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Bronze watches are making a comeback – this time with luxury brands

Making its latest appearance in Montblanc’s new watches, the alloy is proving to be more than a passing fad.

More often than not, watch owners like to keep their precious timepieces looking new for as long as they can – which makes the popularity of bronze in recent years all the more intriguing. An alloy typically made of copper and tin, bronze rapidly develops a darker patina with exposure to the elements. This patina is actually a layer of oxidised copper that protects the material against corrosion – a boon for seafarers of yore, for sure, who used the material heavily in maritime instruments. For fans of bronze watches, it is this unique patina that gives said timepieces an inimitable character.

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With its latest novelties, Montblanc joins brands such as Panerai, IWC, and more recently, Tudor and Zenith, in offering timepieces crafted from this vintage-looking metal. Powered by a top-of-the-line Minerva monopusher chronographer movement, the 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter Limited Edition features a 44mm satin-finish bronze case that contrasts handsomely with an appropriately retro champagne-coloured dial. This year, the brand will also be launching two dual-material watches that pair steel cases with bronze bezels, for those who prefer their tarnishing in more modest doses.