Long associated with aviation and military-inspired instrument watches, Bell & Ross crossed over into the luxury sports watch market in 2019 with its BR 05 collection. The brand’s signature “circle in a square” design accompanied the BR 05 in its transition to becoming what “urban instrument” but with softened angles, an integrated bracelet and an inescapable 1970s aura. The latest BR 05 Artline model is inspired by the Streamline Moderne period of the 1930s and is decorated with vertical grooves that flow from the bezel down the central links of the bracelet. Dressier and more luxurious than its BR05 counterparts, the BR 05 Artline also flaunts a new dial colour.
Although the introduction of a luxury sports watch at Bell & Ross came as a surprise, the BR 05 is essentially an evolution of the brand’s signature BR 03 watch inspired by a cockpit instrument. If you’re interested in tracking the evolution of the BR 05 and the brand’s unexpected incursion into the luxury sports watch market, I recommend you read Brice’s article.
The BR 05 Artline takes its design cues from the American Streamline Moderne period of the 1930s. Often referred to as “Art Deco on the move” it celebrated the modern machine age and the newfound passion for speed. Characterised by sleek aerodynamic lines, Streamline touched every aspect of life from clocks to refrigerators and from diners to cars, buses and buildings. Speed lines and grilles were used to create streamlined profiles, and industrially produced materials like aluminium found their way into architecture. As Bruno Belamich (co-founder of B&R) points out, corrugated aluminium was used on the fuselage of the first transport planes of the 1940s, tying in nicely with Bell & Ross’s strong ties to aviation.
The stainless steel case of the BR 05, which measures 40mm across and has a thickness of 10.50mm, features a series of relief engravings or gadroons (like the ones on JLC’s Reverso). Aligned horizontally on the bezel and the central links of the integrated bracelet, the vertical gadroons or speed lines give the watch a more streamlined presence by drawing the eye downward. The four hallmark screws, which secure the bezel to the case, are retained, as are the satin-brushed surfaces and polished bevels. The screw-down crown is protected and ensures the 100m water-resistance of the case. Flowing in an uninterrupted line from the case, the central links of the stainless steel bracelet are also decorated with vertical grooves.
Ruthenium Grey Dial
Marking a first for the BR 05 collection, the dial flaunts a new sunburst ruthenium grey colour obtained via metallisation. The applied baton indices and hands are treated with Super-LumiNova, and there is a date window at 3 o’clock. The look is also cleaner than the classic models, with their applied numerals.
The movement used to power the BR 05 Artline is the BR-CAL.321 based on the reliable Sellita SW-300 architecture with personalised decoration. The bridges are dark grey and sandblasted, and the oscillating weight is openworked and designed to look like the rim of a sports car. This automatic movement, with a 4Hz frequency and a 42h power reserve, is visible through the caseback.
Availability & Price
Although this is a limited edition of 250 pieces and no doubt designed to test the waters, the brand states that the Artline series is “destined to become a collection in its own right”. Available exclusively in Bell & Ross boutiques (physical and online), the BR 05 Artline retails for EUR 5,300.
For more information, please visit www.bellross.com.