In 2016, the Parisian brand Bell & Ross moved from its usual military-inspired watches to explore new territories with a partnership in Formula 1, with Team Renault Sport. This “French Connection”, which we detailed here, has already lead to the creation of 2 collections, including the new pieces presented at Baselworld 2017. Today, another watch comes to enrich this F1 line-up, however it is far removed from the usual hyper-technical theme, and is instead more on the vintage side. Here is the Bell & Ross BR126 Renault Sport 40th Anniversary, to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Renault in Formula 1.
Back in 1977, the Formula 1 grid welcomed a new team, Renault Sport F1… and it was quite a blast. A sole, yellow machine was entered midway during the season introducing no less than turbocharging into the discipline (a technical solution that is now used by all teams). The 1977 yellow, white and black RS01 was an impressive machine, which did not prove to be reliable at all, despite being fast. However, this was just the start. A few years later, the “bees” won it all and imposed their technical solution onto the rest of the grid. Renault had a huge impact on Formula 1 and still does after 40 years. To celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Renault in Formula 1, Bell & Ross has designed the BR126 Renault Sport 40th Anniversary, a model inspired by Renault’s first ever-single seater from 1977, the RS01.
As a tribute watch, Bell & Ross decided to go for something different this time. No more squared case, no more hyper-technical materials (such as forged carbon or ceramic), no more skeletonized and modern looking movement… The new BR126 Renault Sport 40th Anniversary is more restrained and slightly vintage-inspired, to complement the 1977 car that inspired its creation. Naturally, as it is related to racing, it had to be a chronograph. Of course, it had to bear the historical colors of the 1977 Renault RS01 – so these shades appear on its dial, which features black with yellow accents on the second hand and second track, and white for the indexes. The dial also shows the historic logos of Renault from the Seventies.
The Bell & Ross BR126 Renault Sport 40th Anniversary is a 41mm satined stainless steel watch, with restrained and sleek design. No useless extras and no fancy features, just a good old-fashioned chronograph focused on the essential, with maximum legibility. The highly domed sapphire crystal brings a touch of coolness and vintage style and the rubber strap, with a distinctive pattern, adds a sporty look. The caseback of the Bell & Ross BR126 Renault Sport 40th Anniversary is specifically engraved with the historic Renault Sport logos. Inside the case is the calibre BR-CAL.301, an automatic chronograph movement (based on the reliable and precise ETA 2894-2 – 42h power reserve, 4Hz frequency, 37 jewels).
The Bell & Ross BR126 Renault Sport 40th Anniversary will be a limited edition of 170 pieces only, as a tribute to the number of Renault’s victories in Formula 1. Price is not yet defined but should be around EUR 3,700. More details on bellross.com.
Technical Specifications – Bell & Ross BR126 Renault Sport 40th Anniversary
- Case: 41mm diameter – satined stainless steel – sapphire crystal on the dial side, solid steel back – 100m water resistant
- Movement: calibre BR-CAL.301 (ETA 2894-2) – self-winding – 4Hz frequency – 42H power reserve – 37 jewels – hours, minutes, small second, chronograph with 30-min counter and date
- Strap: black rubber strap with steel pin buckle
- Reference: BRV126-RS40-ST/SRB