Moreso than any other material used in watch cases, bronze is a living metal. The process of wear, patina, and verdigris is unique to every bronze alloy and even to every wearer, gradually changing a mass-produced timepiece into something that tells an individual story. This evolving, shifting property has earned bronze a legion of fans within the enthusiast community, despite some material shortfalls in durability and scratch resistance when compared with stainless steel. Delma is the latest brand to embrace this charismatic material, bringing bronze to the classically styled Cayman dive watch line for the first time. The new limited edition Delma Cayman Bronze brings a warmer, more nautical feel to the series, alongside a quartet of handsome colorways.
Like its stainless steel counterparts, the CuSn6 bronze case of the Delma Cayman Bronze measures in at a modern and athletic 42mm-wide. While the sizing is decidedly un-vintage, the form is pure classic skin diver, with long sharply tapering lugs, smoothly flared polished chamfers, and a boldly oversized unguarded screwdown pillbox crown. Delma tops the radially brushed bronze bezel insert with a high-impact fully lumed dive scale in images, which should allow for easy legibility even in the darkest conditions. A sapphire display caseback allows the Cayman Bronze to showcase its cleanly finished movement, without disrupting the watch’s immense 500 meter water resistance rating.
While the layout is carried over from 2021’s Cayman Field, the Delma Cayman Bronze’s dial takes on a variety of bold new personalities thanks to a quartet of colorways. The dial contrasts with the case design through its use of classic field watch cues, but the clean and elemental execution helps to ensure these two elements don’t clash with one another in images. In addition to a mix of bold, easy-to-read printed Arabic numerals and indices, the Cayman Bronze continues to emphasize at-a-glance utility with its inner ring of printed 24-hour numerals in gently faded brick red. Delma’s decision to frame the 3 o’clock date window in this same red hue helps to visually tie this element in with its surroundings in images, preventing it from disrupting the overall flow of the dial. The Cayman Bronze’s largest departure from its predecessors (outside of the new color options and the bronze baton handset) is its heavily textured new dial surface. Previous iterations of this dial design have used a simple matte finish, but the dramatic, almost asphalt-like pebble grain used for the Cayman Bronze introduces a sense of patina and subtle tropical aging that attractively complements the case material in images. In addition to the classic black dial option, Delma offers the Cayman Bronze with a trio of more distinctive colorways. The warm mahogany brown dial option emphasizes the design’s vintage, patinated feel, with a more saturated treatment than many equivalent brown dial designs. The blue dial model takes a similarly saturated, light approach to color, but here the royal blue hue helps to give the design a more straightforwardly nautical character. On the other hand, the forest green dial option instead shines a spotlight on the dial’s field watch roots, while providing an attractively on-trend look.
Delma powers the Cayman Bronze with the ubiquitous Sellita SW200 automatic movement. The SW200 has been a mainstay of many smaller and independent brands for years, and while it still offers reliable and affordable performance the design is beginning to lag behind newer powerplants with specifications like a mediocre 38 hour power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate. For the most part, Delma keeps the look of the SW200 clean and utilitarian with simple matte blasted bridges and plates, but does top the movement with a handsomely brushed gold rotor. Delma fits each color variant of the Cayman Bronze with a rugged rubber-lined Cordura strap in a dial-matching color.
With attractive new colors, dynamic texturing, and a rich, evolving case material, the limited edition Delma Cayman Bronze brings a warm and intriguing new dimension to the brand’s vintage-inspired diver series. Only 999 examples of the Delma Cayman Bronze will be made, and the watch is available now through authorized dealers. MSRP for the Delma Cayman Bronze stands at $1,650 as of press time. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.