, moisture, seawater and general shifts in climate all play a part in aging bronze, but there are also a number of artificial ways, if you will, to expedite the process.

For one, exposure to certain chemical fumes over an 8- to 24-hour period can induce the formation of patina. An easy home solution to this will be to use vinegar—any type of vinegar: white, apple cider etc. will do. To start, place your timepiece (with the strap removed) in a sealable container. The watch should be raised off the bottom surface, so it doesn’t come in physical contact with your liquid of choice. After pouring in the vinegar, seal the container, set it aside and watch as the magic takes place over time. Tip: clean the watch intermittently with a cloth and hot water for a more consistent patina.

Keeping the bronze crisp

On the flip side, some may be seek to reverse the aging process, preferring to keep their bronze watches looking factory-fresh as long as possible. Besides off-the-shelf products made for cleaning brass, bronze and like metals, you are more than likely to find a couple of solutions under your roof as well. The simplest answer? Toothpaste. Apply a coat of non-abrasive toothpaste to your watch case, let it sit for five to ten minutes, then scrub it with a soft toothbrush to bring back its bronze glow.

Alternatively, the good ol’ baking soda and lemon juice combo will do the trick too. Make a soft paste out of the two ingredients, coat it evenly onto your watch, then rub it away with a polishing cloth after 20 to 30 minutes.

Now that you’ve got the general maintenance rules down, all that’s left is to adopt a bronze baby (or more) into your collection. Below, browse a roundup of some of the best bronze releases of 2019. A clear trend that is reigning this year: the handsome pairing of green and bronze that rightfully deserves our attention.

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