The BR 03-92 HUD does what Bell & Ross does best: it is a bold, instrumental and aero-inspired design piece. HUD stands for Head-Up Display, which is a tool you might know from cars or if you’re a bit more hardcore, your fighter jet. It shows that the world of aviation is still the perfect playground for Bruno Belamich, the brand’s co-founder in charge of creative direction. It’s back to basics for Bell & Ross with this new model, which you’ll discover below.
Bell & Ross doesn’t have a century-long history but when it comes to military-inspired pieces, this is where the brand stands out of the crowd. Co-founders Bruno Belamich and Carlos Rosillo met during their studies at the Paris school for industrial design, ENSCi. Both men entered the watch industry at the same moment as they did their internship together at German watchmaker Helmut Sinn. When they combined their keen eye for functional design with his instrument-like watchmaking vision, a spark lit up and that flame never went out. Their first real success came in 2005 when Belamich drew the piece that would forever be the face of Bell & Ross: the bold and big BR01. This turned out to be the perfect blackboard for all sorts of aviation-inspired creations, resulting in watches that were reminiscent of all kinds of instruments, from radars to compasses to altimeters. And today another kind of instrument gets the green light: the head-up display, with the Bell & Ross BR 03-92 HUD.
The instrument that inspired the latest Bell & Ross timepiece is the Head-Up Display or HUD. This is found in both cars and fighter jets, but Bell & Ross obviously chose the latter as an inspiration. The HUD is a transparent glass screen that displays information in the pilot’s visual field.
Its primary function is to inform pilots while staying focused on the target ahead without having to take their eyes off the line of sight. It does so with augmented reality. With HUDs displaying digital data onto the windshield, pilots can be alerted about everything from the horizon line, altitude or speed to navigation aids such as the flight path vector – indicating the direction the jet is taking.
Designed like a dashboard instrument
For the BR 03-92 HUD, Belamich also took inspiration from one of his most striking creations: the BR01 Red Radar from 2010. Instead of hands, the Red Radar used rotating discs that show the time. Equipped with bright red glass, this produced a cool effect that made the watch look like a flight radar.
The new watch is slightly more complex: it combines hands and a rotating disc. It’s got the same dial layout as last year’s BR 03-92 Bi-Compass. It’s important to point out that this name refers to its inspiration only; it does not have a real compass. The dial of the BR 03-92 Bi-Compass is divided into three different areas, on two levels with two colours. The central area indicates the hours by means of a disc with a printed green triangle marker. This is reminiscent of the Red Radar from 2010, although that piece had the seconds in the centre. Around it sits an hour sector, on which the hours are printed. The minutes and seconds are indicated by baton hands. The minute sector is slightly steeped, creating a sense of depth on the dial.
But the big eye-catcher here is obviously the green-tinted sapphire crystal glass, which gives the watch a very distinct digital appearance. This effect is obtained through a green pigment coating technique that is applied to the back of the glass. The indicators under the glass are all painted with green Super‑LumiNova C3. Also, you’ll note that the layout of the dial has slightly evolved on this BR 03-92 HUD, with an even more instrument-like design.
Smaller, yet still big
The watch is powered by the calibre BR-CAL.302. This is based on the automatic Sellita SW 300-1 ébauche, with modifications for the rotating disc. The movement boasts 42h of power reserve and a small date at four o’clock.
As you might know, the BR03 is the slightly smaller brother of the brand’s icon, the BR01. The latter measures 45mm, and the piece that Bell & Ross now introduces is 42mm x 42mm. It is 100m water-resistant. With its square, matte black ceramic case, this piece is still a real instrument on the wrist.
To attach it to the wrist, the watch comes with two different straps. First is the matte black rubber and the other is a large synthetic fabric strap with Velcro to give the watch an even more military feel.
Availability and Price
The design of the BR 03-92 HUD shows that the cockpit is still an incredible source of inspiration for Bell & Ross. Its distinctive features ensure that it doesn’t look like any other watch on the market today. This new HUD will be produced in a limited run of 999 pieces. It will be available end of May 2020 and the price will be EUR 3,700. More details and pre-orders at bellross.com.