HANDS-ON: The Delma Cayman Bronze is a modern diver with a touch of glamour

HANDS-ON: The Delma Cayman Bronze is a modern diver with a touch of glamour

Fergus Nash

Delma may not be a brand that you’ve heard of with much frequency, but they can trace their foundation back nearly a century to 1924 and have evolved with watch fashions ever since. In fact, their catalogue is staggeringly large with 27 watches across a multitude of genres. The Delma Cayman is a homage to the skin divers of the ‘60s, and the newest iteration in a bronze case continues Delma’s ongoing commitment to modernisation.

The case

The skin diver formula is quite well-established by now, with a typically sharp approach to lug design that helps the watch look fairly slender on-wrist. The downward slope of the lugs is accented by a polished chamfer along its edge, creating a small glint of elegance to contrast against the utilitarian brushed surfaces. At 42mm and 48mm lug-to-lug, it definitely looks and feels more like a modern watch than a vintage one, and the 13.3mm thickness provides a good amount of heft without being overbearing. With a screw-down crown to protect the seals, the Delma Cayman Bronze offers a generous 500m of water resistance.

The titular bronze is specifically the phosphor alloy CuSn6, a marine-grade bronze that is commonly used for all kinds of subaquatic machines because of its resistance to corrosion from saltwater. The patina it forms is that of a deep blueish green, and it generally has an orange glow that doesn’t try to embody the same character as gold. Of course, if you prefer a cleaner look there are ways to maintain the metal, but you can also manipulate the ageing to make it look like an ancient relic. You can check out some more tips for ageing or cleaning bronze here.

The dial

The Delma Cayman Bronze takes after the sub-collection that is the Cayman Field — a watch with a distinct military vibe with inspiration taken from field watches of the 1940s. The creamy, luminous hour markers and numerals at 12, 6 and 9 are clear and legible above the roughed-up dial texture, stippled like a gritty tarmac that adds even more edge to the overall impression. There’s a 24-hour scale printed in red that finalises the field watch aesthetic, along with a red border for the date window which is a brilliant touch of detail. Available in black, blue, brown and green, you’re sure to find a colour combination that fits with you and your collection.

The “Delma” logo may not be the most widely recognised, but it has featured on their watches since the 1950s as the very least. The printed text is relatively minimal with the word “Automatic” and the water resistance, which helps as the dial is already quite busy. The fencepost hands are easily legible but without being distracting from the dial, and the arrow-tipped seconds hand brings home a little bit more character.

The strap

The Delma Cayman Bronze is first and foremost a diving watch, so the strap has been chosen appropriately. Colour-matched to the watch you’ve chosen, the strap is made of a hard-wearing Cordura fabric with a rubber backing that ensures style, comfort and water resistance are never compromised. That said, the lug width is a friendly and common 22mm should you want to experiment with any other aftermarket straps.

The movement

Keeping prices down for such an established brand, Delma have elected to use the Sellita SW200 movement for their Cayman Bronze. With a lovely golden rotor visible from the sapphire caseback, this automatic movement has well and truly established itself as a mainstay in the world of Swiss movements. A power reserve of 38 hours with a smooth-sweeping beat rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour may not blow anyone away in terms of specification, but it’s more than enough for reliable performance. The caseback is also made of stainless steel to reduce the risk of green oxides rubbing off onto your wrist.

The Delma Cayman Bronze pricing and availability:

The Delma Cayman Bronze is priced at $1,650 USD and limited to only 999 pieces, with individual piece numbers engraved into the caseback. You can find them on Delma’s website or in select stores worldwide.

Case Material CuSn6 Bronze
Case Dimensions 42mm x 48mm x 13.3mm
Water-Resistance 500m
Dial Black, blue, brown, green
Straps Rubber-backed Cordura fabric
Movement SW200
Power Reserve 38 hours
Complications Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Price $1,650 USD