Bell & Ross describes its BR05 collection, which launches today, as the time measuring instrument for urban explorers.
The watch is an intelligent evolution from the iconic square BR03 aviation-inspired family, and brings a sportier edge to the French brand’s portfolio.
It continues to combine round and square shapes in its case and dial design, so it is unmistakably another Bell & Ross timepiece, but the case is built from a more octagonal base that widens towards the watch’s partially protected crown.
When WatchPro was first shown the BR05 at Baselworld, it was clear that this is a radical step for the watchmaker into the highly commercial world of the steel sports watch.
The use of integrated steel bracelets (or the option of ribbed rubber straps) and and the hint of an octagonal case design is straight out of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak play book but, combined with the circle on square watch head is clearly a Bell & Ross.
If Gerard Genta had designed for Bell & Ross, this might well have been the watch he would have made.
“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. 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,” says Bruno Belamich, Bell & Ross co-founder and creative director.
The steel bracelet is a piece of men’s jewelry in its own right with its combination of polished and brushed surfaces catching the light.
The 100m waterproof 40mm watches house the BR-CAL.321 movement. It is available with black, blue or grey sunray dials with hours, minutes and seconds hands plus a date at 3 o’clock. Dial colors can be matched to the different rubber straps as an alternative to the integrated steel bracelet.
They cost $4,400 on the rubber strap and $4,900 on a steel bracelet.
An 18ct rose gold version launched alongside the core collection will sell for $21,500 on rubber strap and $32,500 on a gold bracelet.
Bell & Ross has also produced a skeletonized model, limited to 500 pieces, that will retail for $5,900 on a rubber strap or $6,400 on a steel bracelet.