Bronze is nothing particularly new to dive watches. For a time now we have seen manufacturers leverage bronze for its history in diving and the precious metal like tone it carries on the wrist. But not all bronze is created equal. While collectors typically prefer natural patina, in favour of forced or faux-patina, Instagram is ripe with shots before and after bronze cases were left to “force age” – going so far as to leave a watch in egg wash to create a “found at the bottom of the sea” aesthetic. In my opinion, however, the grey-green tone that results (known as verdigris-oxidation) is not very desirable. It creates a corrosive look that can completely deaden the precious tone of bronze. While such a corrosive surface layer is known to protect the underlying metal from further corrosion, it can be quite harmful to your skin and even result in turning your wrist green. This is why Omega spent years developing a whole new alloy for the category, the fruits of their labour being the new Omega Seamaster 300 Bronze Gold, with a Bronze-Au375 Gold alloy that both your eyes and skin will appreciate. The beauty here is you get a case material comprised of 37.5% gold for a third of the price that a full gold watch would command.
Used for the entire case and buckle, the one-of-a-kind Bronze-Au375 Gold alloy is enriched with noble elements such as 37.5% gold, hallmarked as 9K, as well as palladium and silver, to create a unique colour which sits exactly between the brand’s 18K MoonshineTM gold and 18K SednaTM gold. The distinct blend of metals was inspired by what was historically known in Ancient Greece as Corinthian Bronze, a highly prized metal used for statues, vases, and vessels.
Raynald Aeschlimann, President and CEO of Omega, explained that the benefit of this new alloy is that its composition will not agitate the skin, or turn your wrist an unsightly green. This is why the whole watch, even the caseback, is able to be made of Bronze-Au375 Gold. He made it very clear that the alloy was highly tested with the consumer in mind, with no part of the process rushed. Another highlight Raynald mentioned is the fact the Bronze Gold of the case will patina over time, but in a manner that preserves the precious metal tone of the watch with its high corrosion resistance. No verdigris-oxidation for this watch, instead the case is only prone to slight darkening which if anything will create a sort of fume gold aesthetic.
As for its dimensions, the Omega Seamaster 300 Bronze Gold is 41mm in diameter, 14.4mm thick, and approximately 48mm lug-to-lug. The case features a majority satin brush on its front and caseband with polished tapered bevels to the lugs. Of course, as its name suggests, the watch is 300 metres water resistant with a new conical screw-down crown. While the steel Omega Seamaster 300 offerings announced this year have returned to aluminium bezels, the gloss of the ceramic bezel maintains the sporty elegant aesthetic of the Bronze Gold watch. The sheen of the highly scratch resistant black ceramic and its vintage SuperLuminova® coloured timing scale pairs very well with the Bronze-Au375 Gold tone.
With the dial being an internal component, protected by a new domed bubble sapphire crystal to create a further vintage effect, Omega seized the opportunity to fashion the dial with a common bronze alloy: CuSn8. The opaline finish CuSn8 dial has a unique dark brown colour with a patina that was created through a special aging process. The structure of the dial has been revamped, now leveraging a sandwich framework with two dial plates. The bottom layer is a disc of vintage SuperLuminova® that then peers out through the recesses of the top CuSn8 layer. While the Omega branding and outer minute hashes are printed on the CuSn8 dial, all of the triangular hour indices and Arabic numerals at 12′, 3′, 6′, and 9′ are formed through recesses in the dial to reveal the warm vintage hue of the luminescent layer beneath. The broad arrow hours hand, minutes hand, and central seconds hand have been plated with Bronze Gold to match the case, each coated with vintage SuperLuminova® as well. While they share the same tone in daylight, the hours and central second hand will emit a blue glow like the hour indices and numerals of the dial. The minutes hand, however, will match the green emission of the bezel pip. And if you hadn’t noticed from the pictures already, there is still no date window to infuriate purists.
The watch is paired with a leather strap, which I confess is not my favorite pairing when it comes to dive watches. That being said, Omega has a whole spectrum of NATO straps that could likely be paired with the Omega Seamaster 300 Bronze Gold. Also, on the safety of dry land I do have to concede that the brown leather strap does match the case tone well, and the polished Bronze Gold buckle with Omega logo in positive relief is a nice added touch of detail. For those who may want to try a different strap, the lug width is 21mm. The brown leather strap also has a taper, reaching 16mm as you approach the buckle.
Inside the Omega Seamaster 300 Bronze Gold is the Omega in-house METAS Co-Axial caliber 8912. The 38 jewel Co-Axial movement is a certified master chronometer with 60 hours of power reserve due to its two barrels mounted in series. It’s METAS certification signals the watch is highly anti-magnetic up to 15,000 gauss thanks to its Silicon “Si14” balance spring and is regulated to run within zero to five seconds per day. The rhodium-plated bridges of the 8912 caliber are finished with familiar Geneva waves in arabesque and blackened screws, barrels and free sprung balance wheel. The rhodium-plated rotor matches the bridges with Geneva waves in arabesque as well.
Omega Seamaster 300 Bronze Gold pricing and availability:
The Omega Seamaster 300 Bronze Gold will be available through Omega Boutiques and Authorised Dealers. Price: CHF 11,500