TC-9 Bronze Diver 1972 Edition

Back in 2016, I reviewed the TC-9 bronze diving watch, then called the 1970’s Diver. I liked the Seiko 6150 inspired case and dial, but I felt some of the details needed improvement. Now two years on, TC-9 has launched a new version called the 1972 Edition. They sent me one for evaluation and I'm pleased to say that all the issues I identified have been addressed, and then some.


I still have my 1970’s Diver so I could compare the two models face to face. They share the same flattened cushion shape and asymmetrical flared crown guards. The dial layout is identical as well, once again echoing the 6150's blocky markers, baton hands, and paddle tipped second hand although this time they are all a rose gold color that better matches the mellow tones of the bronze case. In my first review, I noted the striking red color of the alloy. The watch has oxidized since then, taking on a brown patina although you can still see how red it is. The new watch arrived with a similar patina already in place. I usually let my bronze watches age naturally, but TC-9’s alloy is so distinctive, I might just polish my old diver to get that glow back.


Likewise, the 21.6 bph Seiko NH35a automatic movement is back once more. It is a sound choice, not just because it is sitting a Seiko inspired watch, but because it is an excellent all-around performer. This 24 jewel movement hacks, hand winds, and is Diashock protected. Unlike the original, the 1972 has a solid caseback, but trust me, you aren’t missing anything. As useful as the NH35 may be, it is not particularly pretty.


Last time around, I dinged the TC-9 for having a non-matching, stainless steel crown that appeared undersized for the gap on the crown guards. The new model takes care of that with a wider crown finished in PVD black. I still would prefer a bronze crown, but this one is not bad as the matte black finish goes nicely with the rugged, patinaed case. The case back and buckle are also black. The crown screws down and seals for a 300m water resistance rating.


The 1972 comes on a black Cordura strap with a signed buckle. It is an attractive and practical choice, and in my opinion, a nice change from the ubiquitous Isofrane style rubber straps most microbrands choose for their diving watches. Strapping it onto my 6.5” wrist, I was once again reminded of how well this watch wears. Measuring 44mm wide and 48mm long it isn’t small, yet that broad, flat case with its tapered edges wears comfortably and cuts a low profile. The new watch is actually the slightest bit taller than the old one because even though they share the same 13mm thick case, the new watch sports a domed sapphire crystal (and internal AR coating).


In addition to “The Classic” 6150 face pictured here, TC-9 also offers “The Military” with a 24-hour field watch dial and 12-hour bezel, and “The Red One,” which looks similar to the dial on a Tudor Black Bay Heritage Bronze and has a red bezel. Regardless of your choice, your watch will glow brightly at night thanks to the SuperLuminova on the dial, handset, and lume pip. The unidirectional bezel moves crisply through its 120 clicks and without any back play.


All in all, the new 1972 Bronze Diver Edition is a great improvement over the old one, without a significant increase in price. At full retail, you can expect to pay £350 ($491 USD), which is £50 more than the watch I reviewed in 2016, but as of today, you can still get on board for an early bird deal of £189 ($266 USD).

For more information or to secure a pre-order, see the TC-9 1972 Edition Kickstarter page. The campaign ends April 9 at 5:05 AM EDT. ⬩

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