Yes, bronze is the new ceramic this year. Right after Panerai has presented its new Luminor Submersible 1950 Bronze (PAM 382) model, the Swiss-based Angular Momentum starts a whole new collection, which is, too, made using this alloy.
According to the official press release, the new Bronze Timepiece Bz No. 1 will be released in a large round case 44.00 mm in diameter and will be powered by a hand-wound movement (most probably, some “historic” pocket watch job.)
As you can see in the pictures, the timepiece’s body will feature both polished (bezel) and satinated (sides) surfaces that provide it with more depth and make the case more interesting to look at.
Thanks to a set of rather unusual lugs, the No. 1, despite its relatively large diameter, doesn’t require too much space on a normal wrist. It would probably look good on you even if you happen to be of a skinnier kind.
The illusion of lightness is further supported by the polished bezel. Thanks to its S-shaped profile, the bezel looks extremely thin even despite it taking a great deal of the timekeeper’s front view.
The winding crown, while sporting impressive diameter, too, looks compact thanks to its clean shape. My only complaint about the part is that being so short, it may not be particularly comfortable for persons with thicker fingers and longer nails like, say, fingerstyle guitarists.
The Champleve dial is decorated with Email Lumineuse — a proprietary alloy of enamel and an extremely strong glowing quick loading pigment that makes Superluminova look like cheap gouache in comparison — that shows an exotic reef fish. Alas, although the enamel is available in different colors, the display is completely monochromatic.
Unfortunately, the use of a glowing substance doesn’t make the Bronze Timepiece Bz No. 1 any more legible at night. Well, truth be told, even during the day reading the timepiece is often a chore since the hour and minute hands are crafted from the same metal as the ornament of the dial itself.
On the other hand, this is more of a work of art than a time-measuring tool, so I don’t think that this is a problem.
As usual, Angular Momentum doesn’t say much regarding the mechanism that powers this little work of art. However, given its signature layout with an easy to recognize balance bridge, I am fairly positive that this is the well-known Caliber ETA 2801 hand-wound movement: a robust and reliable workhorse that was used as a base for building another Swiss legend: the good old ETA 2824-2 self-winding caliber.
The caliber, as you can see on the photo below, comes without any sort fancy finish, but this is for the better given the timekeeper’s deliberately simple styling. Make it any more complex, and it would only hurt the beautifully designed dial.
That’s all info that Angular Momentum cared to share so far. Perhaps, we will know more closer to the Baselworld 2011 international trade fair, which is due in March.
See also: SIHH 2010: A. Lange & Sohne 1 Daymatic
Photos: Angular Momentum
Angular Momentum Bronze Collection: Bronze Timepiece Bz No. 1 specification
Movement: Hand-wound, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Power reserve: Approx. 46 hours
Case: Silicon Bronze
Size: 44.00 mm
Dial: Champleve, Email Lumineuse
Hands: Silicon Bronze
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black natural rubber