This year in the summer I reviewed the Fonderia Navale Veneto dive watch. You can read a full review of the watch here. As you know I wanted to review a bronze watch for years and also wanted to own one and Fonderia Navale kindly let me keep the Veneto. I wanted to own a bronze watch so I can see how I can age it.
I know there are a lot of different methods on how you can age the watch with saltwater, vinegar, with hard boiled eggs, liver of sulfur, blue or green solution, ammonia and of course, you can go mad by mixing different stuff together and dipping in the watch. The possibilities are endless. Here you can read about different methods on a fellow watch review page: www.thetimebum.com
When I received the watch it was brand new without any signs of patina on the bronze case and crown. On the second day of owning the watch, I went swimming with the watch in the sea and right after the swimming I saw some very light signs of patina, but nothing that strikes your eyes. Then I tried the vinegar and salt fuming method. I basically submerged the watch in vinegar, took it out and put it in the box. I also put there a little container containing vinegar and left it for a night. When I took the watch out the next day, the bronze case was in this green/blue colour, then I let it dry in the sun for two days and then rinsed it in the water, but sadly 99% of that green/blue colour washed off. And the bronze became in this pink/gold colour. I tried this a couple of times, but nothing much happened.
Then I went on a hunt to find something with I could patina the watch. I read all the posts about how to patina watch, watched every youtube video. Then I found that there is a blue solution. And I couldn’t find anyone on forums or anywhere who has tried it. I went straight to eBay and found a seller from the UK who sells a lot of solutions to age the bronze or brass metals and bought one small bottle. It arrived in about 2 weeks and the patina project can start.
So I washed the watch with soap and then dried it with a towel (just don’t touch it with your finger so you don’t leave any oils or anything on the case as it interferes with the ageing process). Put the watch in a plastic container. Then take the solutions and put it a bit on a brush and apply on the watch case until it is fully covered. Close the lid and leave it for a day or two to dry. If you want a fuller effect do it a couple of times in a row. I did it two times as it was plenty enough if you do it right. After you take it out of the container remember to wash the watch with soap and brush. The end result was pretty good. The watch had those blue and green spots and also some dark spots and white ones too. On this watch, it is quite hard to achieve a good result as the most of the surfaces are flat, but on a watch, with a bezel or many angles, you will achieve more patina. Also, a plus for the blue solution is that it doesn’t smear your clothes in that colour, it stays on strong.
After that, I went swimming a couple of more times with the watch and it got more and more patina. Then after 1 month I did another round with the blue solution and finally achieved the effect I wanted that you can see here:
Some of you would ask why I didn’t try the hard boiled egg or liver of sulfur method? But the answer is that I just don’t like the colour in which it colours the bronze. I want to achieve that blue/green patina, but those methods make the bronze black or in a very dark colour. I also didn’t use ammonia, because it isn’t available in my country freely and I can’t order it through eBay too.
Some people don’t like bronze watches, I have received some very angry comments on my Instagram pictures that it looks like mould or something rotten. Some people also don’t know that if the patina is done right it won’t smear your clothes or anything. But overall does it matter who likes it or not? I like it, and that is what’s important. For me, the ageing process is something very interesting, probably if I wasn’t writing about watches I probably would be working somewhere where I can age furniture or any other object. In the future when I will get another bronze/brass watch, I will try another method, but for now, this is the method I can recommend to you as it worked pretty good for me.