The link between Bell & Ross and aviation is well-known and the brand’s iconic watch, the BR, is shaped after dashboard instruments – the typical “circle within a square” case. However, aviation doesn’t necessarily mean pressurised suits and jet fighters. Aviation is also about commercial flights and leisure planes. And what happens when you’re out of your plane? Well, in this context, the new, urbanized Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Blue Steel should be the answer.
Apart from the minimalistic, rough-looking fully-black coated or ceramic watches offered by Bell & Ross as a core collection, the brand also knows that some of its collectors don’t form part of a military commando or travel in a jet fighter. Reality is that most of the Bell & Ross watches are worn on a daily basis (surprising, isn’t it?). For that reason, the brand started to offer watches with the same design but with more refined details, such as brushed and polished cases and more formal dials. Based on the existing BR 03-94 Blue Steel Chronograph, the brand now offers a time-and-date version.
The new Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Blue Steel keeps the basics of a B&R watch, meaning the iconic square case, with four functional screws and a round aperture for the dial. Dimensions are still on the large side, with a 42mm x 42mm case (which is still better than the old 45mm case of the BR 01), but with a rather slim profile. The main difference with the military-oriented pieces is that this civilian watch features a satin-finished case (circular on top, vertically brushed on the casebands) with polished accents – giving it a more refined, more classy look.
Continuing in this direction, the dial of Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Blue Steel not only displays a more formal colour – in this case, a deep blue – but it also has a sunray pattern to create reflections. Indexes and numerals are printed in white Super-LumiNova while the hands are metallic, half-polished and half-matte. Overall, the classical design elements are present but treated in a more contemporary, more civilian way. Matching the dial is a blue calfskin leather strap – again, less field-oriented than the usual rubber.
Powering the Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Blue Steel is the calibre BR-CAL.302, in other words, an automatic Sellita SW 200-1. It displays the hours, minutes and seconds on the central axis and a date in a window at 4:30. While I’m usually rather reluctant to see the date on such military pieces, its presence makes more sense here.