Hands-On Debut: Bell & Ross BR X5 with New Case and Manufacture Movement

Just launched at WatchTime New York 2022 is the new Bell & Ross BR X5, an evolution of the brand’s BR 05 with a new manufacture movement developed with Kenissi. The BR 05 was a milestone for Bell & Ross as it was their first watch that married the iconic square BR case with an integrated bracelet while remaining true to the brand’s purpose-driven functional design ethos. The BR X5 evolves the BR 05 with a complex new case design and manufacture movement that push the boundaries of the brand’s offerings while retaining the brand’s crucial design DNA.

Measuring 41mm wide and 12.8mm thick with 100m of water resistance, the steel case of the BR X5 is characterized by its architectural sandwich construction. Best appreciated from the side, the central case band is flanked by sculpted framing that juts out around it. This is quite an elaborate case construction that requires sophisticated machining to pull off with such refined finishing.

Having a sculpted case can run the risk of adding fragility but the decision to have the crown guards constructed from the same block of steel as the center of the case provides real structural stability and case strength. The surfaces alternate between polished, satin-brushed, and micro-blasted finishes that add some further aesthetic dynamism to the design.  

The BR X5 comes with an integrated bracelet or rubber strap as seen here. There is interesting “openworking” done to the strap that really does add an extra level of detail to the fit and finish. In addition to being a comfortable wear, it’s also a secure fit with the adjustable clasp. 

 The watch debuts in either an Ice Blue or Black Steel dial, the latter of which you see here. The deep black varnished sunray dial has red accents throughout and the rhodium-plated applied indices are filled with lume. At 3 o’clock you’ll see the expanded date window that shows three dates hearkens to aeronautical analog flight instruments that the Bell & Ross DNA has always held fast to. 
 At 9 o’clock there is the three-day power reserve indicator which brings us to the new manufacture movement provided by Kenissi. Turning the case over reveals the Calibre BR-CAL.323 which is the result of a years-long design and iteration process between Bell & Ross and Kenissi. According to Bruno Belamich, Bell & Ross’ Creative Director “While aesthetic daring was the guiding principle throughout the creative stages of the BR X05, when it came to timekeeping reliability and precision, the notion of risk was banished from our vocabulary.”

Equipped with a variable-inertia balance wheel, the COSC-certified BR-CAL.323 operates at 28,800 vph and has a 70-hour power reserve. It also allows for a quick-set date function which is always an added plus when it comes to functionality. There is attention paid to finishings as well with a custom skeletonized rotor. Bell & Ross clearly has confidence in this movement as they are providing a 5-year warranty as opposed to the previous 2-year warranty. 

The new Bell & Ross BR X5 is a big step forward for the brand in terms of advancements and refinements in case design as well as watchmaking. Debuting with black or blue dial, it is priced at $6,900 on rubber strap and $7,400 on steel bracelet. 

To learn more, visit Bell & Ross, here.

And to purchase last minute tickets to WatchTime New York 2022 for Saturday and Sunday, click here.

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  1. Gareth Fernndes

    Ive always been an admirer of the Bell & Ross Brand, These new releases are a major step forward for the brand. By still staying true to the Pilot style whilst moving forward with a new in house movement great to see.

  2. How can they call that a manufacture movement? It’s bought from Kenissi. Same movement as Tudor Breitling Norquain Fortis Tag

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