welcome to the bronze age

GQ (Australia) - - GQ WATCH -

Famed de­signer Gerald Genta was the first to bring bronze to mod­ern wrists with the ‘Gefica’ in the early 2000s. Cut to now and it’s emerged as a bona fide fad. Given the ma­te­rial’s tra­di­tional use in ship­build­ing and div­ing equip­ment, it makes sense that bronze has found its niche in diver’s watches.

Ever seen Cuba Good­ing Jr in Men of Honor? He played the in­spi­ra­tion be­hind Oris’s new­est dive watch – Carl Brashear, the US Navy’s first African-Amer­i­can deep sea diver. Fol­low­ing the loss of a leg dur­ing a 1966 bomb re­cov­ery mis­sion, he was also Amer­ica’s first am­putee diver. The 42mm ‘Carl Brashear Lim­ited Edi­tion’ au­to­matic is based on Oris’s ‘Divers Sixty-five’ and ren­dered in beau­ti­ful bronze.

Its epi­cally pro­por­tioned pieces fu­elled the over­sized watch craze, and, while some have come to their senses, U-boat con­tin­ues un­abated with the ‘Chimera Net’. Its aged bronze case spans 46mm be­fore an enor­mous crown ex­tends the watch’s di­am­e­ter an­other 8.6mm. Only 300 will be made, each hous­ing an au­to­matic chronome­ter move­ment.

When Rolex’s sis­ter brand, Tu­dor, in­tro­duced the ‘Her­itage Black Bay’ in 2012, the com­pany fi­nally stepped out of the shadow of its il­lus­tri­ous sib­ling. This year, the Black Bay re­ceived the bronze treat­ment (pic­tured, $4750), with char­ac­ter­is­tic ‘snowflake’ hands bor­rowed from Tu­dor watches used by the French Na­tional Navy in the ’70s.

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