The prestigious Only Watch charitable auction is all about unique watches, supplied by some of the most esteemed watch brands in the world. Featuring a unique Vacheron Constantin, singing Ulysse Nardin and a prototype Richard Mille which are just a few examples of the watches on offer on the 7th of November in Geneva. On the day, all watches will be auctioned off to raise funds for the Monaco Association Against Muscular Dystrophy. Bell & Ross is contributing too, in a more adventurous way with a BR01 Skull Bronze Tourbillon.
The Parisian brand is most known for their square BR01-collections, celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. This unique edition Bell & Ross put up for auction in the bi-annual event is on the opposite end of the scale of some of the haute horology pieces on offer. It features the Airborne style case, with a stylized skull-and-crossbones bezel. It mimics the age-old jolly-Rodger, a symbol of piracy but also of courage and used to ward-off ill fortune.
The square bronze case is micro-blasted for a smooth finish and will very likely grow a nice deep patina over time, a perfect fit for the overall theme of the watch. The black honeycomb dial is decorated with a hand-engraved 18k gold skull. To add to the “shiver me timbers” feel of piracy, the dial is adorned with 4 hands shaped like cutlasses. Time is indicated like on a regulator, an uncommon complication which takes some getting used to. The hour hand is mounted on the nose of the gold skull, and the large minute hand is placed in the centre of the watch. At 3 o’clock you can find the torque indicator for the movement, the power reserve is displayed at 9 o’clock.
The movement inside the BR01 Skull Bronze Tourbillon is the BR-Cal.281, originally developed by the now defunct BNB Concepts, a former movement developer whose work trickled down to various brands and watches over the years. It is a hand-wound movement with five days of power reserve. The regulating organ is visible at the bottom of the dial and decorated with the B&R-logo adorning the tourbillon cage.
The unique Bell & Ross BR01 Skull Bronze Tourbillon will be delivered in a wooden chest with glass dome covering the timepiece, just like a treasure-chest. The glass dome slots into the opening of the cover of the chest, to allow for a full view of the watch while still keeping it protected when encased. So, if you are feeling adventurous on the 7th of November, have the proper cash to spend and like a bit of provocative watchmaking on your wrist, there rests nothing else left for us to say but; happy biddings!