The TC9 brand has been around a while – it was one of the first dedicated British microbrands. We review its classic TC9 1970s Bronze Diver.

TC9 1970s Bronze Diver Review

The TC9 1970s Bronze Diver was one of the first British microbrand Turtle-style watches, before the Chinese factory brands muscled in and started making them. I’ve admired them from afar for some time, so jumped at the opportunity to review one for myself.

At a glance

TC9 1970S Bronze Diver

Case size
Water Resistance
300 metres
Seiko NH35A

Case and Movement

The TC9 1970s Bronze Diver has a beautifully-made solid bronze case with a steel case back and crown tube. The crown itself is also bronze and located at 4 O’clock. This makes the bulky case wear a lot better. When it comes to bronze watches I like to have plenty of case on show so it can pick up patina and I can’t wait till it starts to build on this watch. At 44mm this is a big watch – and with its design it wears bigger. Not one for the faint of heart (or small of wrist!)

The bezel works perfectly with no back play, and the screw down crown winds the Seiko NH35A movement smoothly. For the money, this is a great watch with just the right specifications.

Dial and Hands

The dial of the TC9 1970s Diver is rather unusual. Although labelled as a GMT, it is in fact equipped with a 24-hour dial at 12 O’clock – a very unusual position but it’s unobtrusive and adds to the quirky charm of the watch.

The markers are applied, and both numerals and dots are large and easy to read – as are the chunky rectangular hands. It’s an acquired taste,  perhaps, but I like the boldness of the TC9 1970s Bronze Diver and I really enjoy checking the time when I am wearing it.

Strap and Buckle

The strap is perhaps the weakest point of the TC9 1970s Bronze Diver – it’s not that it’s a bad strap – it is thick and after a bit of wear it is comfortable. It does take a bit of breaking in. I did like how it distresses, just like the bronze case will, but I personally prefer a sailcloth strap on my dive watches.

I certainly wouldn’t feel justified in criticising the strap, as it is beautifully made, but I think I will change it at some point to something a little more “me”. I will certainly keep the superb bronze buckle, though.

TC9 1970s Diver – Video Review

What I Liked

What I Didn’t like

  • Brilliant bronze case work
  • Large, bold and clear dial and hands
  • Designed and assembled in the UK
  • The strap is not to my taste
  • At 44mm it will be big for a lot of people’s wrists
  • Perhaps a bit of an acquired taste

TC9 1970s Diver  – The WRUK Verdict

I love the TC9 1970s Bronze Diver – I get that many people will be put off by its quirky stylings but it’s great to see something a little bit different. TC9 has let me keep this review watch, and this is one of the rare occasions when I get to keep a watch I know I will wear and enjoy for a long time to come.

Buy a TC9 1970s Diver

TC9 sells direct to the public from their own website.

By Mike Richmond

Mike spends what little spare time he has writing for WRUK; and what little money he makes building up his collection of timepieces.

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