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LIV Ushers in the New Bronze Age

Contents

Part 1:
LIV is helping usher in the new bronze age

Part 2:
Did someone say bronze?

Part 3:
Fun facts about bronze

Part 4:
Bronze, meet titanium

Part 5:
How bronze forms a patina

Part 6:
Restoring your original luster

Early development

LIV is helping usher in the new bronze age

Bronze is making a comeback, at least in the watch world. And, LIV is at the forefront, bringing our unique take on design and materials to fans, watch freaks, and collectors everywhere with our fifth, that’s right, number 5, Kickstarter campaign.

This campaign is a tribute to the Saturn V missions that took mankind to the surface of the Moon. The Moon Dust Automatic, one of the two watches in the campaign, is available with a specially formulated bronze case (more later). LIV is taking bronze to outer space! Okay, figuratively, but it’s still cool!

Did someone say bronze?

WWI and the interwar years

Never heard of bronze as a case material? Well, you are not alone, even though the first documented pocket watch from 1577 had a bronze case. That makes sense as stainless steel, and other common case materials, were still a few hundred years or so away.

Copper would have been too soft, and precious metals brought along their own set of limitations.

Why the interest today? Patina, baby, it’s all about the patina.

In five short years following Bleriot's flight, Europe and most of the rest of the world was plunged into the horror of WWI. Dirigibles and observation balloons were still in use but eventually succumbed to the rapidly developing airplanes. Watches and compasses now served to guide bombers to targets to deliver their ordnance as accurately as possible.

The airplanes of WWI were often hard to control. That meant the pilot was ill-advised to take his hands off the controls to retrieve his pocket watch. The same value that leads Santos-Dumont to seek a solution carried full force into combat.

Most aerial combat during WWI occurred during the day due to lack of proper instruments and lights. Bad weather almost always grounded the planes of the time. So watches did not need large quantities of luminescence. The just needed to be easy to read. Therefore, the iconic black dial and large contrasting Arabic numerals became standard issue.

As a result of experiences in WWI, U.S. Navy captain Philip Van Horn Weems designed an independently adjustable seconds ring. This feature allowed pilots to accurately synchronize their watch with a radio time signal without stopping the sweep seconds hand. Although "hacking" watch movements to allow everyone in a combat unit to synchronize their watches to the second, the practice could result in throwing pilots off course, ruin missions, and risk the airplane and crew.

Following his successful trans-Atlanic flight in 1927, Charles Lindbergh collaborated with Weems to develop the Hour Angle system which further enabled the wristwatch to determine longitude.

The German military specified a design that set the standard for what we think of as a classic pilot's watch today. By 1936, aviation advances allowed airplanes to fly at all hours and in foul weather (although grounding in severe conditions was common). The result was the Beobachtungsuhr (B-Uhr), or Observer.

"A watch is only as good as its movement, the mechanism that powers its functions. We’ll equip each Saturn V watch with an exceptional mechanical or quartz Swiss movement. We’ve personally sourced these from only the best Swiss movement makers. Once in our Swiss workshops, we’ll meticulously inspect and fine-tune each movement, adjusting our mechanical movements in as many as five positions to an accuracy up to +/- 4 seconds per day. This unrelenting focus on precision will translate into a flawless performance on your wrist."

- Chaz Chazanow

Co-Founder at LIV Watches

Fun facts about bronze

Bronze is a remarkable material, so much so that it has its own historical period named after it, the Bronze Age. Bronze was the hardest known metal at the time, and it helped advance humankind towards a civilized life. In its most common form, bronze is an alloy of copper (88%) and tin (12%). The proportions vary considerably, and bronze makers often included other elements to meet their specific purposes.

Before timepieces were available, bronze could still fulfill a timekeeping role in the form of sundials. Wearing these on your wrist was cumbersome, to say the least.

A tin shortage from about 1200 - 100 BC forced people to seek other metals, and the Bronze Age came to an end.

Bronze, meet titanium

Fast forward to modernity, and the once pre-eminent metal is showing up on wrists around the world. It is still relatively uncommon, but LIV is pairing the noble bronze with space-age titanium in another inspired design as part of the latest LIV Kickstarter campaign.

Bronze, like copper, is anti-microbial by itself. This means that germs, bacteria, and other microscopic nasties die after a short encounter with bronze. These days that is a nice perk. However, people who have a sensitivity to metals may experience that same sensitivity with pure bronze.

Here’s the genius of the LIV design, utilize a titanium bronze alloy for the case. Titanium is so inert; it makes an ideal medial implant material, like our other case material, 316L stainless steel. Smelt titanium in with bronze, and presto, a bronze that people with metal allergies can better tolerate.
Titanium also adds durability and strength to the bronze. The resulting alloy possesses an extremely fine crystalline structure that takes to precision machining and hand-finishing like a fish to water.

Raw titanium

"Our Moon Dust automatic watches will be made from bronze combined with Space Age titanium. We'll then hand polish each case to a pristine finish. Our signature multilayered dials will incorporate elaborate modern and time-honored finishes and textures. The dial will feature a moon dust pattern on the upper ring, accented by large, hand-applied indexes with generous amounts of BGW9 Swiss Super-LumiNova."

- Esti Chazanow

Co-Founder at LIV Watches

How bronze forms a patina

LIV watches are crafted for individuals, people who want something unique and yet timeless. What better material to enhance the uniqueness of your LIV watch than bronze? Bronze will develop a unique patina, yours and yours alone, as you wear and enjoy it.

What is a patina, anyway? Patina is oxidization, the result of the chemical interaction between the metal and other agents, acids, bases, weather, and so forth. Consider it bronze’s rust. You can also consider it a protective layer as patinas tend to shield the underlying metal and slow down total deterioration. Think of all the ancient copper roofs you see across Europe and other parts of the world.

Copper was selected for its incredible life span, thanks in part to its lovely pale green patina.

What do you need to do to get your LIV patina going? Nothing, just wear and enjoy your new favorite Moon Dust Automatic. Over time, your case will react with your body chemistry and local environment, creating a patina unique to you both.

NOTE: Some people reactive adversely to different types of metal. Even though the Moon Dust Automatic Bronze reduces the potential for irritation, if you have ever reacted to metals, choose wisely. Be adventurous, but not reckless!

Restoring your original luster

So, let’s say you develop a longing for the original look of your LIV watch. How do you shed the patina you’ve crafted? For rusty steel, sandblasting is often the best solution: that and all manner of abrasive alternatives. Fortunately, you do not need to (nor should you) go to that extreme. Besides, sandblasting would void the warranty, among other things.

Here’s the drill to return your bronze to a like-new appearance:

Before you get started, remove the strap and make sure that the crown is fully closed. Since you'll be using water, you don't want any moisture getting in and damaging the internal precision parts.

Step 1: Take the watch head, immerse it in warm water, and place it to the side.

Step 2: Create a cleaning paste by mixing two tablespoons of baking powder with lemon juice.

Step 3: Cover the bronze-titanium with the paste and rub it in using a toothbrush to get to hard-to-reach spots. If you don't have a toothbrush, no worries, you could just use your fingers.

Step 4: Let the watch sit in the paste for about 20 minutes.

Step 5: Rinse the paste off with warm water, and then use a microfiber cloth to dry the watch thoroughly. And check that out, what a bronze beauty!

Behind the piece

Contents

Part 1:
LIV is helping usher in the new bronze age

Part 4:
Bronze, meet titanium

Part 2:
Did someone say bronze?

Part 5:
How bronze forms a patina

Part 3:
Fun facts about bronze

Part 6:
Restoring your original luster

Early development

LIV is helping usher in the new bronze age

Bronze is making a comeback, at least in the watch world. And, LIV is at the forefront, bringing our unique take on design and materials to fans, watch freaks, and collectors everywhere with our fifth, that’s right, number 5, Kickstarter campaign.

This campaign is a tribute to the Saturn V missions that took mankind to the surface of the Moon. The Moon Dust Automatic, one of the two watches in the campaign, is available with a specially formulated bronze case (more later). LIV is taking bronze to outer space! Okay, figuratively, but it’s still cool!

Given the fact that Santos-Dumont was a regular participant at the airshows of the day, other pilots exhibited one of the earliest known examples of wrist envy. As a result, the pilot's watch soon became a "must-have" instrument in the cockpit. And, not just for "keeping up the the Santos-Dumonts" reasons. Advances in powered flight were enabling planes to fly further and faster. With a reliable watch and a compass, pilots had the tools they needed to calculate time-speed-distance, determine when to move to the next leg of a flight, judge how much fuel was left, and generally be safer in the air.

Pilot Louis Bleriot wore a Zenith wristwatch when he made aviation history being the first to fly an airplace across the English Channel in July of 1909. Taking advantage of the feat for marketing purposes, Bleriot commented upon landing that he was very satisfied with his Zenith and would recommend it to others. The records are unclear on the point of Bleriot's comment being spontaneous or rehearsed.

WWI and the interwar years

"Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua."

- Chaz Chazanow

Founder at LIV Watches

Advances during WWII

French watchmaker Zenith continued to manufacture their pilot's watches. Striking a neutral stance, Zenith sold its watches to both the Allies and the Axis. They used their 1939 Type Montre d"Aeronef design as the basis of their wristwatch. It featured the black dial and white arabic numerals with the large onion-style crown at 3 o'clock.

The United States did not produce a purpose-made pilot's watch. One of the most widely produced models supplied to American forces was the A-11. Manufactured by Bulouva, Waltham, and Elgin, the watch featured the required high-visibility black dial with white Arabic numerals. The manually wound movement featured a hacking function for synchronization. Some A-11s were waterproof, some were dust proof, some had luminous hands, , and some did not. All had a larger crown at 3 o'clock, but not in the onion style.

Postwar evolution

Did someone say bronze?

Never heard of bronze as a case material? Well, you are not alone, even though the first documented pocket watch from 1577 had a bronze case. That makes sense as stainless steel, and other common case materials were still a few hundred years or so away. Copper would have been too soft, and precious metals brought along their own set of limitations.

Why the interest today? Patina, baby, it’s all about the patina.

"A watch is only as good as its movement, the mechanism that powers its functions. We’ll equip each Saturn V watch with an exceptional mechanical or quartz Swiss movement. We’ve personally sourced these from only the best Swiss movement makers. Once in our Swiss workshops, we’ll meticulously inspect and fine-tune each movement, adjusting our mechanical movements in as many as five positions to an accuracy up to +/- 4 seconds per day. This unrelenting focus on precision will translate into a flawless performance on your wrist."

- Chaz Chazanow

Founder at LIV Watches

Fun facts about bronze

Bronze is a remarkable material, so much so that it has its own historical period named after it, the Bronze Age. Bronze was the hardest known metal at the time, and it helped advance humankind towards a civilized life.

In its most common form, bronze is an alloy of copper (88%) and tin (12%). The proportions vary considerably, and bronze makers often included other elements to meet their specific purposes. Before timepieces were available, bronze could still fulfill a timekeeping role in the form of sundials. Wearing these on your wrist was cumbersome, to say the least.

A tin shortage from about 1200 - 100 BC forced people to seek other metals, and the Bronze Age came to an end.

Bronze, meet titanium

Fast forward to modernity, and the once pre-eminent metal is showing up on wrists around the world. It is still relatively uncommon, but LIV is pairing the noble bronze with space-age titanium in another inspired design as part of the latest LIV Kickstarter campaign.
Bronze, like copper, is anti-microbial by itself. This means that germs, bacteria, and other microscopic nasties die after a short encounter with bronze. These days that is a nice perk. However, people who have a sensitivity to metals may experience that same sensitivity with pure bronze.

Here’s the genius of the LIV design, utilize a titanium bronze alloy for the case. Titanium is so inert; it makes an ideal medial implant material, like our other case material, 316L stainless steel. Smelt titanium in with bronze, and presto, a bronze that people with metal allergies can better tolerate.

Titanium also adds durability and strength to the bronze. The resulting alloy possesses an extremely fine crystalline structure that takes to precision machining and hand-finishing like a fish to water.

"Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua."

- Esti Chazanow

Co-Founder at LIV Watches

Raw titanium material

"Our Moon Dust automatic watches will be made from bronze combined with Space Age titanium. We'll then hand polish each case to a pristine finish. Our signature multilayered dials will incorporate elaborate modern and time-honored finishes and textures. The dial will feature a moon dust pattern on the upper ring, accented by large, hand-applied indexes with generous amounts of BGW9 Swiss Super-LumiNova."

- Esti Chazanow

Co-Founder at LIV Watches

How bronze forms a patina

LIV watches are crafted for individuals, people who want something unique and yet timeless. What better material to enhance the uniqueness of your LIV watch than bronze? Bronze will develop a unique patina, yours and yours alone, as you wear and enjoy it.

What is a patina, anyway? Patina is oxidization, the result of the chemical interaction between the metal and other agents, acids, bases, weather, and so forth. Consider it bronze’s rust. You can also consider it a protective layer as patinas tend to shield the underlying metal and slow down total deterioration. Think of all the ancient copper roofs you see across Europe and other parts of the world. Copper was selected for its incredible life span, thanks in part to its lovely pale green patina.

What do you need to do to get your LIV patina going? Nothing, just wear and enjoy your new favorite Moon Dust Automatic. Over time, your case will react with your body chemistry and local environment, creating a patina unique to you both.

NOTE: Some people reactive adversely to different types of metal. Even though the Moon Dust Automatic Bronze reduces the potential for irritation, if you have ever reacted to metals, choose wisely. Be adventurous, but not reckless!

Restoring your original luster

So, let’s say you develop a longing for the original look of your LIV watch. How do you shed the patina you’ve crafted? For rusty steel, sandblasting is often the best solution: that and all manner of abrasive alternatives. Fortunately, you do not need to (nor should you) go to that extreme. Besides, sandblasting would void the warranty, among other things.

Here’s the drill to return your bronze to a like-new appearance:

Before you get started, remove the strap and make sure that the crown is fully closed. Since you'll be using water, you don't want any moisture getting in and damaging the internal precision parts.

Step 1
Take the watch head, immerse it in warm water, and place it to the side.

Step 2
Create a cleaning paste by mixing two tablespoons of baking powder with lemon juice.

Step 3
Cover the bronze-titanium with the paste and rub it in using a toothbrush to get to hard-to-reach spots. If you don't have a toothbrush, no worries, you could just use your fingers.

Step 4
Let the watch sit in the paste for about 20 minutes.

Step 5
Rinse the paste off with warm water, and then use a microfiber cloth to dry the watch thoroughly. And check that out, what a bronze beauty!

Behind the piece