While the main focus for Bell & Ross in 2019 was the introduction of their luxury sports watch, the BR05 collection (even though there were some more watches launched too), 2020 will be focussed on the so-called “core range”. This means back to basics, with military- or aeronautical-inspired pieces from the instrument or vintage collection, with flight instruments in mind. It is in this spirit that Bell & Ross has just presented three new watches that evoke its three realms of expression: land, air and sea. Meet the new Bell & Ross Vintage models, BR V2-92 Military Green, BR V2-93 GMT Blue and BR V2-94 Aeronavale Bronze.
Bell & Ross is first and foremost a brand inspired by the military world and devoted to tool watches for navigation. Back in 1992, when Carlos Rosillo and Bruno Belamich introduced the brand, the main focus was to create robust and functional timepieces (manufactured by Sinn back then), with aeronautical and special forces background. The real turning point came in 2005, when Bell & Ross introduced its BR01, a watch that will define the brand for the decade to come, with its iconic “circle within a square” design, inspired by antique dashboard instruments. Certainly, the brand has recently moved to more urban and contemporary designs, specifically with the BR05 – even though its design is still very B&R.
Still, don’t think Bell & Ross forgot its roots. The BR05 is a necessary evolution for a brand that wants to develop itself, however, the core range remains inspired by flight and military instruments – and this will be the focus for 2020, as the brand unveils some new additions to the Vintage collection. While the BR01 and BR03 models are easily identifiable with their square-shaped case, the Vintage V1 and V2 watches are the brand’s evocation of a more classic watch, with a round case and more “traditional” codes. But as you’ll see with the new BR V2-92 Military Green, BR V2-93 GMT Blue and BR V2-94 Aeronavale Bronze, aeronautical and military inspirations are still present.
Bell & Ross BR V2-92 Military GreeN
The first of the 3 new watches is a classic theme for Bell & Ross, with military details all around. It is based on the 3-hand BR V2-92, the larger version with external bezel, a watch we’ve already explored in multiple editions, such as the Steel Heritage or its closest sister, the Military Beige.
Without changing the technical details or specifications, Bell & Ross brings here a new version with a Khaki green dial and large Arabic numerals from the LUM collection, with green-coloured Super-LumiNova C3. These numerals have evolved over time, as now framed in black and having more depth. Also, the minute track has been simplified to a railroad-style and the hands retain the classic B&R, pilot’s inspired design. A date is positioned at 4h30 (the text will be black on the final version).
As for the rest, the case of the BR V2-92 Military Green is still measuring 41mm, with short lugs and protected crown. It has satin and polished surfaces and features a bi-directional bezel with a 60-minute scale on the anodized black aluminium insert. A very straightforward but quite cool design overall, which is even better when paired with the Khaki and black canvas “NATO stretch” strap, made from parachute straps – provided by our friend Erika from Erikasoriginals. A steel bracelet with folding clasp is also available.
Powering this watch is the automatic BR-CAL.302 (based on the Sellita SW 300-1), a well-known and reliable movement that boasts 42 hours of power reserve and beats at 4Hz. It is visible through a sapphire caseback. The watch also features a screw-down crown and is water-resistant to 100m.
The Bell & Ross BR V2-92 Military Green will be priced at EUR 2,700 on canvas strap or EUR 2,990 on steel bracelet. More details and preorders here (available April 2020).
Quick facts: 41mm diameter – satin and polished steel case – bi-directional bezel with 60-minute aluminium insert – screw-down crown – box-shaped sapphire crystal – Khaki green dial – 100m water-resistant – BR-CAL.302 (Sellita SW 300), automatic – 42h power reserve – 4Hz – H-M-S and date – khaki and black elastic canvas strap or satin-polished steel bracelet – BRV292-MKA-ST/SF (canvas) at EUR 2,700 or BRV292-MKA-ST/SST (steel) at EUR 2,990
Bell & Ross BR V2-93 GMT Blue
The second model in this “core-range” collection is the Bell & Ross BR V2-93 GMT Blue, a watch dedicated to air. While B&R is mostly specialized in military pilot’s watches, this new watch is to be seen as the civilian version made for travellers. It is based on the already existing GMT model, presented here. Only available in a single edition until now, the brand adds a second version with a blue scheme.
The new GMT Blue, as indicated by its name, comes with a pleasant sunray navy dial. This watch is more contemporary than other models in the collection, with white luminescent material and more technical colours. It still retains classic B&R elements, though, with the signature Arabic numerals and the pilot hands. In addition to the hours, minutes, seconds and date, we have a second time-zone displayed by a large red-coloured, arrow-shaped hand.
The 41mm steel case, satin and brushed, is the same as the other watches – screw-down crown, box-shaped sapphire crystal, 100m water-resistance – but the bi-directional bezel here features a two-tone, blue and grey aluminium insert with a 24-hour scale, which can be used to track a third time-zone. The BR V2-93 GMT Blue is offered on a grey and blue canvas “NATO stretch” strap (again from Erikasoriginals) or on a steel bracelet.
Inside the case is the tried-and-tested BR-CAL.303 (based Sellita SW 330-1) with 4Hz frequency and 42h power reserve. All adjustments are made by the crown.
The Bell & Ross BR V2-93 GMT Blue will be priced at EUR 2,900 on canvas strap or EUR 3,200 on steel bracelet. More details and preorders here (available February 2020).
Quick facts: 41mm diameter – satin and polished steel case – bi-directional bezel with 24-hour aluminium bi-colour insert – screw-down crown – box-shaped sapphire crystal – blue sunray dial – 100m water-resistant – BR-CAL.303 (Sellita SW 330), automatic – 42h power reserve – 4Hz – H-M-S, second time-zone and date – grey and blue elastic canvas strap or satin-polished steel bracelet – BRV293-BLU-ST/SF (canvas) at EUR 2,900 or BRV293-BLU-ST/SST (steel) at EUR 3,200
Bell & Ross BR V2-94 Aeronavale Bronze
Last but not least, Bell & Ross follows the success of its bronze Vintage chronograph – the JPS-like model of Baselworld 2019 – with another very attractive bronze watch, this time with a nautical theme and a blue colour scheme, with the BR V2-94 Aeronavale Bronze.
This new model retains the 41mm case made of CuAI7Si2 bronze, an alloy composed of 91% copper, 7% aluminium and 2% silicon and that has a distinctive yellow-gold colour. Although stabilised, the material changes over time and will gain a reasonable amount of patina. In order to respect the standards of the rest of the collection, both the crown and the pushers screw-down, with 100m water resistance. This model is worn on a blue canvas “NATO stretch” strap with bronze-coloured hardware.
What’s new on this version, to match with the “Aeronavale” name (a French word for Navy), is the full blue theme, from the dial to the fixed 60-minute bezel and its anodized aluminium insert. This is a classic colour scheme for Bell & Ross, which has been using it in multiple past Vintage watches, including the gold-coloured accents on the dial, which includes applied indexes, and the hands. But here, with the bronze case, it makes even more sense and looks very attractive.
The watch is powered by the BR-CAL.301 (ETA 2894-2), an automatic bi-compax modular chronograph movement, with date and small seconds. The Bell & Ross BR V2-94 Aeronavale Bronze on Canvas strap will be priced at EUR 4,900 and is limited to 999 pieces. More details and preorders here (available May 2020).
Quick facts: 41mm diameter – satin and polished CuAI7Si2 bronze case – fixed bezel with 60-minute aluminium blue insert – screw-down crown and pushers – box-shaped sapphire crystal – blue sunray dial with golden accents – 100m water-resistant – BR-CAL.301 (ETA 2894-2), automatic – 42h power reserve – 4Hz – H-M-S, date and chronograph – blue elastic canvas strap with bronze-coloured hardware – limited to 999 pieces – BRV294-BLU-BR/SCA at EUR 4,900