As one of the founders of Bell & Ross, Carlos Rosillo is a man with an impressive track record. Driven by a deep passion for watchmaking, he has led the brand to become one of the staples of the contemporary /?watch industry. By carefully developing the DNA of Bell & Ross, he has created a unique brand that stands out by its original approach to professional watches. Within his busy schedule, Rosillo made time to catch up with WatchTime and talk about all things Bell & Ross.
As one of the founders of Bell & Ross, how different is the watch world now compared to when you began?
Since when we started the creativity makes the difference, now the manufacture is a must have.
Of what achievement in all those years are you the proudest?
I am proud of the evolution of our brand. To give a specific example, the launch of our new range the BR-X5. It was a success; the range was very well received by the journalists and the public and it was for us a real achievement. It was the first time we worked with Kenissi movement. It gave us 72 hours of power reserve and a very well-recognized manufactured movement. It really was for us a step forward that allowed us to enter the very closed “club” of manufacture movements.
We are also proud to have 2 icons which defines us: the BR 03 and the BR 05, the brand has a very recognizable design and a strong identity.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for a lot of watch brands. How did it impact Bell & Ross, and how did you deal with this?
The pandemic was for us a real opportunity to turn a lot more to social medias, especially Instagram. That has really allowed us to reach a new range of customers and make Bell & Ross grow on the international scene.
We have our partners – media, watch collectors, and retailers, who churned out beautiful editorials. Then we have our social media channels to reinforce the message. The development of the online presence has been incredible during this time. Brands have grown closer to their fans and customers thanks to social networks. What has given us a great advantage is that we are one of the only luxury brands to have an online shop where we sell almost all of our products.
Bell & Ross makes watches around four different universes (Pilot, Diver, Urban & Racer). How do they relate to the DNA of the brand?
Our link to all these universes, to all this different teams and units is the professionals. The DNA of Bell & Ross is to a provide to pilot, diver, racer, or astronauts watches as a tool for their missions.
Bell & Ross was and is still a house who made watches for the professionals for whom a watch must not only be a tool to assist them on their missions, but also a constant ally. The goal of Bell & Ross is to achieve a main objective: the creation of utilitarian watches for extreme men.
The BR-05 proved to be a great success. Did you anticipate this?
We design pieces to meet the demands of our customers, and the BR 05 was a new adventure for Bell & Ross because we combined our urban explorer identity with a family of watches with a more jewelry-style. It was a huge success and it’s now one of our bestsellers with our iconic BR 03. What is very interesting with the launch of a new timepiece, as for every new product, is that no one can predict the way it will be received by the public. It is always complicated to know what makes a watch successful, but we can always count on Bruno’s talent to imagine watches that appeal to our community, and above all, that remain completely in the brand’s DNA by keeping our basics: the round in the square, the 4 screws, and the iconic dial.
How did the development process of the BR-05 take place?
We started with the case of the BR 03, and we created a more urban watch with an integrated bracelet. While we chose to omit lugs, the design still maintains the iconic character of the iconic BR 03.
You introduced some amazing new timepieces during Watches & Wonders, but what can we expect in the near future of Bell & Ross?
The key word for 2023 is evolution. Evolution in terms of identity, but also in terms of partnership. The goal is always to step up, to look up for the details that could change everything, to strengthen the relationships that we have with our partners.
To learn more, visit Bell & Ross, here