The Parisian brand’s latest novelty in matte black ceramic has two dials, a daytime dial in beige and a nighttime dial glowing in the same bright green luminescence as the rubber watchband.
Luminescence has a long, rich history in watchmaking, sometimes glazed with substances that are now controversial and have been replaced by materials that are not harmful to human health. Its primary role is to provide optimal time reading under all possible lighting conditions, from the simplest shade to the nearly gloomy darkness of the ocean depths, for example. Usually, the markers and hands are coated in these materials, but with the new BR 03-92 Full Lum, Bell & Ross flies in the face of tradition.
The time functions are powered by the automatic BR-CAL.302 movement housed in a 42-mm machined case in matte black ceramic.
Price: 3’800 CHF
By Sharmila Bertin
JOLLY ROGER IS BACK!
Almost ten years after its first Memento Mori watch, the Parisian brand returns with a skull this time featuring unusual animation, bringing a smile to the Jolly Roger.
Introduced at the Couture Show in Las Vegas, which took place from 31 May to 4 June, the limited edition BR 01 Laughing Skull has joined the collection of skull watches launched by Bell & Ross in 2009. This was the year that the Parisian brand, in defiance of fashion, designed its first watch displaying its famous skull on the dial. Later, several other models were produced with a tourbillon (2011), a bronze case (2015) or an engraved and lacquered case (2016). The BR 01 Laughing Skull, however, has a little twist helping it to stand out from its predecessors: here the Jolly Roger comes to life. It opens and closes its jaw in a silent grin when the user winds the watch with the crown.
The open-work dial features the metallic Jolly Roger design made using the stamping technique. The forehead reveals the escapement, accentuating the living aspect of the grinning skull. In the nose area, two sword-shaped hands coated in black Super-LumiNova® display the hours and minutes.
500 pieces of this new watch by Bell & Ross have been made. It is also available with a bezel set with diamonds or a case covered in jewels, two models each limited to 99 pieces.
Price: 9,900 CHF (steel version) – 16,000 CHF (jewelled bezel) – 27,000 CHF (jewelled case and bezel)
By Sharmila Bertin
Comfortable in any situation
The Parisian brand is famous for its watches worn by serious professionals and is spicing things up with a unisex model to suit any look. The Bell & Ross BRS Rose Gold puts a chic and refined spin on the original timepiece.
Bell & Ross was founded in 1992 and started out making watches for people working in extreme conditions. The brand’s first clients were the UN and NATO. The watchmaker has held onto the sporty design from this period as you can see in most of the models.
Bell & Ross holds its values dear to its heart: efficiency and reliability. To make reliable timepieces, a Bell & Ross watch has to have several features such as resistance to water and temperatures, an accurate movement and clear visual displays. Professional divers were treated to their own model in 1997 based on these criteria: the Hydromax can reach depths of 11,000m and contains hydraulic liquid to counteract the effects of pressure. A worthy feat of technology.
The brand decided to break away from its sporty image and designed one of the first models not to have a “tool watch” feel: 2008’s BRS watch. The BRS was given a 39mm gold case (rose or white gold) and a self-winding mechanical calibre with the small seconds at 6 from the very start. It has since been rolled out in a range of models with different materials and sometimes quartz movements, namely for the ladies’ watches.
This BRS Rose Gold has nailed elegance with its 39mm rose gold case that’s waterproof to depths of 100m. No matter whether you’re wearing something smart or casual, it suits any outfit to a tee. The 2016 version is similar to the original model but with one sizable difference: the central seconds feature gives it a classy and sophisticated feel as opposed to the brand’s more “virile” models.
Another new addition is that the original leaf-shape hands have been replaced by more contemporary, gold, skeleton hands filled with Superluminova and the date display lies between 4 and 5.
The black alligator strap showcases the rose gold and classic style of this BR Rose Gold.
Price: 12,900 EUR or 13,500 CHF
Par Inès Aloui
Introducing the Bell & Ross BR 01 Burning Skull
Seven years after unveiling the first BR 01 featuring a skull, Bell & Ross is raising the Jolly Roger back up on this watch’s case and dial. The Parisian brand took inspiration from the crest on World War II paratrooper uniforms to design the BR 01 Burning Skull whose case is engraved and lacquered with black flames and symbols of life and death (rose, heart, scythe, hourglass).
The latter has a 46mm steel case with crossbones; the dial is in the shape of a skull. It houses the self-winding BR-CAL.302 calibre that brings to life the time functions and 42-hour power reserve.
The dial coated in black Super-LumiNova® features an embossed metal skull. A pair of unusual hands burst from between the eye sockets: a dagger for the hours and a sabre for the minutes.
Price: 7,200 CHF (limited edition – 500 available)
By Sharmila Bertin
Introducing the Bell & Ross Vintage BR Aéronavale
French brand Bell & Ross has close ties to the military and has unveiled two navy and gold watches inspired by Naval officers’ uniforms to join the Vintage BR Aéronavale collection: a chronograph (BR126) and a three-hand model (BR123).
Both have 43mm polished steel cases; they both have a fitted steel bezel and blue aluminium ring engraved with an orange/yellow scale. Naturally, they house two different self-winding movements: the BR-CAL.301 in the chronograph and the BR-CAL.305 in the “simple” version.
Both sunburst navy dials feature the hours in the form of gold applied baton-shape indices and Arabic numerals. The hours and minutes lie in the centre, the small seconds at 6 or 3, the date at 4.30 and the chronograph minute counter at 9.
Price: 2,800 CHF (BR123 on leather) – 4,200 CHF (BR126 on leather)
By Sharmila Bertin
To celebrate the BR01’s 10th anniversary since its launch in 2005, Parisian brand Bell & Ross has put a feminine twist on its star to create two new models: BR S Grey Camouflage. This is a lesson in how to glam up military style, soften and pare down camouflage and make a masculine icon into a feminine must. The grey taupe satin strap wraps around the 39mm square steel case with a round bezel available in steel or paved with 66 diamonds. Its mother-of-pearl dial is brought to life by a camouflage pattern gleaming in off-white, pearl grey and bronze green in the light. Two wide metal spear-shape hands rimmed with Super-Luminova® track the hours and minutes on the dial. The hour rim features large silver Arabic numerals for the quarters and applied baton indices or eight diamonds. The date appears in a black-on-white display at 4.30. Price: 1,900 CHF (steel) – 5,600 CHF (diamond and steel). Sharmila Bertin
Reminiscent of a fighter jet with its square cabin in grade 5 titanium (transition metal popular in aeronautics and aerospace for its hardness, light weight and resistance to rust and high temperatures), the monopusher BR-X1 chronograph tourbillon is powered by a manual wind calibre which provides a power reserve of up to 100 hours. The model designed by Bell & Ross showcases its mechanical heart beneath grey-tinted sapphire crystal. The so-called traditional hours and minutes appear in the centre tracked by two openwork luminescent hands. They glide over applied metallic hour markers and a white decal minute track whose graduations appear on the chapter ring. The chronograph function (seconds and minute counters at 2 and 10 on the dial respectively) is started, stopped and reset using the monopusher at 2 on the case side. Price: 148,000 CHF. Sharmila Bertin
The most recent addition to the 2014 Vintage collection grabs your eye with its little hints of orange jumping out from the intense black dial. The 42mm steel BR case houses a mechanical self-winding movement. The long luminescent silver-tone hour and minute hands glide over the oversized Arabic hour numerals and elongated indices interspersed with a slim minute track. A white central seconds hand tracks the seconds whilst a discreet white-on-black date display lies at 4.30. A fourth eye-catching black hand with a phosphorescent orange tip points to the 24 hour scale on the chapter ring whose second time zone enables travellers to get their bearings. Price: 3,300 CHF
With its close ties to the military aviation world, the Parisian brand has drawn inspiration from the story of the first experimental plane to break the sound barrier in 1947, the Bell X-1, to create a chronograph (almost) as light as air. Its titanium case, both square and rounded, is a hallmark of Bell & Ross and measures 45mm in diameter. It is finished with ceramic and rubber inserts, particularly the buttons, to protect them from scratches and provide better ergonomic handling. Its lightly smoked mineral glass dial offers a view of the automatic movement. This drives the time functions (hours and minutes in the centre with the second hand at 3 o’clock) and the chronograph (seconds in the centre with the counter positioned at 9 o’clock) as well as the date (window at 6 o’clock). The main watch hands are filled with Super-LumiNova® while the chronograph features (including the side-mounted buttons at 2 and 4 o’clock) are finished in bright red. Price: 18,200 CHF
The conceptual custom motorbike designed in association with Shaw Harley Davidson caused quite a stir at the Bell&Ross stand in Basel this year. The aerodynamic racer inspired the BR-03 B-Rocket, a self-winding mechanical watch limited to 500 pieces and synonymous with innovation, performance, precision and design. Its polished 42mm steel case is strapped to a quilted black leather bracelet with red details reminiscent of motorcyclist gear. Its matt black dial is surrounded by a chapter ring adorned with the seconds and a red triangle (at 12 o’ clock); the hour indices and minutes lie on two silver and black semi-circles beneath hands coated in Super LumiNova®. The large date display (whose discs are partially visible) in a metallic frame is at 12 o’ clock whilst the power reserve indicator inspired by the fuel gauge on motorbikes takes up the lower half of the dial at 6 o’ clock. Price: 5,300 CHF