We’ve featured quite a few bronze-encased watches on these pages, several of which have come from Helson (link). Since I happen to like the look of bronze, I’m happy to report that Helson has delivered another entry into that category.
The Gauge Bronze is an extension of their existing Gauge line (Gauge and Gauge 1000), presenting a cleanly styled, functional, timepiece. What really speaks to me with this piece (aside from the case material, of course) is just how simple (in terms of appearance) the watch is. Just a plain, round, 47mm case without an extra bezel; even the use of minute markers (rather than the more “traditional” hours) seems to sing that simplified tune.
Given that appearance, you might be tempted to think this watch will just disappear on the wrist – but I’m fairly certain that’s not the case. As I noted, it has a 47mm case – and that case is a healthy 17.6mm thick. That larger case, combined with a 4mm-thick domed sapphire crystal means it’s going to carry some weight – literally and visually. Those specs, along with the automatic helium escape valve, means that (feasibly) the 1000m water resistance rating makes this a working watch (though, with the lack of a timing bezel, dive usage may be out of the question).
Tucked inside the case is the ever-present (and reliable) ETA 2824-2; the watch is mounted on a 24mm natural rubber strap that tapers down to the 22mm bronze buckle. All told, it’s a big watch that visually presents as a smaller piece. I think this is one of the fresher takes I’ve seen as of late using bronze, and I like how Helson pairs it with a green dial (you could opt for brown or black as well). I think a deep blue dial could work nicely here too (perhaps a future edition).
I’d also be curious to see if a slimmed down (in terms of height) version of this watch could be done. Sure, you’d likely sacrifice some of the WR rating, but I think it would be a worthwhile trade off (let me know in the comments, or send me an email, if you know of something like that out there). Those thoughts aside, I think this makes for an interesting option, even though it comes in at an asking price of $1,449.