It won’t come as a surprise that the Bell & Ross BR 01 and BR 03 collections, the French brand’s most emblematic watches, have a strong connection with jetfighter dashboard instruments. It’s been the raison d’être of these watches since their respective launches in 2005 and 2006. Besides the classic editions such as the Black Steel or Phantom, Bell & Ross has released several editions that push the concept even further, the so-called Flight Instruments. Mimicking instruments such as a radar, a radio compass or a HUD, these Flight Instruments have long been some of the brand’s strongest and most acclaimed designs. Benefitting from the recent update of the BR 03 collection, it’s time for the return of a classic with the new Bell & Ross BR 03 Gyrocompass.
Following the introduction of the BR 01 collection and its more compact sibling, the BR 03 collection, Bell & Ross moved one step further in 2010 with the launch of the Flight Instruments series. Pushing the overall concept of the dashboard instrument to the max, these watches have all been modelled after a compass, an altimeter, a radar or a turn coordinator… This has given birth to polarising watches such as the BR 01 Red Radar, the BR 01-96 Altimeter, the BR-01 Horizon and the BR 01-92 Airspeed, to name a few (and all can be seen in the timeline above). In the beginning, these were using quite original displays with discs. Recent models, such as the BR 03-92 HUD, the BR 03-92 Red Radar Ceramic or the BR 03-92 Radiocompass, follow the overall concept yet in a slightly more wearable (smaller case) and legible way.
A couple of weeks ago, Bell & Ross updated its emblematic BR 03 collection with a slightly smaller case (41mm vs. 42mm), newly designed and slimmer lugs, slightly more pronounced bevels on the sides and bezel, as well as a more powerful movement. Now that this new style has been adopted, it’s time for the first watch in the Flight Instruments series to benefit from these changes by relaunching an emblematic style, the Gyrocompass.
As you can see, the Bell & Ross BR 03 Gyrocompass brings back the style of a model released in 2013, that of the navigation compass with cardinal points on the dial. However, we’re talking about a simplified display that uses traditional central hands now instead of discs; slightly less original but probably easier to live with. This new limited edition is housed in the updated 41mm x 10.6mm case, presented in blasted black ceramic. Inside is the calibre BR-CAL.302, the latest evolution of the Sellita SW300 with an extended power reserve of 54 hours. The watch is worn on a black rubber strap, and a fabric strap will also be included.
With watches from the Flight Instruments series, what matters is the dial. And the BR 03 Gyrocompass is no exception to the rule. It is framed by a large inner flange with four navigation markers and a minute track. The black matte dial has a crosshair with the four cardinal points printed in SLN. The star of the show is the hour hand, shaped like a jetfighter, proudly coloured in yellow SLN and dominating the display. The minutes and seconds use traditional and discreet matte black hands, only the white luminous tip remains visible. The circular date window between 4 and 5 o’clock has been kept…
Released in a limited run of 999 pieces, the Bell & Ross BR 03 Gyrocompass is now available. It is priced at EUR 4,500. For more details, please visit www.bellross.com.