One learns never to call anything “the first” in the world of watches because, invariably, someone with a photographic memory will contradict the declaration. I welcome such pedantry because I hate fake news or any other sort of mis- or dis-information, and am therefore pleased to say that Bell & Ross is not claiming that the BR 03-92 is the world’s first square diving watch. It is, however, the first full-on square diving watch in the BR 0 family, and my only surprise is that they waited so long to release it because it’s a natural.
Bell & Ross’ inventiveness, when it comes to exploiting the possibilities of the square-cased BR 0 range, knows no limits, as we learn at every Baselworld. We’ve seen camouflage editions, bronze versions, tourbillons, sapphire panels, one with a roulette wheel, assorted skulls, dials inspired by non-horological cockpit instruments (e.g. altimeters or horizon indicators) and now we have one with the assurance of water-resistance and a mandatory, massive, rotating bezel with error-free legibility.
Mixing round with square has become a Bell & Ross specialty, and it works because the language is now familiar. Not that the original BR 0 model was a shock: there have been round dials in square cases since wristwatches began, from makes as diverse as Omega and Longines, Bulova and Benrus and Jaeger-LeCoultre. For Bell & Ross, it’s a signature model, like elongated tonneaus are for Franck Muller.