The following article was produced in partnership with Bell & Ross.
Bell & Ross has always stood out as one of the most stylish watchmakers on the planet. Famous for their square watch designs, which are modelled after instruments found in aircraft cockpits, the French brand is a rather aesthetic outlier in an industry dominated by same-y designs and a lack of artistic flair.
Now, in 2022, they’ve added some serious substance to back up their style with their newest watch, the BR-X5: their first-ever watch with a manufacture mechanical movement, and inarguably one of the most exciting watches of 2022.
Check out the new Bell & Ross BR-X5 below.
While the watch is certainly a looker, it’s what’s under the hood that’s particularly interesting: its Manufacture Calibre BR-CAL.323. Produced in collaboration with esteemed movement maker Kenissi (who also supplies some of Switzerland’s top watch brands including Breitling, TAG Heuer and Tudor), it’s a real statement of intent from Bell & Ross.
Up until now, they’ve mostly used third-party movements from ETA in their watches – which isn’t a bad thing by any means, as ETA makes great movements – but having their own in-house movement not only makes the BR-X5 a much more unique watch, but it reflects Bell & Ross’ status as a serious watchmaker. Manufacture movements are prized by those in the know; they’re a must for any truly high-end watch brand.
The BR-CAL.323 itself is a real gem, too. Not only is it a COSC-certified chronometer movement – a first for Bell & Ross – but it boasts a 70-hour power reserve and 100m of water resistance. That means it’s totally ‘weekend proof’ and tough enough to be the perfect daily wearer.
Aesthetically, the BR-X5 impresses, too. It’s immediately distinct from other Bell & Ross watches, including the BR-05 family with which it shares a case design, thanks to its large-aperture date window at 3 o’clock and a circle-shaped power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock. The latter is a particularly useful feature as it allows you to keep a closer eye on your watch’s performance… It also looks cool as hell.
Turn the BR-X5 on its side and you’ll also see that it features a unique multi-piece case construction, which is sandwiched together with four screws to be completely air-tight. Architectural and high-tech, it also “adds lightness”, as the famous car designer Colin Chapman used to say, and further emphasises just how different the BR-X5 is. A dial-coloured gasket between the bezel and main case adds additional aesthetic flair.
41mm in diameter, the BR-X5 is available in satin-brushed stainless steel with either a black or ice-blue dial (the latter of which is also rather unique and eye-catching) and on either an integrated steel bracelet or a comfy rubber strap. For those wanting an especially high-tech watch, the BR-X5 also features one variant with a case made from carbon fibre and titanium that’s even more of a head-turner.
All in all, the BR-X5 is a bit of a masterstroke. There’s always been plenty of reasons to buy a Bell & Ross – style, quality, legibility, and a competitive price point – but the BR-X5 is a proper game changer. This is a watch for real watch fans… Or, alternatively, the perfect place to start your luxury watch journey. Allons-y, we say.
Find out more about the Bell & Ross BR-X5 and its impressive manufacture movement at Bell & Ross’ online boutique here, or book an appointment at your local Bell & Ross boutique.