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The 10 Best Bell & Ross Watches For French Function & Style

C'est magnifique!

The 10 Best Bell & Ross Watches For French Function & Style

The world of high-end horology isn’t exactly left wanting for manufacturers. There are dozens, nay, hundreds of luxury watch brands on the market… But the problem is that many of them are just a bit same-y. Which is baffling: why would you invest in a timepiece that looks completely humdrum?

Of course, there’s much to be said for subtlety, but there’s minimalism and then there’s just being boring. Our take? if you’re going to buy a nice watch, buy a watch that doesn’t just run well and feel good on your wrist but is also distinctive. Something that’ll be a real conversation starter. Enter: Bell & Ross.

Founded in 1992 by childhood friends Carlos A. Rosillo and Bruno Belamich as a university project, Bell & Ross has quickly become one of the most unique and desirable luxury watchmakers on the planet. It’s truly impressive how quickly the brand has cemented itself in the public consciousness – but that has. a lot to do with their unique aesthetic and approach to design.

Designed in France and made in Switzerland, Bell & Ross is well-known for its signature aviation-inspired aesthetic. Many of their watches are patterned after the dials and instruments of fighter jets and feature a highly legible, minimal aesthetic. Indeed, Bell & Ross have supplied the French Air & Space Force for many years, and are the official watch supplier to the Escadron de Chasse 2/4 La Fayette and the French space program.

Other notable accomplishments include kitting out the French Security Service’s bomb disposal squad as well as creating the Hydromax 11 100 M, which at one point was the Guinness World Record holder for wristwatch water resistance. Pretty impressive for a brand that’s centuries younger than most of its competition.

Bell & Ross might be best known for their square case designs, but their oeuvre is far more diverse than just that. We’ve rounded up some of the best and most distinctive Bell & Ross watches you ought to invest in.


Reference: BRX5R-IB-ST/SST
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Price: AU$10,700

First up, we have the Bell & Ross BR-X5: the brand’s newest model and their first-ever watch with a manufacture mechanical movement. Manufacture movements are prized by those in the know; they’re a must for any truly high-end watch brand, and the BR-X5’s is a real gem.

Produced in collaboration with esteemed movement maker Kenissi (who also supplies some of Switzerland’s top watch brands including Breitling, TAG Heuer and Tudor), the BR-X5’s Manufacture Calibre BR-CAL.323 is COSC-certified – a first for Bell & Ross – and boasts a 70-hour power reserve.

Aesthetically, the BR-X5 impresses, too. A large-aperture date window at 3 o’clock and a circle-shaped power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock make it really stand out, as does its unique and futuristic multi-piece case construction. How good’s that ice-blue dial, too? A proper watch for proper enthusiasts, we can’t think of a better place to start your Bell & Ross collection than with the new BR-X5.

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BR 03-92 Diver Military

Reference: BR0392-D-KA-CE/SRB
Case Material: Matte Black Ceramic
Price: AU$6,900

The BR 03 is perhaps Bell & Ross’ most popular model: combining the iconic square case design pioneered by the BR 01, Bell & Ross’ first watch family, with a more accessible 42mm case size. Available in either pilot’s or dive watch variants, it’s a versatile and masculine watch that exemplifies the watchmaker’s intrepid spirit.

The BR 03-92 Diver Military, as you might have guessed, is firmly a more aquatic offering from Bell & Ross, and one that pays tribute to the brand’s military connections and design ethos. Featuring a slick black ceramic case, mil-spec olive drab dial and chunky rubber strap, this is a no-nonsense watch that’s perfect for operators and civilians alike.

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Reference: BR05G-BL-ST/SST
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Price: AU$7,900

The BR 05 was first launched in 2019 and features a rounded, softer take on Bell & Ross’ signature square case design while also introducing a sleek integrated bracelet – very on-trend.

As the name implies, the BR 05 GMT is a GMT watch – that is, it’s capable of displaying the local time in two different time zones. For a brand that’s all about aviation, it’s the perfect complication and one that’s an invaluable tool for both pilots and passengers alike. It also boasts a screw-down crown, sapphire case-back and a water-resistance rating of 100m.

We’ve singled out the version with a matching stainless steel integrated bracelet, but you can also get the BR 05 GMT on a black rubber strap if that’s more your style. Indeed, Bell & Ross offers a lot of different strap options for virtually all their watches, making customisation a breeze.

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BR 05 Chrono

Reference: BR05C-BU-ST/SRB
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Price: AU$8,800

The BR 05 Chrono is one of the most elegant chronographs we’ve seen in a very long time. Many chronograph versions of popular watches feel like an afterthought, and ruin the design of the watch. Not so with the BR 05 Chrono. The chronograph counters reflect the BR 05’s unique ‘squared circle’ design and give off a very 70’s vibe. The chronograph pushers are perfectly integrated into the crown guard as well.

We reckon the deep blue dial variant of the BR 05 Chrono looks amazing on a colour-matching rubber strap, but there’s also a stainless steel integrated bracelet variant available, as well as a black dial variant, too. Choices, choices…

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BR-X2 Skeleton Tourbillon Micro-Rotor

Reference: BRX2-MRTB-SK-ST
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Price: AU$110,000

Bell & Ross watches are largely priced at the more affordable end of the luxury watch market, with a few key exceptions… Like this BR-X2, with its $110,000 price tag. Unlike other watches the French watchmaker has released previously, the BR-X2 Skeleton Tourbillon Micro-Rotor – an evolution of the non-skeletal model released in 2017 – attaches the movement to the 42.5mm case to make it seem like you’re just wearing a movement on your wrist. A solid departure from what we’re used to seeing from the brand, but one we have zero qualms with.

We’re also particular fans of the Bell & Ross’ ampersand signature motif being applied to the tourbillon, especially when you remember this watch is part of the company’s experimental range of watches, meaning rules and conventional design tactics need not apply.

This is a real statement piece and proof positive that Bell & Ross isn’t your average watchmaker; they can duke it out with the biggest players in haute horlogerie. Ah, c’est magnifique.

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BR 03-94 Patrouille de France

Reference: BR0394-PAF1-CE/SRB
Case Material: 
Matte Black Ceramic
Price: AU$8,500

As we mentioned earlier, Bell & Ross watches are not only inspired by military instruments but are actually used as military instruments: Bell & Ross is the official timepiece supplier to many branches of the French military and security services. One unit Bell & Ross has a particularly close association with is the Patrouille de France, the precision aerobatics demonstration unit of the French Air and Space Force – who you’ve likely seen before, as they traditionally open the Bastille Day military parade.

Bell & Ross worked closely with the pilots and designed a chronograph that is perfectly adapted to their operational needs: the BR 03-94 Patrouille de France. Featuring a handsome, deep blue dial and the Patrouille de France logo at 6 o’clock, this sporty chronograph was designed for high-flyers.

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BR V2-94 Full Lum

Reference: BRV294-LUM-ST/SRB
Case Material: Stainless Steel

Bell & Ross’ BR V2-94 is a more conventionally styled tool watch compared to some of its other offerings… But this BR V2-94 is anything but conventional. The BR V2-92 Full Lum, as the name implies, doesn’t just have lume on its hands and indices, but its entire dial. This makes the watch an absolute beacon at night, whilst looking slick during the day.

Another clever touch is that the chronograph minutes counter at 9 o’clock and the chronograph seconds hand feature a slightly different shade of lume for added legibility.

On top of that, the BR V2-94 Full Lum features a chronograph function and an elegantly-integrated small date window. Add in 100m of water resistance and a ‘tropical’ rubber strap as standard, and you’re getting an awful lot of watch for the money.

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BR 03-92 Diver Red Bronze

Reference: BR0392-D-R-BR/SCA
Case Material: Bronze
Price: AU$6,800

The only thing more in vogue than green dials at the moment in the watch world is bronze dive watches. Bronze is a reactive metal that develops a patina very quickly, particularly when exposed to saltwater. That sounds bad on paper, but the reason watch fans love bronze watches so much is precisely because it tarnishes: it means that your watch will be totally unique; totally yours.

It’s also a metal that’s closely associated with ocean-faring, with traditional diving helmets, portholes and ship wheels all traditionally made out of the material. Indeed, the BR 03-92 Diver Red Bronze actually features an engraving of a deep-sea diver’s helmet on its caseback, in reference to bronze’s nautical connections.

Water-resistant to 300m and featuring a rich, luscious red dial and calfskin leather strap, the BR 03-92 Diver Red Bronze is a refreshing change from your classic dive watch and a unique take on the Bell & Ross formula.

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