This new BR-X1 RS 17 and the other Renault Sport Formula One Team timepieces are all chronographs. “The chronograph function was invented to measure short periods of time and is considered the most important one in the race world, since it enables the performance of the vehicles on the track to be measured with great accuracy, turning these timepieces into indispensable tools for drivers and timekeepers,” says Bruno Belamich, designer, Bell & Ross. “They have long since become a key instrument in cockpits, circuits and paddocks. The steering wheel of the RS17 racing car was the starting point in the creation of the three timepieces. On an F1 steering wheel, each piece of information is paired with a different color, so the driver can identify them instantly during the race, without any risk of error.
“As on the steering wheel, on the BR-X1 RS17 the colors allow main functions to be identified and prioritized,” he continues. “The time, chronograph, date, seconds each have their own color and thus the access to the information is quick and accurate. Thus, the dial flange is split into several hour segments, each of which has a corresponding color. This color segmentation makes the measured time easier to read. The chronograph hands are yellow, the date is highlighted in red, the small second hand is green and the hour hand white for a perfect legibility.”
The case of the BR-X1 RS17 is made from Carbon Forgé, a lightweight and extremely resistant material, used regularly in aeronautics and in Grand-Prix racing cars.
“For the timepieces, the material is manufactured using a unique patented process, specific to Bell & Ross, whereby carbon fibers are compressed in a steel mold at very high temperatures with a thermosetting resin that forms a buffer layer and protects the carbon. This produces a material with a more even structure, where no fiber ever comes into contact with the exterior,” Belamich explains. “Using this material, we have been able to produce a case that is a water-tight, non-porous single unit with a marbled quality that is unique to each piece, highly durable and very light.
“I really like the outcome, where every detail and material used reminds us of the new RS17 racing car,” Belamich continues. “For example, the two rocker-type push buttons of the chronograph are capped with miniature plates inspired by the change paddles of RS17 located on the steering wheel.”