This is the final article in a three-part series on bronze watches by contributing writer Justin Mastine-Frost. This column addresses the various aspects of owning and caring for a bronze watch that extend beyond the obvious passion for patina. Today’s topic focuses on how to best clean your bronze timepiece.
For those looking to maintain a factory-fresh look on their bronze watches, and also for those who’ve accidentally overshot their target with forced patina (read more here), a good number of household tricks exist for cleaning bronze that are relatively painless. While off-the-shelf products exist to clean brass, bronze and other metals (Bar Keepers Friend, among others), we’ve found success using household concoctions as well. The most simple often entails a fair bit of elbow grease, but it is also the one that shouldn’t require any additional shopping: toothpaste. That’s right, applying a healthy coating of toothpaste to a bronze case, allowing it to sit for a handful of minutes (maybe five to ten), followed by some vigorous scrubbing with a toothbrush, will often bring a bronze watch back to a healthy shine.
As an alternative, creating a paste out of baking soda and lemon juice has also proven to be quite effective in bringing a proper shine back to bronze. Simply adding a few squeezes of lemon juice to a small pile of baking soda (enough to form a soft paste), applying an even coat of the paste to the bronze watch, and then rubbing it away with a cloth after allowing it to sit for 20-30 minutes, will often do the trick. Much as with the toothpaste, if the desired level of “clean” is not achieved on the first pass, a second or third attempt should take care of it.
All text by Justin Mastine-Frost.
You can read Part 1 on what to look for when buying a bronze watch here.
You can read Part 2 on how to chemically age your bronze watch here.