Bell & Ross‘s now-iconic BR 01 Instrument, its first wristwatch inspired by airplane cockpit clocks, debuted in 2005 and established the French-Swiss brand’s modern identity. Since 2010, Bell & Ross has expanded on the theme with its Flight Instrument collection, a series of timepieces that take their cues from other onboard instruments, such as gyrocompasses and variometers. This year sees the release of the BR 03-92 Red Radar Ceramic, the latest creative take on one of the family’s most quirky and inventively designed members, inspired by a radar screen.
Like the original Red Radar, which debuted in 2011, the new model’s dial reproduces the scanning motion of a light beam on an onboard radar screen. Rotating under a translucent red sapphire crystal are two ultra-light, concentric disks that replace conventional hour and minute hands. In a major update from the previous Red Radar models, these disks now host two miniature screen-printed planes — a passenger plane on the larger outermost disk for the hours, a fighter plane on the smaller disk nearer the center for the minutes. Like the real-life aircraft they represent, the two planes travel at different speeds: the larger one circles the dial every 12 hours, the smaller one every 60 minutes. The hours scale is printed on the underside of the sapphire crystal, and a slim, red-painted central analog hand laps the concentric disks, which are arranged on two levels, to record the seconds and complete the realistic approximation of a radar screen.
The 42-mm case, constructed in Bell & Ross’s recognizable “circle-in-a-square” dashboard clock configuration, is made of matte-black ceramic, a high-tech material lauded for its light weight and impressive scratch-resistance. Water-resistant to 100 meters, this square case contains the automatic Caliber BR-CAL.302, based on the reliable, Swiss-made Sellita SW300-1, which can be found within many models in the larger BR 03 series. The movement beats at 28,800 vph and holds a 38-hour power reserve. Like many of its predecessors in the Flight Instrument collection, the BR 03-92 Red Radar Ceramic is limited in production — just 999 pieces — and comes with both a black rubber strap and an additional strap made of ultra-resilient black synthetic fabric (below), both with pin buckle closures made of black PVD-coated steel. The watch is priced at $4,300.