Sunday, 7 October 2012
The Age of Bronze - Helson Shark Diver
The thing with bronze is that is oxidizes fairly easily and it forms a nice patina (more so if you actually took it diving in the sea or artificially aging it) that only something made out of bronze will have. This material, like silver will turn its colour and have a certain warmth to it. This is unlike stainless steel or gold, which shines and glitters. What bronze does it have various textures and allows a more vintage look to an item. It also makes a watch into something that came out of a steampunk storybook. The look is more machine or device than a watch.
I have procured a Helson Shark Diver 45mm Bronze simply because it is stunning in the flesh. It costs less than a Panerai Bronzo which now costs in the region of RM70,000+ and you can buy about 15-17 of the Helson pictured herein. I also think that the Helson is the best of the other bronze beasts out there. Here you can see it whooping a Rolex Submariner in terms of size and presence. It is actually slightly larger and higher than even a Panerai Luminor 44mm. The thing is massive. It also allows its wearer to dive to a depth of 2000m where its wearer gets crushed to a pulp if not in a diving bell while it survives the sheer pressures of the deep sea. And I like it.
The Italian brand Anonimo has a few pieces in Bronze that can be bought at less than half the price of the Panny, but it uses a different sort of bronze that somehow allows a more uniform patina than the Panerai or the Helson. Sometimes you need a lot more patina and the Anonimo does not give this to me. Aside from that, bronze is the 'In-thing' when it comes big watches these days. I personally do not think that a small 36mm dress watch cased in bronze would be pleasurable to wear as the smallish case would not allow one to show off its patina.
I have handled a Panerai Bronzo. I totally am in love with it. Except for the price. If I bought one I'd have to sell an arm and a leg. Or a car or two. Or mortgage my house. Or save and starve. It's as simple as that.