Bell & Ross, leading brand in the aviation watch market with its iconic square BR03 model designed for professionals in extreme environments, is now unveiling its BR05 collection. Faithful to the brand’s watchwords of legibility, functionality, reliability and precision, this new model boasts a resolutely urban look and feel.
At first glance, the lines of its case combine round and square, basic geometric shapes that form part of Bell & Ross’s identity. But what makes this new collection even more alluring is the fact that the BR05 belongs to the family of watches with an integrated case, as the bracelet fuses with the case to create a unified piece.
Bold to some, bulky to others, there’s no mistaking the squared-off, military-inspired BR models from Bell & Ross. Originally designed as an homage to cockpit gauges, back in the noughties they ferociously rewrote the rule book on what comprised a luxury timepiece while carving a useful commercial niche for a brand previously recognised for its neo-vintage aviation timepieces.
Over time, the bulkier BRs collected their own faculty of complications and bred a series of submersibles that quickly ruled below the waves. But now it’s time to calm things down a bit, evidenced by the arrival of the all-new BR05. Smaller, sleeker and ultimately more civilian-minded than the founding family, it’s the brand’s first step towards creating a non-standard modern dress watch for life’s more active participants with all the design cues therein, starting with that hallmark of the Seventies-minted luxury sports watch – the integrated bracelet design.
Instantly redolent of Patek Philippe’s Nautilus and the even more illustrious Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, an integrated satin-polished steel bracelet is the pro forma feature of all dressy sports watches, but just for good measure, the BR05 is also available with a blue or black ribbed rubber strap, further referencing its nautically inspired antecedents nicely.
At the same time, the case design has been completely redesigned to reconfigure the BR range away from mere “gauges” to something more akin to the luxury watch market. Smaller than your average BR at just 40mm, it’s also decidedly less utilitarian-looking than its predecessors, too. The rounded-off, tiered case now features satin-finished surfaces and a highly polished bevel adds an extra level of finesse.
Fitted with the in-house designed BR-CAL-321 self-winding movement, the BR05 is launching with three variations of dial – silver grey, navy blue or deep black – and there’s also a fully skeletonised model, limited to 500 pieces. A version in 18-carat rose gold will also be available.
- Movement: calibre BR-CAL.321. Automatic mechanical.
- Functions: hours, minutes, seconds and date.
- Case: 40 mm in diameter. Polished, satin-finished 18 ct rose gold.
- Dial: black. Applique numerals and indices coated in Super-LumiNova®.
- Crystal: sapphire with anti-reflective coating.
- Water-resistance: 100 metres.
- Strap: black rubber or 18 ct rose gold.
- Buckle: folding. Polished, satin-finished 18 ct rose gold.
“This integration of case and bracelet is not only in line with the brand’s visual identity, it also brings another dimension to the watch: the first link forms part of the case,” explained Bruno Belamich, Bell & Ross’s Co-Founder and Creative Director. “This type of design harks back to the seventies, and when transposed to Bell & Ross, it creates a result with a graphic style which is both striking and modern.”
Bell & Ross / gq / dam