If Bell & Ross is known for their aviation- and military-oriented pieces (which has been demonstrated again several times this year with for instance the Vintage BR V1-92 Military or the BR03-92 Horograph and BR03-92 Horolum), the brand also has different inspirations (racing cars for instance, with the Renault F1 partnership) or experimental watches (such as the surprising BR-X2 Tourbillon). Part of this “experimental” collection is a watch that we’ve seen, reviewed and appreciated here on Monochrome, the BR-X1. For the end of this year, the model is back with a new colour scheme and new materials, with the Bell & Ross BR-X1 White Hawk Collection.
The Bell & Ross BR-X1 was first launched in 2014 with a first edition combining titanium and black ceramic, and featuring a skeleton chronograph movement. This watch was a huge step for the brand, which until now had been more focussed on rather accessible and mechanically simple tool watches. The BR-X1 was the company’s response to the demand for more complex, more masculine and more technical watches. Indeed, not only the open-worked movement was impressive to look at, but the entire design and architecture were innovative for Bell & Ross. The case, composed of several modular parts, allowed for evolutions, offering several possibilities in terms of materials and colours – as we’ve seen with a forged carbon version, a gold and ceramic edition or the highly colourful BR-X1 RS17 Renault F1.
A new example of this modular conception is the Bell & Ross BR-X1 White Hawk. Basically, the recipe is still the same. An automatic chronograph movement with a specifically opened and X-shaped bridge on top, visible through the sapphire dial, and a case that is a strong evolution of the iconic dashboard instrument-like design of the BR-01. Once again we see the round dial enclosed in a squared “box” with 4 screws to lock the mechanism – something that was found in military jet fighters, before the dashes became full of electronics.
The main evolution concerns the bold touch added to make this watch more technical and more resistant. The case is protected by an outer ceramic band and the pushers for the chronograph are integrated into this device. What’s new then? Basically, there’s a whole new colour scheme. For these BR-X1 White Hawk, Bell & Ross takes inspiration from the colours of private jets. The grade 5 titanium case is covered with a white ceramic «belt». Titanium is micro-blasted and ceramic is matte to avoid reflections caused by light. The white and grey of the case depict the colours of many of the private jets.
The dial uses this same colour codes, with all parts mostly white or grey, to the exception of the 30-minute counter and the tip of the central chronograph hand, which are both coloured in bright red, to enhance legibility. Again on this edition, the chronograph module on top of the movement (an automatic ETA 2894-2 base with a specific module by Dubois-Depraz) is visible through the dial, with its distinctive X-shaped top bridge, a skeletonized date wheel and a pleasant decoration.
The Bell & Ross BR-X1 White Hawk Skeleton Chronograph is worn on a rubber and leather strap in grey. It is limited to 250 pieces, priced at EUR 17,900 and already available from the brand’s webshop and from retailers.
Technical Specifications – Bell & Ross BR-X1 White Hawk Skeleton Chronograph
- Case: 45mm diameter – Microblasted titanium and matt white ceramic with rubber inserts – sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating – 100m water resistance
- Movement: calibre BR-CAL.313 – automatic – 4Hz frequency – 42h power reserve – 56 jewels – skeletonized – hours, minutes, small second, date, chronograph
- Strap: grey rubber and leather, steel and rubber pin buckle
- Availability: November 2017
- Reference: BRX1-WHC-TI
- Limited Edition: 250 pieces
- Price: EUR 17,900
The Bell & Ross BR-X1 White Hawk Chronograph Tourbillon Hand-wound Monopusher
In addition to the standard chronograph version, the Bell & Ross BR-X1 White Hawk Collection also comprises a second watch, this time with a much more complex movement, a Chronograph Tourbillon Hand-wound Monopusher. This movement has already been used in several BR-X1 watches and is pretty impressive to look at. Again, all the technical features are visible through the sapphire dial, with the tourbillon placed at 6, the chronograph seconds at 2, the 30-minute counter at 10, the column wheel at 12 and all the levers and gears in action through all the sub-dials…
This complex version of the Bell & Ross BR-X1 White Hawk will be produced in 20 pieces only, and priced at EUR 155,000. More details on bellross.com.