October 22, 2019
by Rob Nudds
A new addition to the Delma Shell Star range debuts today, becoming the brand’s first foray into bronze. The Delma Shell Star Bronze watch stands out in a surprisingly extensive catalog of mostly uncoated steel watches. That it would instantly become a very noticeable character in the collection due to the uncommonness of the material in Delma’s other wares was a forgone conclusion. What was less forgone, however, was how good the watch would be in its own right. Having had the chance to look over the press shots, I am pleased to report the brand has excelled itself this time around. It will be important to get this watch on the wrist to see how it wears, but aesthetically it is very pleasing to my eye.
The dial texture is unusually rough but will no doubt act as an excellent base in bright light conditions (textured matte surfaces like this tend to soak up glare like a sponge to water). Legibility figures to be good thanks to lumed, applied indices (with bright orange edges) and no-nonsense hands. The three color options available (blue, green, and brown) give the design a decidedly vintage flavor and work well with the bronze housing.
One of my favorite aspects of Delma watches is the crown. The finish and signing are always excellent and this generously-sized winder looks to follow suit with previous models. The exterior finishing too, is often very good, and here we see a brushed cushion-shaped case with highly-polished bevels running into stubby lugs that will keep this 44mm from wearing too massively on the wrist. Caseback shots show that the screw-down back in steel and fitted with a sapphire display window giving us a clear and unobstructed view of the movement.
A modified ETA 2824 powers this watch, beating at 28,800vph and running for 38 hours on a full wind. While the movement choice is solid but unremarkable, the water-resistance goes beyond expectations. This watch, which is based on Delma’s very first diver from 1975, can withstand the pressure of being 500 meters below the surface. The addition of a helium valve ensures this piece can be used for a variety of underwater activities. Each model (perhaps in reference to their water resistance) will be limited to just 500 pieces. The price for the Delma Shell Star Bronze watch is €1,490. Learn more at delma.ch.