Bell & Ross Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) with three new additions to their Aviation collection

calendar | ic_dehaze_black_24px By Max E. Reddick | ic_query_builder_black_24px 6 minute read
Bell&Ross Instrument Flight Rules collection

Don’t panic! Stay calm. Trust your instruments. After banking out of a high speed S turn, your scrambled brain may send you all kinds of messages, but your instruments tell the truth. From nighttime flying to low-visibility flying to flying with your hair on fire, a pilot’s instruments must be trustworthy. Bell & Ross not only embodies this same reliability in its latest additions, but in trademark fashion, brings the cockpit to the wrist.

Bell & Ross releases three new new Aviation models in time for Baselworld 2013: the BR 01 HEADING INDICATOR, BR 01 AIRSPEED AND BR 01 CLIMB. Their matt black, carbon finish case with its anti-glare treatment recreates the instrument’s casing.

Bell & Ross cockpit

These watches continue the Aviation collection’s style of mimicking actual aeronautical instruments, a style begun in 2010 with the BR 01 COMPASS. In 2011, the next addition arrived with the BR 01 RADAR, followed in 2012 with the BR 01 HORIZON, BR 01 ALTIMETER AND BR 01 TURN COORDINATOR. Again in 2013, good things come in threes (just think of the Speake-Marin Triad we just showed you this morning).

Bell & Ross BR01 FLIGHT INSTRUMENTS collector's box

Want the whole cockpit and not just one instrument? Be one of the first 99 buyers and get the opporunity to own a collection of the six watches: BR 01 HORIZON, ALTIMETER, TURN COORDINATOR, HEADING INDICATOR , AIRSPEED and CLIMB. The collection comes in a special box, which when closed, looks like a cockpit’s instrument panel. If you miss this special offer, still act quickly because each instrument is limited to 999 pieces.

Let’s look at the three new arrivals and the instruments that inspired them.

BR 01 HEADING INDICATOR

Bell & Ross BR01 HEADING INDICATOR

The BR 01 HEADING INDICATOR, my favorite of the three (really of the whole collection), graphically represents the gyrocompass, also known as the course indicator, or as its namesake, the heading indicator. People will notice this watch and likely ask, “What is it?’ Let the braggadocio flow like a stream as you expound upon its wonders.

You can rehearse your own speech, but it might go something like this…

Maintaining a consistent heading with an airplane, which rotates on three axes and travels through a variable fluid, is impossible without a heading idicator. The heading indicator instrument has a fixed, yellow outline of the plane with a spinning disk for a compass. The BR 01 HEADING INDICATOR watch employs not one, but three independent, concentric disks to tell time in a way that resembles the instrument’s function.

The outer disk (A), marked with East, South, West and a yellow triangle instead of North, tracks the hours against the bezel via the yellow triangle. The middle disk (B) looks more like the 360 degrees of the flight instrument, but upon closer inspection reveals sixty minutes/seconds. The middle disk desiginates minutes by means of the fixed airplane outline. This outline is engraved under the crystal, and just before the nose of the craft is a yellow index to mark the minutes of the rotating middle disk. Finally, the inner disk (C) shows the seconds and has an applied yellow hand for this purpose, and registers the seconds against the moving disk. Telling time works from the outer to the inner disk, hours-minutes-seconds, and what resembles a navigational instrument is actually a watch.

You will tell this story repeatedly, and the joy will never fade.

Using disks instead of hands poses a challenge. Disks weigh more than hands, much more, in this case 30 times more, and similar to the Ressence Series One (read here), Bell & Ross had to develop lightweight disks and coordinate their independent movements. Looks like they did a fine job.

  • Movement: ETA 2892 mechanical automatic.
  • Functions: hours, minutes, seconds.
  • Case: 46mm diameter. Black PVD* steel finish. Screw-in crown.
  • Dial: three independent concentric discs, graduated for the hours and minutes. The seconds are marked out in the center on a disc, which is not graduated, featuring a yellow marker. The hour reading is indicated by the yellow triangle, which appears on the outer hours’ disc. Minutes are read from the middle disc.
  • Markers: a plane and yellow index marks are engraved under the glass.
  • Glass: sapphire crystal with anti-glare coating.
  • Water-resistance: 100 meters.
  • Straps: rubber and heavy-duty synthetic fabric.
  • Price € 4.200 Euro (tax included)

BR 01 AIRSPEED

Bell & Ross BR01 AIRSPEED

The remaining two watches tell time in the traditional manner, but still mimic their instrument counterparts almost to the point of being indistinguishable. Again, these watches attract attention, and with all three watches measuring 46mm, they are unlikely to hide under a cuff. With the last two models, design styling (how the watch looks) rather than movement technology (how the watch works) is the focus.

With the anenometer or airspeed indicator, the pilot monitors airspeed to avoid stalling the aircraft at too low a speed when the plane can no longer generate lift or to avoid acheiving a speed that overpowers the controls (“velocity never exceed”). The color coded levels of criticality, white, green and yellow, are reproduced on the BR 01 AIRSPEED. The inner and outer designations of knots and miles per hour are parralled in B-Uhr fashion with an inner twelve hour dial, and an outer 60 minute/second dial.

  • Movement: ETA 2892 mechanical automatic.
  • Functions: hours, minutes, seconds.
  • Case: 46mm diameter. Black PVD* steel finish. Screw-in crown.
  • Dial: black. The hour, minute and second graduations have been separated, with the minutes in white on the main dial, and the hours in the center in yellow. Seconds are read on the outer raised dial. The three colors of the original instrument – green, white and yellow – are used on the raised dial and indicate quarters of an hour. The index marks and hands have a photo luminescent coating for nighttime reading.
  • Glass: sapphire crystal with anti-glare coating.
  • Water-resistance: 100 meters.
  • Straps: rubber and heavy-duty synthetic fabric.
  • Price € 3.500 Euro (tax included).

BR 01 CLIMBBell & Ross BR01 CLIMB

What distinguishes the BR 01 CLIMB is its power reserve. In an airplane, the variometer or vertical speed indicator lets you know how quickly the ground is rising to meet you or falling away beneath you. Good to know. The power reserve is a clever reinterpretation of pitch and maintains the vertical speed indicator concept. This model uses an ETA 2897 movement instead of the the ETA 2892 to provide the power reserve function. Since the aeronautical instrument has only one white hand, the hour hand of the watch is black, and only the minute hand is white. This watch has superb visibility with its clean black and white contrast.

  • Movement: ETA 2897 mechanical automatic.
  • Functions: hours, minutes, seconds. Date.
  • Case: 46mm diameter. Black PVD* steel finish. Screw-in crown.
  • Dial: black. Date window at 3 o’clock. Yellow power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock. Hands, index markings and date window covered in a photo- luminescent coating.
  • Glass: sapphire crystal with anti-glare coating.
  • Water-resistance: 100 meters.
  • Straps: rubber and heavy-duty synthetic fabric.
  • Price € 3.900 Euro (tax included). 

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