Bell & Ross, which has gained acclaim for its Vintage PW1 and WW1 timepieces inspired by aviation watches of the first World War, has created an elegantly styled wristwatch with a case made of a special, oxidation-resistant silver alloy that the company calls Argentium.
The Vintage WW1 Argentium (the “WW” stands for “Wrist Watch”; Bell & Ross also makes a PW1 Argentium, a pocketwatch with a minute repeater mechanism) has a case and dial design influenced by those of the earliest wristwatches. The Argentium case is smaller in diameter than those of other Vintage WW1 models — 41 mm rather than 45 mm. Like the lustrous, silvery case, the hands and applied indices on the dial have a shiny finish. The domed crystal over the dial is made of sapphire and treated with nonreflective coating. The lugs are made to resemble the wire handles that were soldered to the case of many vintage watches.
There are two versions of the Vintage WW1 Argentium, each priced at $5,900. One has a silver dial with a sunburst pattern, which harmonizes with the case for a monochromatic look with subtle contrasts. The other model has a deep-gray Ruthenium dial, which matches the color of the alligator leather strap and contrasts more starkly with the case, hands and indices. Like the crystals, the dials also have a domed shape.
Inside the watch is a manual-wind movement, ETA’s 7001, another nod to period authenticity: automatic winding did not find its way into wristwatches until well after World War I.