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A few years ago, it seemed like every new watch was bronze (just like in 2020, every new watch is green). It was definitely a trend, not unlike many that came before, and many that will come after. As is often the case with trends in an area like watches, once they die down, makers that dip back into that trendy spot do so with real purpose, creating a product that can exist well outside the context of whatever hype surrounds those unique attributes. This is what I’m thinking about as I look at the newly announced Marine Original Bronze Vintage by Stowa. It looks, unsurprisingly, like a Stowa, and not a watch that is capitalizing on something going on within the community. And for me, a guy who has never considered owning a bronze watch for himself, I find that I’m drawn to it in a way that is uncommon for me with watches made from this particular metal. Let’s take a closer look.
Marine Original Bronze Vintage
- Case Material: Bronze
- Dial: Silver
- Dimensions: 41mm
- Crystal: Sapphire
- Water Resistance: 5 ATM
- Movement: Unitas 6498-1
- Strap/bracelet: Leather strap
- Price: ~ $1,790
- Reference Number: n/a
- Expected Release: Delivery in September
The last time we wrote about Stowa, we covered the Marine Classic Sport, a truly incongruous combination of design features, resulting in a strange sports/casual hybrid, in a fairly large case size, that proved to be somewhat polarizing among our readership. This watch has a similar feel in that it’s on the large side of medium at 41mm, and has a classic Roman numeral dial layout that many simply don’t associate with bigger sports watches. That said, Stowa promises to make this watch available in other dial layouts, which is typical of the brand’s commitment to offering customization and variety.
While many of the bronze watches we’ve seen recently use the material as a kind of substitute for gold, what we see here in Stowa’s new Marine Classic is far more toolish and less lustrous in nature. In these photos, the case has an almost antique like quality to it, which will likely become more pronounced as the case begins to patina over time (one of the main draws of bronze in a watch case is its tendency to rapidly change color and tone as it ages, and the relative ease with which the process can be reversed by a simple cleaning).
Besides the case, the standout of this watch’s design has to be the handset. You’ll notice their unique color, which is achieved through a heat treatment that is similar to what’s commonly used to “blue” watch hands. The brown tone matches the case quite well, and is genuinely different – I can’t recall seeing heat “browned” hands before. At the time of this writing, Stowa is hopeful they can continue to produce these hands in-house, but have not been able to make a firm guarantee. While I’m sure the watch would look great with blued hands, or black to match the Roman numerals, it would be a shame if Stowa is not able to continue production on the brown hands. The change is not subtle, in my opinion, and really holds a lot of the appeal for this piece, bringing into a realm apart from a “normal” bronze watch.
The watch runs on a hand wound Unitas 6498-1 movement, visible through the display caseback. This is a movement once used in pocket watches, and it’s size and decoration certainly recall the pocket watch era. The dial is made from solid silver and further bolsters the old fashioned charm of the piece.
The Marine Original Bronze Vintage is available to order now through Stowa, with delivery expected in September. Stowa