One of Bell & Ross’s top watches in 2014 was the BR-X1, a chronograph that played off the brand’s popular classic, the BR-01. (The BR-X1 was also featured in the January 2015 issue of WatchTime.) At Baselworld 2015, Bell & Ross had another update to the model: the BR-X1 Carbone Forgé, which shows off the chronograph in a striking new case design.
True to its name, the new edition of the BR-X1 comes in a forged-carbon case. The case retains the signature shape of its ancestor, the BR-01. It is square at its base with a round dial. The case diameter is 45 mm. While the upper sections of the case are made of a single piece of carbon, forged in a steel mold using a patented process, the lower part of the case uses ceramic and rubber to create a durable bumper.
The dial has a tinted sapphire crystal, so your eyes are immediately drawn to its clear indications: applied metal indexes with Super-LumiNova inserts at the hour markers the hour and minutes hands, also luminous, are skeletonized. The chronograph seconds hand is mounted at the center of the dial and a 30-minute timer subdial (with a subtle turbine shape in aluminum) is at 9 o’clock. An understated small seconds display is located at 3 o’clock and the date is at 6. A tachymeter scale is around the flange.
It’s only after your eyes adjust that you’ll notice the finely skeletonized movement beneath the tinted crystal. Then you’ll note the cut-out date ring that circles the dial, as well as a number of rubies on display. (In total the movement has 56 jewels).
The BR-X1 Carbone Forgé the brand’s Caliber 313. This is an automatic chronograph movement, beating at 28,800 vph. The chronograph is controlled by two “rocker” buttons above and below the crown. These have rubber inserts, making them easy to manipulate, and each is embossed with a distinct symbol (for play/pause and for reset).
The BR-X1 Carbone Forgé is water resistant to 100 meters. It comes on a woven black rubber strap, with a PVD-coated steel pin buckle. The watch is being produced in a limited edition of 250 pieces. It costs $23,000.