In this edition of aBlogtoWatch’s “Watch What-If” series, designer Niklas Bergenstjerna re-imagines some modern dive watches with a vintage bronzed look. Initially inspired by the Oris Carl Brashear Limited Edition Dive Watch, Niklas imagined what some some contemporary divers would look like if bronze were the material of choice rather than steel. The four watches he re-imagined are: the Bremont Supermarine 500 (seen above and reviewed here); the TAG Heuer Aquaracer (hands-on here); the Cartier Calibre Diver (reviewed here); and the Breitling SuperOcean Heritage Chrono (reviewed here). Here is what Niklas has to say:
Oris recently released their retro-designed Oris Divers Sixty-Five in a limited-edition bronze version. The warm appearance of this new watch really puts in perspective the impact material has on a watch design. Could bronze be an opportunity to breathe new life into some of the classic marine inspired watch designs?
Panerai, for example, has a rich history of bronze watches. Should the established brands explore bronze further? Here are a few examples of some classics turning bronze to get your imagination going.
The TAG Heuer Aquaracer with a deep blue dial and bronze case evokes a feeling of the mystery of the deep along with the feeling of whimsical adventure that comes with the idea of diving for sunken treasure.
The Bremont Vs Panerai Replica Caliber Diver in bronze with an almost oxidized green leather strap is certainly something you’d expect to find on the wrist of a well traveled ship’s captain or admiral.
The Breitling SuperOcean Chrono with dark brown dial is moody and evokes the dark unknown of the endless ocean at night.
The Bremont Supermarine 500m has a bezel that is almost reminiscent of the suckers on an Octopus tentacle, and the bronzed dial looks like the watch has spent years at the bottom of the ocean.
Niklas Bergenstjerna is a freelance graphic designer and watch lover based in the south of Sweden. niklex.com
The AC 1 case’s mostly steel substance is also completely polished, which adds a more classy and retro element to the watch. Bremont even made the event somewhat thinner for certain models like the AC I. The caseback feels somewhat thinner or it may just be an optical illusion. A more expansive sapphire crystal display back provides a view of this base ETA mechanical movement, but also the red-color strips that constitute the exceptional shock-absorption system intended to protect the movement in the event the case is dropped or subjected to harsh jolt or vibrations.At 100 meters water resistant and without a screw-down crown, the AC I is not as durable as a more dedicated Bremont dive watch — but it is durable enough. With its comfy blue rubber band, I didn’t have any problems wearing the AC 1 over a wetsuit while spending time swimming in the beach. I even took the AC 1 a couple feet underwater. I can state that legibility was exceptional given the high-contrast face. I was advised the gasket system from the crown ought to be enough to keep the watch dry at the depths people experience during recreational diving.The issue I was asking myself while sporting the Bremont AC I is if I’d suddenly only discovered a gentlemen’s game watch once I was believing that I was wearing a gentlemen’s view. You see, the very simple but attractive lines around the dial of this watch aren’t what I typically grab for as somebody who enjoys sportier, more aggressive designs.