Releasing a new collection for any watch brand brings with it a unique challenge: how do you merge the traditional core identity with an upgraded innovative aesthetic? Bell & Ross seem to have struck gold with their latest BR05 collection that not only remains faithful to the brand but is a unique piece in its own right.
The BR05 collection has taken the rounded-corner case shape from the BR01 collection as well as large lume-treated hands with four prominent screws holding the case together that can be found in both the BR01 and BR03 collections. Arabic numbers at the quarter can also be found on the BR05 which is similar to many designs in the Bell & Ross family. The round bezel found on the BR01 and BR03 has been updated to have the rounded-corner square form part of the bezel rather than the actual case body.
The bracelet integrating directly into the case is a departure from the traditional Bell & Ross look but harks back to the style design of the Seventies. The watch is also smaller than some of the other collections with a 40mm case with an angular satin-finished surface that is perfectly flat and is designed to be a wear-everywhere watch for business professionals.
The basic steel model comes in three different dial colours, silver grey, navy blue, and deep black and is complemented by another model with a skeleton dial and mechanism. The skeleton comes complete with a skeletonised dial for unobstructed views of the automatic winding BR-CAL.322 and is limited to just 500 pieces. All the steel pieces are available with either a satin-polished steel bracelet or a ribbed rubber strap.
The final model is for those that are a little bit flashier and is made with an 18K rose gold case and bracelet with black dial. Prices start at US$4,400 for the steel dial on rubber straps going up to US$4,900 for the steel bracelet. The skeleton model starts at US$5,900 while the 18K rose gold case will set you back a cool US$21,500 for a rubber strap going all the way up to $32,500 on the gold bracelet.
The collection is an attractive step forward for the traditional aviation watch brand with the new watches showing Bell & Ross to be a serious contender to the broader market.