In the last few years, Bell & Ross has actively focused on developing a refreshed design lingo for a new era of consumers, while delineating the differences between each collection in a sharper manner. The classic BR 01s have become more conceptual, with the Skull collection representing aviation art, while the BR 03 and BRS have embraced classic and modern cockpit instrumentation designs. The Diver and BR 05 collections along with the Vintage ranges have expanded Bell & Ross’s audience with more contemporary appeal while retaining the core of the brand’s function-driven design.
The product expansion has proven wildly successful, as CEO of Bell & Ross Carlos Rosillo attested. The BR 05 was a hit beyond the brand’s own expectations. But for those loyal fans of Bell & Ross who continue to clamor for its classics, the BR 03 range continues to churn out aviation-style hits regularly, the latest being the BR 03-92 H.U.D.
As Rosillo explains it, “this is very important for us that in Bell & Ross, there is the off-road there is the on-road [vehicle], there is the city guy and there is the guy who is in the air. Here the biggest inspiration was of course aviation, and we took inspiration from the central part of the cockpit that we transferred to the watch, with those three different elements that are in the dial.”
The BR 03 is broadly divided into two case material types: steel and ceramic. The former maintains very classic looks in general, with oversized markers, clearly illuminated displays and regular dial colors. The latest is the BR 03-92 Grey Lum, which was reviewed by our colleague Adam Craniotes here.
The BR 03 Ceramic is where things get funkier. Here Bruno Belamich, the creative director of Bell & Ross, plays around with colors, new dial executions and most recently, hi-viz watch designs such as the BR 03-92 Full Lum.
The brand’s latest release is the BR 03-92 H.U.D, which is inspired by the heads-up displays in the windshields of high tech fighter planes that use this technology to inform pilots of all the digital data they need from flight paths to altitude.
The multi-layer reflects the concept of augmented reality, where each layer offers added information. The lowest level of the dial are the Super-LumiNova-coated hour markers, with a central hours disc that marked with a pointer indicator. On the periphery of the dial is the minute track, over which the seconds and minutes hands run. Over all these is a tinted sapphire crystal, with four brackets at each corner that makes the dial look like a display panel.
Rosillo points out that “we wanted to transfer the feeling that you have all the information corresponding to what you need. Here it’s just a watch that tells the time, but for the fighter pilot, he has all the information he needs on a [heads-up] display.” He further adds even though the watch is mechanically powered, you have “the feeling that you are in a futuristic world.”
The hour markers, numeral minute marks, hands and bracketed corners of the sapphire crystal are coated with Super-LumiNova, so that in the dark, it delivers strong visibility. The watch is available in a rubber strap or ultra-durable synthetic fabric, to add to that high-tech aviation experience of the watch.
The watch will be available in stores from June onwards, priced at CHF 4,000 (USD 3,990, EUR 3,700, SGD 5,900). It’s restricted to 999 pieces. Click here for more info.
Self-winding caliber BR-CAL.302 based off Sellita SW300; hours, minutes and seconds; date; 38-hour power reserve
42mm case in matte black cerami; green-tinted sapphire crystal; water resistant to 100m
Black rubber strap with pin buckle or ultra-resilient black synthetic fabric strap
Price USD 3,990; CHF 4,000; EUR 3,700