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Bell & Ross watches, founded in 1992 by Bruno Belamich and Carlos Rosillo, is a professional watch manufacturer that designs timepieces for astronauts, pilots, and divers.
The brand has taken the Orbit 1 into space and the Hydro Challenger into a record-breaking 11,000-meter dive, both with the Space 1 and the Hydro Challenger. Among the company’s most striking designs are the Vintage and Instrument lines, the latter of which incorporates a square casing inspired by the shape of cockpit clocks on aircraft in the 1970s, making it one of its most recognizable pieces.
The slogan of Bell & Ross watches is “the essential is never compromised by the superfluous.” The company assures that its timepieces are designed for and by experts. All Bell & Ross watches are evaluated and built by professionals in their disciplines, including watchmakers, designers, pilots, astronauts, and divers.
The brand has received several positive ratings from watch experts on major watch-focused websites. The Instruments De Marine series, for example, is well regarded for the brand’s watch construction—from the materials used to the movements employed. There’s also this review by artist and watch collector John Mayer, who discussed the Bell & Ross BR126 Sport Heritage Chronograph, which he believes shone out at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève event in 2013.
Bell & Ross Watch Collections
Bell & Ross’ collections are divided into three categories:
This collection is divided into three sections: the BR V1 (38.5mm models), the BRV2, (41mm models), and the BR V3 (43mm models).
Because there are too many watches to select from, we’ve chosen specific models that are either new or have gained popularity over the years. We’ll also discuss the influences for some of the timepieces.
Bell & Ross Vintage Collection
The BR V1 collection consists of basic, yet powerful timepieces. The BR V1-92 is a black steel automatic mechanical watch powered by the BR-CAL.302 calibre. The casing comprises a primary black dial, satin polished steel, and Arabic and sticks index markers covered with Superluminova® and metal skeletonized Superluminova®.
This watch features a battery reserve of up to 40 hours, a sleek black leather strap, and is water-resistant to 100 meters–it’s a basic, yet classy timepiece that you can wear every day. There’s also the BR V1-92 Bellytanker, which was inspired by fighter jet drop tanks and a hot rod utilized in speed events.
The BR V2-92 includes a rotating steel bezel with a 60-minute scale and a matt black display with the Superluminova above elements. The buckle is satin-polished steel (a leather black calfskin variant), and there is a date window between four and five o’clock. This one has a diver-inspired appearance, and it is easy on the eyes and can be readily matched with many clothes, casual or fancy.
Satin-polished steel or carbon-effect calfskin is used on the BR V3-94 R.S. 19 range. These are driver chronographs for the Bell & Ross and Renault F1® teams. The major features of this watch are hours, minutes, tiny seconds and 30-minute and 12-hour counters, and central chronograph seconds. It is powered by a calibre BR-CAL.301 automatic mechanical movement. The bidirectional spinning steel bezel complements the carbon fibre dial, which has illuminated hands and markers.
Bell & Ross Instrument Collection
This collection focuses on the brand’s four fundamental principles:
The Instruments line has a wide variety of timepieces with the same square-shaped dial. There are several types to pick from, ranging from basic designs to chronometers and special editions.
The BR 03-92 Black Matte model sports an automatic mechanical movement and a 42mm matte black ceramic casing with photo-luminescent hands/markers. This watch boasts heavy-duty canvas straps, making it ideal for outdoor activities.
The Marine Instruments series, which takes a break from the aviation-inspired watches and focuses on the nautical history, is one of the collection’s most popular lines. This line was inspired by maritime equipment that steered ships and shipboard watches.
This collection has three models in three distinct materials: Indian Rosewood, Bronze, and Rose Gold, all with the famous square casing. Here you may see all of the models and their distinguishing qualities.
The BR 01 Burning Skull (500 pieces) is a limited-edition analog timepiece with an hour’s/minutes function. The dial is hand-filled with black lacquer and has an etched and micro-blasted steel skull. The dial is black Superluminova-coated, and the strap is constructed of brown alligator and ultra-durable black synthetic fabric.
Bell & Ross Experimental Collection
Bell & Ross Experimental, like the Marine series, is made up of square-shaped timepieces. This line has three models:
- the BR-X1 Tourbillon Sapphire
- the BR-X1 Chronographe
- the BR-X1 Tourbillon.
There are various limited-edition models in the collection, such as the BR-X1 Phantom from the Chronographe category. This sleek and athletic watch is limited to only 250 pieces. This skeleton chronograph watch with 56 jewels and 28,800 VPH is powered by calibre BR-CAL.313 with an automatic mechanical movement. This 45mm timepiece has black PVD titanium and matt black ceramic rubber inserts and a marker with Metal appliqué Super-LumiNova®.
The BR-X1 Rose Gold & Ceramic chronograph watch, which is limited to 99 pieces, and the BR-X1 Tourbillon R.S.19, which is restricted to 20 pieces, are two of the most recent offerings.
The BR-X1 Military, which is restricted to 250 pieces, is a popular model from the Experimental collection. This is an automatic mechanical watch with the calibre BR-CAL.313 and a skeletonized dial. The casing is made of khaki high-resistance titanium, and the dials are 45mm in diameter with metal appliqué Superluminova® C3-filled markings.
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