Bell & Ross is well-known for the “circle within a square” design aesthetics, initiated by the BR 01 and BR 03 collections. While the brand produces fully round watches too, the square cases have been exemplary in creating an instantly recognizable range of watches. In 2019 the brand launched the BR 05 collection, a more contemporary, softer style of the square case, with clear “luxury sports watch” inspiration. Prior to now, this collection consisted of time-and-date and chronograph models in various configurations. Today, Bell & Ross launches the third BR 05 line, with the new Bell & Ross BR 05 GMT.
Introducing the GMT function to the BR 05 makes perfect sense if you look at the history of Bell & Ross. The addition of being able to set your watch to a second time zone has been part of the BR 03 and the BR V2 collections for a long time, in multiple iterations. Some watches even allow you to keep track of three different time zones altogether with an added rotatable bezel. The functionalities of GMT watches are explained in detail here, using different Bell & Ross GMT watches as examples.
With the launch of the BR 05 in 2019, Bell & Ross stepped into the very popular segment of luxury sports watches with integrated bracelets. The concept of the luxury sports watch is simple, but very appealing, as it mixes a luxurious appeal with a robust case and integrated bracelets or straps. The style has been defined by the obvious heavy-hitters; the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, Patek Phillipe Nautilus, and Vacheron Constantin Overseas since the early 1970s. In the past few years, more and more brands entered the competitive market and introduced interesting takes on what a luxury sports watch could look like.
Initially, the Bell & Ross BR 05 was presented as a time-and-date model, in several combinations of colours and materials. What stood out is the fact it still features that very familiar design philosophy of a squared case, raised bezel with screws on all 4 corners, and a circular dial opening. However, the BR 05 offered a much softer profile compared to the BR 01 and BR 03, making it more elegant and refined in the process. You had a choice of grey, black, or blue dials and steel, bi-colour, or full gold cases. Attached to the case was either a matching bracelet or a rubber strap. Bell & Ross also included a model with a skeletonized dial, first in grey and later in blue.
Next in line was the Bell & Ross BR 05 Chrono, a complication that fits right in with Bell & Ross’ history of military and aviation-inspired timepieces. The BR 05 Chrono was introduced about a year ago and gave the watch more complexity, and at the same time a more masculine appeal, despite staying true to the original design of the BR 05. It grew in size, from 40mm to 42mm, thus giving the watch a more masculine appeal. The two-register display for the chronograph is very much in line with Bell & Ross’ usual style, and comes in either black or blue dials, with again rubber straps or steel bracelets.
The Bell & Ross BR 05 GMT
And now, roughly two years after the BR 05 was first presented, Bell & Ross brings the third member of the family; the BR 05 GMT. Again, in reference to the military and aviation background of the brand, the GMT indication makes perfect sense for Bell & Ross, which this BR 03-93 GMT perfectly demonstrates. Landing right between the time-and-date and the chronograph in terms of size, the rounded-square steel case measures 41mm across with 11,1mm in height, which is relatively thin for such a watch. As with the other BR 05 models, the case is mostly satin-finished, with polished edges on the case and bezel and polished screws. Sapphire crystals cover both the front and back of the case and it retains the 100m water-resistance of other models.
In typical Bell & Ross style, the dial remains as clear as it possibly can. The black dial has a sunray brushed finish and received a black and silver sloped outer flange with 24-hour scale and triangle indicator at 00/24 hour. Rounded baton hands, filled with Super LumiNova, are used to indicate the hours and minutes, accompanied by a polished central seconds hand. Also mounted in the centre is the GMT hand, with a polished stem, arrow-shaped tip with a red outline and again Super-LumiNova insert. The hours are indicated by applied indices, mixed with 6, 9, and 12 o’clock numerals. On the right-hand side of the dial is a framed date window, showing a white-on-black date disc.
If you turn the watch over, the sapphire crystal caseback reveals the BR-CAL.325 movement, which is based on a Sellita SW-330. This automatic calibre displays central time, the date, and of course the second time zone. The GMT hand can be set independently through the crown, in one-hour increments, and in both directions. The movement runs at a frequency of 28,800vph (4Hz) and offers 42 hours of power reserve. The movement is topped with a rotor in the same skeletonized style as its siblings.
Like all BR 05 models, the BR 05 GMT comes on either a grooved black rubber strap or an integrated steel bracelet. Both are attached to the large, polished centre link that comes off of the sloped lug-side of the case. The price for the Bell & Ross BR 05 GMT is EUR 4,500 on a rubber strap or EUR 4,990 on a steel bracelet.
For more information and orders, please visit www.bellross.com.