Bell & Ross first plunged into the world of dive watches in 1997, with the release of the round-cased Hydromax, then followed it up in 2017 with the tonneau-cased BR-02. This year, the brand introduces its first dive watch in the square case shape for which it has become renowned — the new BR 03-92 Diver, a highlight of the upcoming WatchTime New York collectors’ event in October.
To develop the BR 03-92 Diver, Bell & Ross consulted not only its watchmakers but also experienced divers and other underwater experts, its goal being to develop a truly professional-grade diving instrument that would meet the strict ISO 6425 international standards that timepieces must meet before being labeled as “diving watches.” Among these criteria are a minimum water resistance of 100 meters, a calibrated bezel for preselecting dive times that is protected against accidental rotation, and indexes that are legible at a predetermined distance while underwater. (For a full explanation of the ISO 6425 criteria, and why so many so-called dive watches fail to meet them, click here.) The BR 03-92 hits these marks with flying colors: its squared ergonomic case, made of satin-polished steel and measuring 42 mm in diameter, is water-resistant to 300 meters. It is equipped with a 60-minute unidirectional bezel with a luminescent dot at 12 o’clock for orientation. Its crown is protected by an impact-resistant guard and is fitted with a rubber insert for easy handling.
Both the watch’s sapphire crystal and its caseback are thicker those of its predecessor, the original BR 03-92. The steel caseback is 2.80 mm thick compared to the BR 03-92’s 1.80 mm, and the crystal, with its antireflective coating, is 2.85 mm thick, besting the 1.50-mm thickness of the BR 03-92. Inside the case is an inner cage made of soft iron, which protects the movement — the automatic BR-Cal.302, based on the Sellita SW 300.1 — from the effects of magnetic fields.
The indices on the deep black dial are filled with white Super-LumiNova, making for ideal contrast and legibility. The white luminous substance is also used on the minutes and seconds hands, while the hour hand is easily distinguished by its bright orange color. The insert on the unidirectional rotating bezel, upon whose scale the minute hand indicates the time spent underwater, is made of black anodized aluminum. The date appears discreetly in a round window at 4;30.
The Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver is packaged in a water-resistant box along with two changeable straps: one made of woven black rubber with a satin-polished steel pin buckle, the other in a resilient black synthetic fabric that can be adjusted to wear over a dive suit with a Velcro closure system. If you’re interested in trying the watch on yourself, don’t miss out on the opportunity to attend the third annual WatchTime New York event at Manhattan’s Gotham Hall. Click here to reserve your spot today.