Bell & Ross is best known for its instrumental approach to watchmaking. The square-in-a-circle design that’s so intertwined with the brand’s history is directly related to flight instruments. The company uses that heritage to create robust, functional watches that deliver real-world practical usability. The latest novelty to come from Paris, where the brand is headquartered, might even do so more than ever. Next to a chronograph display, the new Bell & Ross BR 03-94 Multimeter features a dial with not one but five additional scales.
Let’s start with the exterior elements first before moving on to that funky dial. The case is made from matte black ceramic and measures 42mm from side to side and top to bottom. As with all BR 03-94’s, the wearing comfort is aided by short, stubby lugs that keep the lug-to-lug dimension reasonable.
On the front, we have the trademark four functional screws, a round bezel and a sapphire crystal. The screw-down crown and pushers are on the right side of the case, and the caseback is solid. So far, pretty familiar territory.
The dial for the Bell & Ross BR 03-94 Multimeter is quite something and undoubtedly one that will spark debate. Implementing multiple scales to add to the chronograph functionality is one thing, but the Multimeter, as its name indicates, is endowed with five different tracks. Moving from the periphery towards the centre, the first semi-circular orange scale corresponds to a pulsometer and is followed by a green asthmometer (number of respirations per minute) scale.
The final three are all tachymeter scales but differ in calculated speeds (km/h and m/h over 1 km or mile in white, km/h over 250m in pale yellow and km/h over 100m in beige). The left half of the dial also shows a “table of contents”, indicating which scale does what to help you out a little.
The central hour and minute hands are black and white combined with a full-white central chronograph seconds hand. The two half sub-dials for the running seconds and 30-minute chronograph counter are printed in white and have a two-tone white and orange hand. Oddly enough, Bell & Ross has decided to relocate the date window from 4:30 to 1:30. And this will definitely split opinions right down the middle; you either love it or hate it.
Bell & Ross uses the BR-CAL.301 chronograph movement inside the BR 03-94 Multimeter, a tried-and-tested calibre based on the ETA 2894-2 architecture. This modular chronograph is wound automatically, uses 37 jewels, ticks at a rate of 28,800vph and offers 42 hours of power reserve. It’s hidden from view by the solid caseback present on all matte black ceramic BR 03-94’s to date.
The Bell & Ross BR 03-94 Multimeter comes on a perforated black rubber strap we know from the Renault & Alpine Formula 1 inspired watches. Thanks to the perforations, the strap has a more flexible feel and offers a bit of ventilation on hot days. It’s attached to the wrist with Bell & Ross’ signature steel pin buckle, finished in black PVD. An additional black textile strap is supplied with the watch. Production is limited to 500 pieces, retailing for EUR 5,600 each.
For more information, please visit BellRoss.com.