This is the first bronze watch of any type that I have been able to review. Makara is a Canadian brand that offers this watch in two models, the Hawksbill and the Sea Turtle. The only difference that I can determine between the two models is the design of the hands and indices. For this review I have a Sea Turtle with the maroon face.
Both models are available in your choice of black, maroon or teal dials with white Superluminova C1 applied to the hands and the indices. The case and bezel are machined out of one piece of bronze, CuSn8, which from what I gather is among the earliest developed metals, possibly going back as far as 3500 BC. This type of bronze is highly resistant to corrosion, making it a popular material for use around boats and in salt air. Bronze is typically 88% copper and 12% tin, but it can vary and other elements and metals such as phosphorus, zinc, lead, nickel, aluminum, iron and manganese can be used in different types of bronze.
Though heavier that stainless steel, bronze develops a unique patina over time that protects the underlying material from corrosion. The patina can be left to develop naturally or it can be accelerated through chemical methods. Accelerating bronze patina requires the watch to be removed from it’s leather strap, so I have decided to allow the bronze case on this watch to age naturally.
The 316L round case back sits precisely within the chunky bronze case. The back is engraved with a Polynesian like design of a sea turtle and what I think are ocean waves. The caseback is raised with a 12 sided inner edge, which is engraved with information about the watch. I assume the case back is screw down which may require a special tool for removal or installation.
The watch is rated 300M W/R and the very substantial and solid 3 o’clock 8 x 3.7 mm crown is screw down. The crown is edged with a military tread like 8 section pattern with a design on the crown head is engraved in the theme of the case back. The case is a chunky angular almost 8 sided design that slopes in a flat plain down to the 24 mm recessed strap lugs. It is 52 mm lug to lug, 44 mm in diameter and 47.8 mm across the case including the crown. This is not a small watch but it fits my seven inch wrist fairly well despite only having a slight downward curvature to the bronze portion of the case back. The stainless steel portion of the case back is what your wrist primarily rests on.
The supplied thick, black grained leather strap tapers only slightly from 24mm. It has contrasting white edge stitching, two very soft strap loops and a large, thick bronze signed buckle. A rubber strap is also included, for those owners that want to get this watch wet.
The watch is a robust 16.8 mm thick due to the raised double domed sapphire crystal. The crystal is not anti reflective but it blends in perfectly with the machined angle of the bezel portion of the case. The oversized flat indices on the maroon dial are round, except for those at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock, which are rectangular and the slightly elongated downward pointing 12 o’clock triangle. The six o’clock indice is replaced by a white on black date window.
The date window is edged with a thin gold line and the minute/second markers are in the same format along with the name “Makara” on the upper portion of the dial and “300M” on the lower half. I appreciate the lack of extensive text on the watch face. The rectangular sword hour hand and the arrow shaped minute hand are gold edged and filled with the same Superluminova C1 as the indices. A rectangular lumed lollipop on the long, straight, gold second hand works perfectly with the arrow shaped hour and long minute hand.
Powering this watch is the very popular Seiko/TMI NH35a automatic movement. It is 24 jewels, 21,600 bph and has a 41 hour power reserve. The movement in this watch is only about a second a day slow, which is much better than I typically find. There are very few affordable bronze dive watches on the market, and the well made and designed Makara Sea Turtle and Hawksbill are quite a bargain in my book at $395. www.makarawatches.com
Bert Kanne is a freelance contributor to MBWW with a love for well made dive watches and chronographs. All photos by Bert Kanne unless otherwise noted.