Bell & Ross released the BR 03-92 Phantom, one of the first timepieces with a military-inspired camouflage coating, in 2007, and followed it up two years later with another camo-look “instrument watch,” the Commando. This year, on the 10th anniversary of the Phantom’s launch, the company rounds out its so-called camouflage family with the new BR 03-92 Black Camo. Read on for details.
To create the Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Black Camo, the brand developed an original, military-style tricolor coating for the dial, with a patchwork of matte gray tones that simulate the camouflage used by elite military commandos for stealth missions. The 42-mm case is made of black ceramic with a matte finish — another nod to actual mission utility, as it renders the watch nearly undetectable in the dark and helps to avoid unwanted reflections. Ceramic was chosen as the case material for other practical reasons: it is almost entirely scratch-resistant, tougher yet lighter than steel, hypoallergenic, and heat-resistant enough to wear in the world’s most brutally hot battle zones.
The dial is constructed in a “sandwich” style, with two superimposed plates: a lower plate coated with black Super-LumiNova overlapped by an upper plate with the camouflage pattern and die-cut stencil-type numerals and indices that allow the luminous material beneath it to shine through for low-light legibility. The sapphire crystal covering the dial is also nonreflective, while the dial itself is classic Bell & Ross: large Arabic numerals at the four key hour positions (12, 3, 6, and 9) separated by baton indices; slender minute hand paired with broader hour hand (both coated with black Super-LumiNova) to avoid confusion; and the date in a window at 4:30.
Inside the case, which is water-resistant to 100 meters, the watch’s self-winding movement, Caliber BR-CAL.302 (based on a Sellita SW300-1), performs its own mission, powering the hours, minutes, central seconds and date and amassing a 38-hour power reserve when fully wound. The watch is available on either a black rubber strap or an “ultra-resilient” black synthetic fabric strap, both with pin buckles made of black PVD-coated steel. The price is $3,800.