This is not the first time that Bell & Ross have participated in the Only Watch event. Indeed, the military-inspired Parisian brand have already created several unique watches which have been auctioned for this good cause, such as those in 2011, 2013 and 2015 (see here). This year, B&R will also have a specifically modified model, based on the recently introduced BR-X1 RS17, which is the result of their partnership with Formula 1 team Renault Sport. So, as you might expect, there is some strong racing car inspiration in the design of this piece… and there’s more than just a watch to be auctioned.
For the Only Watch charity auction, the idea is pretty simple. Brands that agree to participate donate a watch specifically created for the occasion, with a level of uniqueness that varies from a one-off dial, to an entirely dedicated watch. Bell & Ross usually sits somewhere in the middle, with watches based on existing models, yet highly modified to give them a certain coolness that won’t be found in regular production watches. In 2015, they added a tourbillon and a strong patina to a bronze Skull watch. This year, the brand does it a bit simpler and puts its recent partnership with Renault Sport F1 to good use, by presenting a specifically decorated version of the BR-X1 RS17 – which was introduced at Baselworld 2017 and that we covered here.
The watch is based on the robust, technical and highly masculine BR-X1 Chronograph. This watch, which we reviewed here, can be seen as the next step in the development of the brand, by moving up in terms of quality, complexity and boldness. Yes, the round-dial-within-a-squared-case is still present, yet the watch can be seen as the muscled version of the icon. The case is more complex, modular and uses high-tech materials, such as forged carbon and a protection belt in ceramic – all of which have been inspired by F1 cars. Inside is an automatic skeleton chronograph movement, visible through the grey-tinted sapphire crystal dial. Features which are all present on the regular production model.
What changes? Mainly, the color scheme. The Unique Bell & Ross BR-X1 RS17 Only Watch 2017 uses the colors of the Renault Sport F1 Team, yellow and black, which also happens to be the colors of this 7th edition of Only Watch. Thus, the multicolor inner flange is replaced by a yellow one, the 30-minute counter is circled by a large yellow track and the tachymeter scale is also printed in yellow on the forged carbon bezel. Even though these minimal aesthetic changes make this piece a good looking proposition, in addition to the watch something extra will be included, making this offering by Bell & Ross even cooler and more exclusive.
As well as acquiring this unique Bell & Ross BR-X1 RS17 Only Watch 2017, the lucky winning bidder will be invited to join the Renault Sport Formula One Team, at the last race of the championship in Abu Dhabi at the end of November. The guest will be welcomed by the team, have the opportunity to meet the drivers and will also receive the race gloves worn by Nico Hülkenberg, for the Grand Prix. In other words, this is the kind of experience that even money can’t usually buy… More details can be found on the Bell & Ross official page.
Only Watch is a biennial fundraiser for research on Duchenne muscular dystrophy – Association Monégasque contre les Myopathies (AMM). Organized under the patronage of HSH Albert II de Monaco, the 7th edition gathers a record 48 participants. Only Watch 2017 will be auctioned by Christie’s in Geneva in November 2017. For more information, please visit www.onlywatch.com.
Technical Specifications – Bell & Ross BR-X1 RS17 Only Watch 2017
- Case: 45mm x 45mm square case – forged carbon and ceramic case, with rubber inserts – Rocker push-buttons – sapphire crystal – 100m water resistant
- Movement: calibre BR-CAL.313 – automatic skeleton chronograph – 4Hz frequency – 56 jewels – hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph, date
- Strap: bi-material – rubber and carbon fibre – pin buckle
- Unique Piece for Only Watch 2017
- More details here