Longio Zhuke Bronze Watch Review

Longio Zhuke Bronze Watch Review

Longio Zhuke Bronze Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

I am sitting here with my Longio Zhuke watch a few months after getting it, examining the patina on the case. A modern looking dive watch, rather than being in a typical steel case, the Zhuke comes in bronze. The odd material became popular over the last few years for unknown reasons. I think it has something to do with how the case ages quickly, making it look vintage, and how the color fits somewhere between steel and gold. Bronze is not an ideal material for cases as it begins to oxidize quickly. Sure you can polish it, but most people who own bronze watches seem to love how each of them age in their own special way.

So my bronze Zhuke is starting to look like some type of vintage instrument. In a strange way it is cool, but I can’t seem to pinpoint why. The patina doesn’t quite look “dirty” and as I run my finger over the case it still feels smooth and pleasant. I could get behind this bronze thing – but certainly only for a select number of watches in my collection. The bronze appeal is real, and perhaps each person whose collection of divers is large enough might want to strongly consider something like the Longio Zhuke.

Longio Zhuke Bronze Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Over the years we’ve written a lot about Longio. Click above to see our reviews of their 1000 Meter Tourbillon and other interesting timepieces. We like the brand because as Chinese watchmakers, they are proudly Chinese. Having developed their own unique style. Nevertheless, their core business is as a supplier to other brands. Producing entire watches or just cases for a range of brands all over the world. The Zhuke itself has elements that appeared in a watch they produced for a tiny brand called Olivier. The Zhuke has the same bronze case. Different are the dial and strap. Each of them even have the same movements.

As a Chinese watch, the Zhuke still contains a Swiss movement. Inside the Zhuke is a Swiss ETA 2824 which should satisfy most watch lovers though Longio’s price for the Zhuke seems high. To be honest, most “Swiss watches” have Chinese cases, dials, and straps with ETA movements. So what makes the Longio Zhuke different? Not too much aside from the fact that it has the name of a Chinese brand on it. And it does so in a sort of cool way. There is Chinese writing on the case and even the name “Zhuke” is Chinese. When buying a Chinese watch – this is the way to go. It doesn’t hurt that it is a limited edition as well.

Longio Zhuke Bronze Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Longio Zhuke Bronze Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

As a sporty dive watch, the Zhuke is a rather capable and good looking option. The 44-45mm wide case is water resistant to 500 meters and has a helium release valve to boot. You have a rotating diver’s bezel with lume indicators, and I like the bronze on bronze look of the case and bezel. Because bronze is a poor choice for a crown and caseback (not good to have bronze making prolonged contact with skin), the caseback is in steel while the crown is PVD black with the Longio logo etched into it. Longio offers the Zhuke with either an olive green or black dial. I was intrigued by the green dial as it paired well with the bronze color, but in the end opted for a more classic black dial.

Over the dial is a sapphire crystal and overall legibility is good. I even don’t mind that the dial is relatively flat – something I shy away from for the most part these days as I like dials with more depth. However, in this case the colors on the dial as well as the bold contrast of the hour markers wins out in the end. Longio made the hands the right length (not something they always do), and the stark utilitarian qualities of the design have won me over. Lume is really quite good as super LumiNova is used for the hands and hour markers. Sadly none is applied to any part of the seconds hand.

Longio Zhuke Bronze Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Longio Zhuke Bronze Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Longio further ensured that the date dial is black to match the dial of the watch. Often on watches like this you have a less intense attention to detail as date discs are typically white. Good of Longio to make sure there wasn’t a glaring white element on the dial that didn’t fit. Placement of the date is between 4 and 5 o’clock so as not to disturb any of the hour markers. If you aren’t looking for it, the date almost sneakily hides in the background.

I’ve always liked these tonneau-style divers with round dials. They offer a chunky, durable appeal that is nevertheless very comfortable on the wrist. The almost lugless style helps ensure that despite the size, the case fits on most all wrists. Longio includes a black silicon strap with the Zhuke, as well as a black leather strap. They even offer a useful strap changing tool. I bet there are a lot of interesting strap options that would look good on this piece.

Longio Zhuke Bronze Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

There aren’t too many downsides to the watch aside from the fact that Longio’s website offers zero information on it and the watch is hard to find outside of Asia. I am a fan of the brand and want people to see more of these. They do a decent job, and for whatever they lack in marketing prowess, they do an honest job at trying to make an interesting watch that isn’t a direct copy of something else. Speaking about a watch from China that is still saying a lot, Longio will produce just 200 pieces of the Zhuke in each dial color. That isn’t too many and certainly qualifies it as an indy diver. If you want one you’ll need understand the Chinese text on their e-commerce website here. Price is $2,980. longiowatch.com

Necessary Data
>Brand: Longio
>Model: Zhuke
>Price: $2,980
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Some interesting in a good looking bronze dive watch at a good price – and is willing to jump through hoops to find it.
>Best characteristic of watch: Well-conceived design and use of trend bronze. Looks nicer than it costs, and is refreshingly Chinese.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Dial is a bit flat and rubber versus silicon strap would have been nice. Hard to find any information on it via the brand as well.

25 comments
DG Cayse
DG Cayse

Good review Mr. Adams. Nice soft smack-down on the pretentious twits re: gloves. As most of us with a penchant for watches have a slight, to moderate, OCC the wiping of hand oils and smudges is a common thing - white gloves , unless in *sales* is just a bit much. 

As to the 'patina' thing...one word....BRASSO. Those who know what it is, know what it does.

I like the Zhuke (zoo - kuh, as mentioned earlier). It looks to be well designed piece and it is made by an established company. I'm somewhat curious as to their use of the ETA movement - this might well be why this is a "limited" edition. Those things are getting scarce in the PRC from what I hear. A good Seagull (ST2130?) caliber would work just as well, IMO.  They did include that damn "HE" valve...useless for the 99.9%.

Overall, I think its a very nice watch and one that I would wear. I would not pay the MSRP for this. Secretly, I think this is just a play on the Chinese mentality of "Costs more = More face" thing.

I look for this same model to come on the market with a well made Chinese caliber at a much better price. Just my speculation.

Interesting points about the use of bronze. Yes, it has long been the choice for diving helmets and accoutrements of commercial divers (thus the popularity of Brasso in shops along the wharf). But a good point is also made re: the bronze and steel galvanic reaction occurrence. I would like to see further comment on this.


Jazzbass
Jazzbass

Guys stay away from Olivier watch company. I have been waiting on my watch for over a year. There has been almost zero communication from the company. There are lots of PayPal disputes being filed, myself included. Their website has not been updated in a long time. I figure I got scammed out of a $200 deposit. Just an FYI.

ZL
ZL

Now I want one of those Olivier divers. And although I think I slightly prefer the look of the Longio, the Olivier is something I can actually consider. And will!

It seems like other Chinese watch brands, though high quality, like Seagull, sometimes try to price themselves into a market where they don't belong. I'm telling you, I would have gotten a couple Seagulls if they weren't competing with perhaps slightly better watches costing slightly less. I hope they are listening. 

Will_F
Will_F

For a watch brand which is unknown and not particularly original or innovative, almost $3K suggests someone is delusional. You can buy the exact same watch from Olivier for $850.


bichondaddy
bichondaddy

Not something I would ever consider....mainly because for a Chinese watch....the price is really inflated.  There are plenty of 500M dive watches out there that are better looking, and not even half the price. 

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

OK this may be an apples to oranges comparison, but for about $500 more you could pick up one of those new Muhle Glaschutte Rasmus 2000 dive watches (which I fell in love with at BaselWorld). Or pick any other dive watch of your choice in the under $3500 range.

I like the Zhuke but I don't think the price is exactly 'right' regardless of country of origin. Guess one is paying for 'hard to find' factor and love of bronze with this one. At half the price it would be most cool. Even $2K might work, but $3K is a stretch IMO.

Ultra Group
Ultra Group

"The odd material became popular over the last few years for unknown reasons" <------ the Bronze Age of watches lol

PhilMaurer
PhilMaurer

Bronze case, with a Stainless back...  Umm Isn't that a no no?  Your asking for  galvanic corrosion esp if you ever get it near saltwater.

Mein Uhr
Mein Uhr

So what they are telling me is I can buy their watch for $2900 or I can order an Olivier (which has a far nicer dial IMO) for $850 and specify my limited edition number. Hmmm... decisions, decisions.  

CG
CG

The history of the sea and bronze dive instruments goes way back. The first dive helmets were bronze as were the weight belts and most fasteners. No corrosion, the "patina" is actually protective. This is why bronze age statues and weapons have lasted centuries, bronze is not an "odd" material in the least for a dive watch. I would prefer it. Quite a nice watch but Chinese, big turnoff there... would not buy it at such an inflated price with the Chinese known for shoddy and sometimes deceptive manufacturing processes.

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

Glad to see these guys are still active, I was just thinking of them the other day. Aside from that, this is a Longio? Their older stuff had such an indentifiable style to it that was all their own. This one is nice, but so contrived; like they decided to put a watch out made from parts they had left over from filling orders for other brands they produce parts for. The square-cased Gotham-style tourbillon watches they had around 2010 is this brands real identity, they should continue to lean on it.

Ariel, the tourbillon diver was your first tourbillon as I recall: how has it held up? Still wear it?

Ryan B
Ryan B

Even though the price isn't right this is a fantastic tool watch. 

There doesn't seem to be too much love for the flat dial, which saddens me because I find dive watches with this style rather attractive.


Ifor T W Baynes
Ifor T W Baynes

ifor baynes - 

love the watch, especially with the bronze effect, but most of all, my compliments of the way you handled the "whitegloveing" discussion - i agree, the thing (watch) is'nt dead (as yet) then you migbt think of putting on gloves, to handle the carcass - i kind of manhandle my watches too, every now and then i clean them with a soft cloth, and that's about it --- tastefully done Ariel, thankx...


Panagiotis
Panagiotis

It's nice I guess but way overpriced? I mean the Aquadive that you recently reviewed has a fantastic bronze offering that appears to be top quality, for $1600.

For this much dough they should include a tourbillon in there...I still wouln't buy it, but I wouldn't compare it to similarly built boutique divers that sell for 1/3 the price either.

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

Bronze is very tough and resistant to salt-water corrosion which makes it an ideal material for dive watches, though it probably wasn't used very often due to being hard to work on.  It's an attractive watch but there are plenty of competitors in terms of design and price as well.  The flat look of the dial (without those pillowy pads of lume we're used to on other watches) doesn't appeal to me.

ZL
ZL

An absolutely great looking watch and another brand I am thankful that you have introduced me to. Looking on their website I never would have guessed that it's as cool looking as it is in your review. I want one. It is still attractive when competing with watches at a similar price point. Too bad there don't appear to be any dealers here in Shanghai.

Just an aside: the pronunciation of ZhuKe should be two syllables, with the second kind of like a "kuh" (both with falling tones if you want to nitpick).

Lesthepom
Lesthepom

Nice looking watch the Bronze is interesting are the photographs of the watch now or when it was new as you say the look has changed as the watch is aging

Could you tell us how you came across the brand and and resided to spend so much on it not to say it's a good looking watch and worth the dosh I don't think I would lash out that sort of cash on a watch I haven't really here'd of or seen was it recommended or did you find the brand at a show

I may have to look into the bronze thing it has a nice tone to it like you say some were between steel and gold

As you say we should not tool out the Chinese watches as they do make a lot of the so called Swiss watches just be careful what you think you are getting may not be what you end up with

xpusostomos
xpusostomos

@Jazzbass I had to wait a long long time, but I eventually, as at Dec 2013 received my Olivier. Awful communication, but the watch did eventually turn up if you were very very patient.


Correction to the article, the strap looks exactly the same as the Olivier one (which is a fairly crappy one, IMHO). Only differences to Olivier are different dial, crown, different hands, lumed bezel and Olivier comes with 2 bezels.

Ultra Group
Ultra Group

And this watch is ugly over priced turd If a friend of mine buys it ill beat him with a stick till the end of world ...

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@Mein Uhr According to their website, Olivier has their ETA model from $250 and a Mioyta model from $200. These appear to be pre-order prices and from I can tell they may not be shipping yet.

Ryan B
Ryan B

@Mein Uhr  never heard of them before so I just looked them up and there is an uncanny resemblance between their diver and the Zhuke, plus it's about 2,000 cheaper. Thank you sir for this insight.

DG Cayse
DG Cayse

@xpusostomos@JazzbassThanks for the follow-up on finally receiving your Zhuke.

Perhaps you should see the ABTW video review of the Ancon Magnus watch...or maybe not...;)

DonaldEvans
DonaldEvans

@MarkCarson @Mein Uhr Those were just deposit prices. And the watches, started shipping last December........until Olivier went underground and started screwing all that preorderd.  Stay away. If you want all the info on this brand, and how he screwed everyone , check out watchfreeks.com. 


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