In a crowded watch market, it pays to be a bit different. Bell & Ross has successfully carved out its own distinct niche with round dial/square cased watches inspired by the dashboard instruments of classic aircraft. The latest releases, on the other hand, are from the B&R Vintage collection and are notable by the fact that all three have round cases. The company ethos of making rugged adventure watches endures, however, and there is one designed for air, one for land and one for sea.
Air: BR V2-93 GMT Blue
The BR V2-93 GMT 24H was launched in 2018, and new for this year it is available with a sunray blue dial and a galvanic blue caseback. The GMT hand, a most useful complication, is fitted to keep pilots – or anyone regularly crossing time zones – in step with home time. The 41-mm round steel case is characteristic of the B&R Vintage series, with integrated protection for the screw-down crown. The bi-directional rotating bezel comes in two-tone anodised aluminium with grey showing day and blue showing night time. The seconds hand has a counterweight styled like aeroplane wings and this watch is, according to Bell & Ross, “designed for 21st century globetrotters”.
Automatic BR-CAL.303 with central seconds, date and second-time zone.
41 mm satin-polished steel with screw-down crown and sapphire case-back. Water-resistant to 100m.
Grey and blue elastic canvas strap or satin-polished steel.
Land: BR V2-92 Military Green
Described as “adventurous and urban”, this green-faced version of the BR V2-92 has an anti-reflective khaki dial that is designed for maximum legibility during both day and night – like all the watches in the Bell & Ross “LUM” collection, it is treated with green Super-LumiNova to maximise luminosity. With bi-directional rotating bezel in black anodised aluminium. The revolving disc under the date window at 4 o’clock is the same colour as the dial – a Bell & Ross signature seen across both of the non-chronograph models here. The sapphire crystal is scratch-resistant and the high-precision automatic movement has been rigorously tested, according to B&R, for “all types of missions”.
41 mm satin-polished steel with screw-down crown and sapphire caseback. Water resistant to 100m.
Khaki and black elastic canvas strap or satin-polished steel.
Sea: BR V2-94 Aéronavale Bronze
This watch is a tribute to the French air force – the Aéronavale – fitting for a brand started by two aircraft-mad Frenchmen, Bruno Belamich and Carlos A. Rosillo. The latest addition to the BR V2-94 chronograph range is this bronze version, in a limited edition of 999 pieces. The 41mm stabilised bronze case is fitted with a fixed bezel in blue anodised aluminium. The ocean blue dial has gilt indices and the hands are filled with white Super-LumiNova for legibility. The functional, ultra-curved “glass box” sapphire crystal reinforces both the classic style of the piece and its resistance. The bi-compax chronograph has screw-down pushers for extra vintage appeal.
Automatic BR-CAL.301 chronograph movement
41 mm bronze; bezel with anodised blue aluminium ring and 60-minute scale; water-resistant to 100m.
Blue elastic canvas strap