Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A day (or four) at the beach with a Bronzo

In a nutshell, bronze is a metal alloy consisting primarily of copper, usually with tin as the other ingredient, though the balance varies, thus rendering the term ‘bronze’ a bit difficult to pin down exactly. It’s a favoured medium for artwork, especially sculptures, for boat/ ship fittings, and of course there was the Bronze Age.

In the last year or so, it has become one of the most talked-about materials for watches, and one of the most talked-about bronze watches has been the LE (1,000 pieces) Panerai PAM 382, otherwise known as the Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic, or “Bronzo”. The bronze chosen by OP for the case of the PAM 382 is CuSn8.

Bronze develops a darker brown patina, over time, because of the effects of oxidation. Panerai’s use of untreated bronze means these surface changes will start occurring relatively early in the watch’s use. Once the surface layer of the bronze has oxidised (eventually becoming copper carbonate), it will form a protective layer for the rest of the watch.

Fittingly, with bronze having a superior resistance to corrosion and salt water compared to steel, one Bronzo owner often takes his to the beach. In this case, the beach at Hamilton Island during Paneristi.com’s 10th P-Day.

Here are some ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots of a Bronzo after a day at the beach. 

(Photo credit : Gaz)

 (Photo credit : Volker)

Over the course of the four days, the case’s colour and ‘mottling’ changed every single day. Even if you’re not a fan of bronze watches, or of green dials (or you can’t wear a 47mm watch, for that matter), is still fascinating, and it means that every Bronzo ends up having a highly personalised character, perhaps making it harder to part with ...?


Movement: Automatic mechanical, Panerai P.9000 caliber, executed entirely by Panerai, 13¾ lignes, 7.9 mm thick, 28 jewels, Glucydur balance, 28,800vph. Incabloc anti-shock device. Power reserve 3 days, two barrels. 197 components.

Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, calculation of immersion time.

Case: Diameter 47 mm, brushed bronze. Brushed bronze bezel with anti-clockwise unidirectional rotating bezel with graduated scale for calculating the time of immersion, ratchet click at minute intervals.

Dial: Green with luminous hour markers. Date at 3 o’clock, small seconds at 9 o’clock.

Crystal: Sapphire, made from corundum, 4 mm thick. Anti-reflective coating.

Water-resistance: 30 bar (300 meters).


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