Bell & Ross has unveiled the Alpine F1 Team watch collection, produced in partnership with the Alpine Formula 1 racing team — the first such collaboration since the re-branding of the squad, formerly known as the Renault Formula 1 team, and it’s sixth overall in the co-branded series. Each of the new models — all chronographs, as in previous editions of the series — carries the A521 reference number as part of its official name, in a nod to the current Alpine A521 single-seater, and all three are poised to adorn the wrists of the Alpine team members throughout the 2021 Formula 1 season.
BR V3-94 A521
Leading the collection is the BR V3-94 A521, which features the brand’s recognizable Vintage collection aesthetic, and like previous models uses a sporty, rounded case that is prominent on the wrist at 43 mm in diameter. The polished- and brushed-finish steel case also features thick lugs, modern-style stepped pushers, flat-edged guards protecting a screw-down crown, and a bidirectional steel bezel with an anodized black aluminum 60-minute insert.
On the dial, the racing-inspired, black-and-blue colorway of the Alpine F1 team dominates. Along an outer curved edge, a tachymetric scale is placed, while the primary timekeeping features reside on the dial proper, with highly legible Arabic numerals for the hours, openworked subdials for running seconds and a 30-minute chronograph counter, a subtle 4:30 date window, and the unique handset which includes an Alpine logo- counterweighted chronograph seconds hands. Powering these hands is the automatic BR-CAL.301 (based on an ETA 2894-2), capable of a 42-hour power reserve and showcased behind a sapphire caseback.
BR 03-94 A521
Joining the round-cased model are two chronographs in Bell & Ross’s signature square-cased “Instrument” style. The BR 03-94 A521’s quadrilateral steel case has alternating satin and polished finishing for a luxuriously sporty look. “Toggle” chronograph pushers with a black PVD finish flank the crown on the right side, each of them reminiscent of the paddles found on the steering wheels of racing cars. Atop the surface is a bidirectional bezel, its symmetry ensured by the brand’s signature four screws at each corner of the steel frame.
On the dial, we find an overall very similar configuration to that of the BR V3-94 A521, with openwork subdials and blue accents; the foremost difference comes in this model’s moving of the date window to 6 o’clock from the 4:30 position, thus granting this display a more prominent placement. The watch contains the same automatic movement as its Vintage-collection sibling, the automatic BR-CAL.301.
Rounding out the A521 series is the avant-garde BR-X1 A521. This watch is 45 mm in size, in the brand’s distinct squared silhouette, and composed of titanium and ceramic with rubber inserts. This is the most rugged-looking of the watches in this year’s collection, featuring a more rubber-accented case, experimental “rocker” chronograph pushers, and an updated bidirectional bezel complete with a rotating PVD bezel ring with an independent time marker.
The dial of the BR-X1 A521 is distinguished by its skeletonized aesthetic, its exclusively blue tachymetric scale, and its futuristic styling. Like the other two models, it features a 3 o’clock running seconds subdial, a 9 o’clock 30-minute counter, and a 6 o’clock date window. The modern model features the automatic BR-CAL.313, a skeletonized and more luxurious version of the BR-CAL.301, but nonetheless a movement that boasts generally the same overall specs, including a 28,800-vph frequency and 42-hour power reserve.
Pricing and Availability
Each of the models in the Alpine F1 A521 reference series are available as of July 2021, via Bell & Ross and its authorized boutiques, with pre-orders starting now. The BR V3-94 A521 is limited to 500 pieces and marked at $4,400 on a strap and $4,700 on steel bracelet; the BR 03-94 A521, also limited to 500 editions, is priced at $6,400; and the BR-X1 A521 is limited to 50 total editions at $21,500.
To learn more, visit Bell & Ross, here.