This year, Paris-based brand Bell & Ross went full throttle on its all-new, urban “luxury sports watch” collection, the BR05 – and with good reason since this was the most important launch for the brand in years (and maybe ever). Certainly a departure from traditional military and aviation codes, this watch was not the only cool novelty this year and one shouldn’t overlook the rest of the collection. There were some pretty desirable watches in the core instrument and vintage collections as well.
Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Bi-Compass
The Bi-Compass was the first of the watches presented by Bell & Ross in 2019, and it was a good way to start the year. Indeed, by a little trick, which doesn’t require complex technical modifications – change of the hour hand by a central disc – the brand managed to create a watch that looks 100% as a hardcore B&R should. Relying on three clear sectors to differentiate the indications, the Bi-Compass not only has a case inspired by aviation instruments but its dial looks like the display of vintage, analogue aeronautical gauges. Finally, the matte black ceramic case gives it the required stealth look – which won’t look out of place in a cockpit. Pure Bell & Ross.
Quick facts: 42mm x 42mm square case – matte black ceramic – 100m water-resistant – Calibre BR-CAL.302 (Sellita SW 300-1) with hours displayed by a disc – delivered with two straps: black rubber and ultra-resilient black synthetic fabric – BR0392-IDC-CE/SRB – limited to 999 pieces – EUR 3,500 – details here
Bell & Ross BR V2-94 Bellytanker Bronze “John Player Special”
Cool watch alert, this is my personal favourite of this year. With an undeniable “wow factor” thanks to its bright but well-dosed combination of golden colours and glossy black, it’s like a flashback to the unforgettable “John Player Special” effect. Already existing in a steel-and-cooper version, the BR V2-94 Bellytanker is dressed in a special bronze alloy (CuAI7Si2 to be precise) that won’t patinate too much and that has a warm, gold tone that fits its compact, vintage look. With its rich black dial with gold accents and gold-panda look, it is certainly not the most discreet of all Bell & Ross watches, but clearly one of the coolest this year.
Quick facts: 41mm diameter – CuAI7Si2 bronze case – 100m water-resistant – calibre BR-CAL.301 (based on ETA 2894-2) automatic chronograph – black calfskin strap – BRV294-BC-BR/SCA – limited to 999 pieces – EUR 4,900 – details here
Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver Matte Black
When it was introduced back in 2017, the Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver generated quite a lot of buzz. Undoubtedly, a square dive watch doesn’t feel natural… at first. But the brand managed to implement the ISO 6425 standard within its “circle within a square” design by keeping the classic elements of the instrument line – including the square case and its screws – and the obligatory unidirectional bezel and enlarged markers. Altogether a great watch, which has been revisited in different editions, the latest being the full-black ceramic model… And it not only looks like a proper tool watch but it also is the most comfortable of the lot, due to the lightweight, smooth material.
Quick facts: 42mm x 42mm square case – matte black ceramic – 60-minute bezel – 300m water-resistant – Calibre BR-CAL.302 (Sellita SW 300-1) – delivered with two straps: black rubber and ultra-resilient black synthetic fabric – BR0392-D-BL-CE/SRB – EUR 3,900 – details here
Bell & Ross BR V2-92 Military Beige
Last but not least, the 3-hander “Military Beige”… Yes, it is just a new dial on an existing watch, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be good. In fact, it is! Based on the recently revamped Vintage collection, this new edition plays on classic military colours – in this case, a sandy-beige tone that wouldn’t look out of place on a commando during a desert mission. Simple, efficient, straightforward. Nothing more… Well, there’s more, and it has to be seen on the strap; Bell & Ross has teamed up with our friend Erika and the watch can be ordered with a cool MN Elastic strap – there will be more of them in future collections. Also available with a chronograph movement and on a steel bracelet.
Quick facts: 41mm diameter – stainless steel case – 100m water-resistant – bi-directional bezel – Calibre BR-CAL.302 (Sellita SW 300-1) – 3-link steel bracelet or elastic MN canvas strap – BRV292-BEI-ST/SST (Bracelet) BRV292-BEI-ST/SF (strap) – from EUR 2,600 – details here
More details at bellross.com.