Every now and then, even the most dedicated individuals or organizations like to break character and do something no one ever expected. With a storied devotion to the field of aviation and military forces, Bell & Ross stepped out of its comfort zone in 2009 when it created its first Skull watch. Twelve years down the line, we’ve seen multiple iterations of BR 01 and BR 03 watches donning the “Jolly Roger” like depiction of a skull and crossbones. What started as a static image, like in the BR 01 Burning Skull Tatoo for instance, evolved into the animated BR 01 Laughing Skull in 2018, and the edgy BR 01 Cyber Skull just last year. Using that Cyber Skull as a reference, the Parisian brand now presents the Bell & Ross BR 01 Cyber Skull Sapphire.
Admittedly, it’s not the first time the brand uses a clear sapphire crystal case in a watch, nor is it the first time they’ve done so with the Cyber Skull theme. Bell & Ross have created highly technical watches like the BR X2 Skeleton Tourbillon Micro-Rotor and the BR X1 Skeleton Tourbillon Sapphire, using the concept of extreme transparency. And it was only recently when the 2021 BR 01 Cyber Skull Only Watch was auctioned for charity, donning an orange skull and crossbones.
Continuing down that same path, and incorporating the sharper case design of the BR 01 Cyber Skull, virtually everything becomes transparent with this watch. So what we’re looking at, or rather looking through is a 43.50mm wide and 45mm tall faceted, full sapphire case. The only non-transparent exterior component is the 8-sided steel crown.
Lacking any form of a traditional dial, time is indicated by central hour and minutes hand with Super-LumiNova inserts. Printed indices on the inside of the top crystal help with reading time a bit. This all gives way to the large, full sapphire crystal skull and crossbones. A visible screw on each corner, a signature BR 01/03 element, holds the movement in place. On top, you can see the balance wheel (the brain), and when you wind the watch through the crown, the lower jaw moves up and down in a laughing motion.
The BR-CAL.209 movement, which can be viewed from all sides, is developed with Concepto. It has a rhodium-plated main plate and bridges and almost entirely follows the contours of the skull on top. The frequency is 28,800vph (or 4Hz) and when fully wound the barrel holds up to 48 hours of energy.
The Bell & Ross BR 01 Cyber Skull Sapphire is worn on a translucent rubber strap, with a black PVD coated steel pin buckle. It is presented as a limited edition of 10 pieces only, at a price of EUR 105,000 each.
For more information, please visit BellRoss.com.