The Bell & Ross BR 01 Cyber Skull Bronze
A very modern take on the brand's square watch with a striking colour and design.
Skull-themed watches have been a tradition for Bell & Ross since 2009 and the launch of the BR 01 Skull. Even though it can be hard to make the connection between these bold models and the military/aviation inspiration the brand is known for, the skull is actually one of the most military oriented symbols you can imagine. In 2020, B&R decided to introduce something new and far more modern to the skull collection with the BR 01 Cyber Skull. A thorough reinterpretation of the square case, it came with a sculpted case and a contemporary openworked dial, marking a complete departure from the previous vintage-inspired skull models. The concept is now back in warm attire with the new Bell & Ross BR 01 Cyber Skull Bronze.
In June 1944, on D-Day, American paratroopers landed on French coasts, a skull symbol attached to their uniforms with the words “Death From Above”. The Bell & Ross Skull series is an ode to this specific military symbolism and depicts the values of Memento Mori and Vanitas. The first model in the line-up was launched in 2009, with the BR 01 Skull, followed by multiple iterations with different colours or materials, like this bronze edition, this tattoo-inspired version or this textured version with an animated dial, the BR 01 Laughing Skull.
All were housed in the classic, oversized BR 01 case – created in 2005 with the concept of a circle within a square – and all featured crossbones framing the four functional screws of the case. A bold, polarising style that had its fanbase. But in 2020, the brand decided to move forward and change its design. This resulted in a modern, sharp and angular watch, the BR 01 Cyber Skull, introducing a new case shape. The idea was to create a Cyber case that looked like a stealth aircraft. Faceted and sculpted, it first came in matte black ceramic, followed by this new BR 01 Cyber Skull Bronze.
Apart from its new colours and materials, the watch remains the same. Oversized, architectural and sharp, the case has a hefty 45mm width with a surprisingly reasonable 46.7mm length. Far be it from me to describe this as a compact watch, but from my previous experience, it wears better than expected. The main design evolution comes from the angles on the case and its multiple facets, drastically changing from the classic square of 2005. This new limited edition is made of brushed and polished CuSn8 bronze, while the caseback and the pin buckle are made of CuAI7Si2 (an alloy containing aluminium, better tolerated by the skin).
Another important evolution concerns the position of the four screws, which have been relocated into the structure of the movement inside the case. They now serve as a framing element for the elements of the dial and movement. The face of the watch, the skull, has also changed, following the Cyber theme with far more facets. Plated in rose gold, it almost entirely covers the movement, revealing the balance at 12 o’clock and the barrel at 6 o’clock. And the Laughing Skull concept is still present; when the movement is manually wound, the lower jaw moves up and down, opening and closing as if it were laughing at you.
The sapphire back reveals an updated movement, the calibre BR-CAL.210 (the black edition has the BR-CAL.208). This Concepto-based calibre now has more openworked bridges on the back and openworked wheels for the barrel. It beats at 4Hz and stores up to 50 hours of power reserve when fully wound.
Availability & Price
The new Bell & Ross BR 01 Cyber Skull Bronze is worn on a black rubber strap. It is a limited edition of 500 pieces, available for pre-order with deliveries at the end of February 2023. It is priced at EUR 11,900. For more details, please visit www.bellross.com.
Is this a joke? Almost $12,000 for a watch that’s weird to look at, looks like it’s hard to tell the time, and somewhat ugly in its design and configuration. The geniuses behind this particular take of the skull then add insult to injury by asking money for it. They must be pretty full of themselves. Or pretty full of something! I mean, c’mon man, seriously?
And by the way, the jaw opening up and down as if laughing at you; It is laughing at you! For buying this ridiculous monstrosity in the first place!
Very modern and worth every penny of the EUR 11.9k…NOT
It’s pretty disruptive, bold, with an alchemic allure, esoteric almost.
More glamour than “military” but a true badass timepiece.