One year ago, for Baselworld 2017, Bell & Ross introduced a new “Vintage” collection, their classical range of watches, with round cases and more reasonable dimensions. This new BR Vintage collection was fully redesigned to be thinner, smaller and more elegantly shaped. Quite a success, which was later followed by several colourful limited editions, such as the Gardes-Cotes or Bellytanker. Prior to Baselworld 2018, Bell & Ross just introduced a new version in the Vintage collection, the Vintage BR-V2 Steel Heritage. And if the normal ones were already cool, these new ones are certainly even cooler.
The whole idea of the Bell & Ross Vintage collection, while keeping the dashboard instrument inspiration and the link with military and aviation, is to offer something more classical, more down-to-earth, more… round! While we’re not talking about elegant dress watches either, the look of these BR-V2 Vintage watches is less bold and “segmenting” than the squared BR-01 and BR-03 pieces. With the new collection introduced at Baselworld 2017, the Parisian brand scaled down the cases, going from 43mm to 41mm, but also gave the watch a more rounded, more compact design, and slimmer profiles. All of that was combined to clean, military-inspired dials and highly domed sapphire crystal to enhance the vintage look. Overall, no doubt… The 2017 Bell & Ross VIntage range was a success.
This year, as an amuse-bouche for Baselworld 2018, the brand has created a slight evolution, bringing even more vintage accents to two of the models: the 3-hand with rotating bezel BR V2-92 and the chronograph BR V2-94, dubbed “Steel Heritage”.
The Bell & Ross Vintage BR V2-92 Steel Heritage
The first version to receive this “Steel Heritage” treatment is the 3-hander. Measuring 41mm across, equipped with a bi-directional bezel with 60-minute scale and water resistant to 100m meters, this Vintage BR V2-92 Steel Heritage is to be considered a solid all-rounded, a sports watch made for action – but not a true dive watch either. The case, like the rest of the collection, shows shorter lugs and more curved surfaces. Inside the case is an automatic ETA-clone movement, which displays the hours, minutes and seconds on the central axis, as well as the date at 4h30.
The main novelty concerns the dial, which keeps its black colour and its large 3-6-9-12 pilot-indexes, but adds a cool-factor in the name of faux-patina. Indeed, all the hours’ numerals/indexes and the hands are now filled with cream-coloured luminous paint, for a stronger vintage feel. The water resistance is also printed in red now. Overall, the Bell & Ross Vintage BR V2-92 Steel Heritage gains a 1960s look. This model will be available on rubber strap or steel bracelet.
The Bell & Ross Vintage BR V2-94 Steel Heritage
Second watch of the Bell & Ross vintage collection to receive this “Steel Heritage” treatment is the nice BR V2-94 chronograph. Also measuring a reasonable 41mm diameter, it is again classically designed, with a two-counter display (small second and 30-minute counter), while being fitted with an external bezel and screwed pushers for a sportier look. More wearable and more compact than before, it remains water resistant to 100m (thanks to the screwed pushers) and is powered by an automatic ETA-based chronograph movement.
A few novelties are visible on this Bell & Ross Vintage BR V2-94 Steel Heritage; the first one being the bezel. First of all, compared to the 2017 “standard” edition, the bezel, which is still fixed, featured an aluminium insert with a 60-minute scale, instead of a tachymeter scale. As for the dial, this BR V2-94 Steel Heritage has some cream-coloured indexes, numerals and hands (all luminous) as well as its water resistance printed in red. This model will be available on rubber strap or steel bracelet.
Prices and Availability
The new Bell & Ross Vintage BR-V2 Steel Heritage will be available in stores and in the brand’s webshop as of Baselworld 2018 (end of March 2018). Prices will range from EUR 2,600 for the 3-hand BR V2-92 Steel Heritage on rubber (EUR 2,900 on steel bracelet) to EUR 3,900 for the Chronograph BR V2-94 Steel Heritage (EUR 4,200 on steel bracelet). More details on bellross.com.