While bronze has come to connote standing as a third-place metal, it’s actually a first. That is, bronze has been around almost as long as horology. Finding form in weaponry and decorations at the same time water clocks first appeared (4000 BCE), it’s mankind’s oldest alloy. Concocted in varying combinations of copper and tin, bronze can pack a Vickers hardness rating higher than that of wrought iron and stainless steel combined. Bronze is also anti magnetic and resists corrosion — especially that caused by seawater. By generating a patina of copper oxide, bronze actually shields itself from further contamination. These characteristics, along with its ability to stand out in the seas of stainless-steel wristwear, make it an ideal alloy for your wrist. Here are the bronze watches that top our podium.

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