Aviation, and as such travelling in general, is never far away for Bell & Ross. The Paris-based brand has built its reputation on watches heavily inspired by aircraft instruments, in a big and bold style. The square case is instantly recognizable as Bell & Ross and has served as a solid and versatile platform for many iterations since its creation – some classic models and some highly aviation-inspired ones. Earlier this year we’ve already touched upon the new Bell & Ross BR 03-93 GMT, and today we go hands-on with it to see what’s new for ourselves.
In a typical case of “out with the old, in with the new,” the overhauled Bell & Ross BR 03-93 GMT gets a new look and upgraded functionality in 2021. Let’s first look at it from the habillage side of things, starting with the case. The emblematic 42mm x 42mm wide square case has been slightly retouched, making it a bit more refined in looks and finishing. The height of the case is about 11.5mm, which combines with the flat shape of all the surfaces, makes for balanced proportions.
Even though the style is still very much Bell & Ross, the rather tool-ish look of the outgoing model is traded for a more sporty-chic appeal. The square case features a circular brushing on the top, with a wide polished bevel running along the entire edge of it. The caseband is brushed as well, but with a vertical pattern. Overall, there’s a nice combination of textures and this mix of finishing on the case is reinforcing the overall feeling of quality – in addition to the fact that the case feels (and is) solid as a rock.
A closed caseback hides the automatic movement from view. The case is topped by a bi-directional bezel, which allows for a third time zone to be displayed. In conjunction with the adjustable GMT hand, you can subtract hours by rotating it clockwise or add hours by rotating it in the other direction.
The bi-directional rotatable bezel, a first for the BR 03 series, is carried over from the Vintage-line by Bell & Ross. It has a two-tone red and black anodized aluminium insert with silver markings. A triangle with lume-pip indicates 00/24 hours, with Arabic numerals for the even hours on a 24-hour scale. The discreetly sunray-brushed black dial has applied, straight brushed Arabic numerals. The hour markers around the dial are filled with Super LumiNova, as are the faceted hands (hours and minutes only) and the red GMT hand. The GMT-hand replaces the former orange one and stands out very well in order to read time at a glance. This updated style makes the watch extremely legible in virtually all circumstances.
The movement inside the Bell & Ross BR 03-93 GMT is the BR-CAL.303, which uses a Sellita SW-330 as a base. It indicates central hours, minutes and seconds, a second time zone with the central GMT-hand and the date in a window between 4 and 5 o’clock. The movement runs at a frequency of 4Hz, or 28,800vph. The power reserve is a decent 42 hours. The GMT hand is set through the crown with one-hour increments in both directions. On the technical side of things, it holds no major updates from the previous model. Altogether, it is a reliable and functional automatic movement.
When on the wrist, the square-shaped case of Bell & Ross BR 03-93 GMT make for a pretty sizable watch. The short lugs for the instrument range have always helped to keep it relatively comfortable but it will not fit just any wrist. Despite this, it is a contemporary and bold watch, with a unique style that is recognizable from a mile away.
The Bell & Ross BR 03-93 GMT is available now and comes on a black leather strap with Bell & Ross pin-buckle. The price is set at EUR 3,800, and an additional black synthetic fabric strap is also included.
More details and orders at www.bellross.com.