Bronze is very popular in the watch industry in these days. The most distinctive feature of that material is undoubtedly the Patina. The aged look occurred due to the patina gives the watch a custom appearance. But how you get rid of that look..?
One of the most successful samples to the trending bronze watches is surely the Panerai PAM00382 aka “Bronzo”. That unique timepiece launched in 2011 is considered to be one of the best samples of the bronze watches with its timeless design and appreciating value.
The characteristics of bronze and the overall design of the Bronzo were so successful that the watch became an instant success and one of the most popular Panerais.
The invention of bronze goes back to Pre-historic age. Referring to the studies, the first use of bronze had been in 3500 BC. The reason behind the use of bronze was making copper more durable. In time, more suitable alloys had been found and bronze lost its popularity. After 5500 years, it is popular again, but this time in the watch industry.
As of its nature, bronze reacts with oxygen atoms present in the air and the structure of the surface begins to change. In fact, this is not exclusive to bronze only as other kinds of metal create a thin surface of oxidation upon reacting with air. This layer is not harmful. Actually, we may call it a shield for protection as the layer gets to the optimal thickness, the core of the metal stop reacting with air and oxidation ends. In bronze watches, the oxidized surface turns into a different appeal when compared to its brand new appearance.
When it’s brand new in the box, the watch looks pretty shiny and cool like a solid rose gold watch but, in time this appearance changes. Depending on the wearer’s conditions, the watch starts to get darker in various points randomly. This is temporary as you see the color gets back to its original tone after rubbing the case with your finger o take the steps we mention below. The permanent layer requires much more time and more reasons for oxidation. When this stage begins, the green thick layer starts to occur. While pretty weak at the beginning, this layer gets as hard as a shell after a certain period. If you are patient enough, you’ll be able to wear a miniature Statue of Liberty on your wrist.
The patina appearance is appreciated by most of the bronze watch users. Every watch creates a different patina depending on the environment and user’s conditions which makes the watches more exclusive to the users. Before we start to tell about the tips and tricks for removing the patina, let’s talk about how to create patina artificially.
As mentioned in the beginning, our main tool is oxygen. If you are in a more humid area, the oxidation goes faster. Sea water is another accelerator for oxidation. If you expose your watch to sea water and do not rinse it afterwards, the oxidation process goes faster. In the meantime, the green layer starts to occur but since a certain amount of time is required for a permanent layer physical effects shorten the life of this layer.
Another common method is exposing the watch to boiled eggs. When you put your bronze watch in air sealed bag with sliced boiled eggs, the sulfur reacts with the bronze and patina strong follows.
How you can restore your bronze watch back to its brand new condition..? Acid is our key here. Of course, we are not talking about strong, industrial type acid but lighter acid which can be obtained from several sources we use in our daily life.
Ketch-up is one of the lightest abrasives we can use. We can easily and effectively clean our bronze watch with light patina.
Further steps involve soda water and lemon. Our researches prove that fruit mix soft drinks work better than lemon flavored ones.
Leaving the watch in a cup filled with soda water works pretty fine to remove the patina from bronze watches. In order to obtain a shinier look, lemon juice could be used or you may rub your watch directly with lemon. You will be surprised when you see the results. Technically speaking, there are far better substances which will do the work better but considering the ease of soda water and lemon, professional methods are not really required here.
Let’s get to the cleaning process we did in our office with easy to get substances.
First we remove the strap.
Than we put the watch in a glass and fill the glass with soda water or soft drink. We can say that soft drinks works better than soda water.
In order to speed up the procedure and get better results, lemon juice can be added to the glass. We take the watch out after 15 minutes and rinse it with clean water. During this process, a tooth brush can be used for more effective cleaning.
After the process, our watch is restored back to its brand new condition.
The users are mostly worried about the harmful effects of that type of cleaning when proceeded very often. The patina layer has a thickness which can be measured in nanometers only. When you remove the patina you also remove that part of the watch as well but due to its super thin structure the loss is not visible to the eye. Maybe after 100 years, a regularly soda bathing bronze watch may lose its sharp lines.
In the owner’s manual, it states that the watch can be restores to its original appearance in the factory. We are sure that the methods in the factory service do not include soda water or ketch-up but professional polishing.
Bronze watches are more like living creatures. Patina is not just a color change but it’s more like a symbol of true life experiences. We may go on wearing those experiences on our writs or simply make a fresh start when we want to.