Bell & Ross are taking it from the road all the way to space with three spectacular timepieces showing at Baselworld 2016. The brand itself is renowned for developing cutting edge pieces which exude technology and exhilaration through all fields of mechanical motion. Bell & Ross’ Chief Designer Bruno Belamich has continued this unique tradition with dazzling results.
From the lofty heights of space to the world of concept hypercars, these are the three distinct timepieces that stood out at the show.
BR X-1 Hyperstellar
Building a watch made for space exploration is no easy feat. Just like a space helmet, a mechanical chronograph watch is a fine accompaniment to any astronaut traversing the depths of the unknown. The BR X-1 Hyperstellar is made for this very reason and can measure short periods of time and other increments that are vital to successful space missions.
Bell & Ross have tackled this challenge with a 45mm titanium and aluminium hybrid case. A polished and micro-blasted grade 5 titanium adorns the cover, centre and surround whilst the bezel’s protective insert is crafted of blue anodised aluminium. This combination ensures both lightness and exceptional levels of strength as required in a zero gravity environment.
Moving inside, the watch holds a calibre BR-CAL.313. mechanical automatic with an ‘X’-shaped upper bridge and 56 jewels set in a skeleton chronograph. This movement displays the hours, minutes and small seconds at 3 o’clock. A skeleton date window sits at the 6 o’clock whilst a 30-minute timer sits at 9 o’clock. On the dial you’ll find a very cool metal skeleton with Super Luminova coated hands. In the case that water is discovered on a seemingly barren planet, the BR X-1 can be submerged for up to 100 metres. The piece is finished with a bi-material alligator and grey rubber strap.
BR 03 AeroGT
The extremities of land and air speed come together as one with the Bell & Ross BR 03 AeroGT. The inspiration from the timepiece comes from Bell & Ross’ GT concept car which itself draws inspiration from a fighter jet. The lineage is thus evident in the BR 03 AeroGT timepiece which showcases exhilarating design in two eye-catching versions.
The BR 03-94 AeroGT sports an automatic mechanical BR-CAL.319 movement (calibre BR-CAL.318 for the other version) which drives the hours, minutes and a small seconds counter at 12 o’clock. There’s also a large date window, a 12-hour timer at 6 o’clock, a 30-min timer at 9 o’clock and central chronograph seconds. The addition of a tachymeter scale sits beautifully on the flange.
Encasing this skeleton dial is a 42mm satin-polished steel case boasting a water resistance rating of 100 metres. To accompany this fine homage to the AeroGT is a black calfskin strap stitched with red piping and ultra-resistant black synthetic fabric.
The BR 03-94 AeroGT will be limited to just 500 pieces with a tentative pricetag of 7,900 Euro.
BR-03 Desert Type Collection
The Bell & Ross signature square-cased aviator watch retains its throne as one of the world’s most recognised silhouettes. In celebration of Baselworld 2016, Bell & Ross have released the BR-03 Desert Type which sees a brand new military colourway gracing the BR-03 model. The BR-03 Desert Type is a sand coloured edition modelled off the outfits of Air Force pilots on desert missions. The watch which comes in three versions follows the four principles of Bell & Ross which are legibility, functionality, precision and water resistance.
On the 42mm version, the BR-03 Desert Type consists of the three-handed BR 03-92 and the BR 03-94 chronograph. A 39mm model showcases the three-hand BR S as a model suited for smaller wrists. On the dial you’ll find a sandwich format design which allows the watch more depth and dimension in appearance. Text is also kept to a minimum to ensure a cleaner look for easy legibility.
All of the cases are crafted from black ceramic and feature khaki leather straps to coincide with the military theme. The BR-03 Desert Type watches all carry a 100 metre water resistant rating.