The link between Bell & Ross and the military world is essential to the brand. This is where everything started back in the days, with timepieces manufactured by Sinn and delivered to several Special Forces. Of course, as the brand grew, other themes were adopted (racing, civilian aviation, and more) but military inspiration is still a vital part of Bell & Ross’ DNA… and one of its latest creations, the Vintage V2 Military Beige collection, is here to prove it.
When started as a university project by friends (and still main shareholders) Bruno Belamich and Carlos Rosillo, Bell & Ross was founded with a clear vision of producing functional, instrumental watches, inspired by military forces – special forces, diving commandos, air forces and field action in general. The first models were rebranded Sinn pieces, later followed by several military-inspired chronographs and extreme dive watches. Eventually, the two men started to design and produce their own watches, still with military inspiration as a base.
The real shift came with the BR collection, the “circle within a square” watches inspired by aeroplane dashboard instruments. The design was simple but so different that it quickly became the brand’s hallmark. And here again, the military theme prevailed. Several years later, the brand had to diversify but recently, a move back to this easily identifiable DNA was made, with multiple watches with clear military/field inspiration. Think about the BR X1 Military, the Bi-Compass or the MA-1. One of B&R’s latest creations, this time based on the Vintage collection, is also an ode to the brand’s military roots.
The Military Beige Collection
With its new Military Beige theme on the V2 Vintage collection, Bell & Ross offers its vision of a field watch. Designed as all-rounders capable of many things, these watches are not exceptionally performing in any specific area, but good in all situations. They’re not dive watches, they’re not sports watches than can resist forces of 5000-G, they’re not racing-oriented chronographs, but they will be able to withstand most of the action.
The base for these Military Beige watches is taken from the revamped Vintage collection introduced back in 2017 and since offered in multiple iterations – classic, Bellytanker, Military, Steel Heritage, Racing Bird, Renault F1 or Bronze. We’re on familiar ground with a vintage-inspired shape for the case, smaller and slimmer proportions than before, more curved surfaces and altogether a more pleasant watch on the wrist.
Two versions of the Vintage V2 are offered in Military Beige: the three-hand with rotating bezel BR V2-92 and the chronograph BR V2-94. Both are quite equal in terms of concept, design and colours, with small differences between them, apart from the different movement/display, of course.
Both watches are equipped with an original but well-arranged sand-coloured dial, treated in matte to avoid reflections (a light dial can be surprisingly more readable than a black dial in certain circumstances). All the inscriptions, including the painted Arabic numerals, contrast perfectly against the dial. The hands, also treated in black with Super-LumiNova, are easy to read thanks to their large dimensions. Some small touches of red can be found on the tip of the seconds hand and for the water-resistance capacity (100M)… A slightly debatable choice, if you ask me.
The Military Beige colour is somehow new and original but altogether in line with what you would expect from a Bell & Ross watch. Functional and field-oriented but not overdone. The result is pleasant, especially on the 3-hand version (the most convincing member of the lot).
The first model, the 3-hand BR V2-92 Military Beige, has a 41mm diameter combined with compact, short lugs. It features a bi-directional bezel with a 60-minute scale on the anodized black aluminium insert – a choice that is understandable as this watch, despite its 100m water-resistance, isn’t a proper diver. This bezel serves as an extra timing function. The highly domed sapphire crystal and the shape of the case give a nice retro feel. Inside is the calibre BR-CAL.302, a Sellita SW-300 automatic movement. It displays the time as well as the date (again, some will complain about this function on a tool watch).
The second model, the BR V2-94 Military Beige, is equipped with a chronograph function. While the bezel is still fitted with a black aluminium insert with a 60-minute scale, it is fixed. In terms of design, the recipe is the same as the 3-hand version, with a dial that has a balanced bi-compax display (and again, a date window). Inside the case is the calibre BR-CAL.301, an automatic chronograph based on ETA 2894-2. Note that to ensure water-resistance, the pushers are screwed.
Both watches are available on a 3-link satin-finished and polished steel bracelet with a folding clasp. Much more original and even more military-oriented are the black elastic straps with a beige stripe, an option that really adds a cool touch to these watches. Note: the straps are based on the Marine Nationale concept made by Erikas Originals. On both watches, the lightly finished but robust movements are visible through a sapphire caseback.
Price and availability
All the models are now available at authorized retailers or on the brand’s webshop. Prices are EUR 2,900 (3-hand on steel), EUR 2,600 (3-hand on elastic strap), EUR 4,200 (chrono on steel) and EUR 3,900 (chrono on elastic strap). More details at bellross.com.