Much like recently minted Laker LeBron James, WatchTime will be taking its talents to L.A. on May 3-4 for the inaugural WatchTime Los Angeles collectors’ event, and we’re bringing 27 of the industry’s most interesting and innovative timepiece brands with us. One of them is longtime event participant Bell & Ross, which will be showing an array of new watches just recently unveiled to the public at Baselworld 2019 last month. Here’s a taste.
Bell & Ross has long been recognized for the distinct, aviation-dashboard aesthetic of many of its watches, and the BR 03-92 Bi-Compass takes it to a new level. With a design based on a vintage radio compass, its dial is arranged as three concentric circles, the innermost a rotating hour disk with a triangular pointer coated with sea-foam-colored luminous paint. The pointer indicates the hour on the Arabic numerals and indices that occupy the middle zone, also treated with blue-green lume. The outer circle, elevated from the others by a steep rehaut, features numerals and indices for the minutes, indicated by a central minutes hand; both the hand and indices have a contrasting cream-colored luminous treatment. A color-matched date window appears at 4;30. The BR 03-92 Bi-Compass, whose color scheme Bell & Ross says is similar to the one used on U.S. Navy avionic instruments, is housed in a 42-mm matte black ceramic case and powered by the automatic BR-CAL.302, based on a Sellita SW 300-1, with a 38-hour power reserve.
For the new BR 03-92 MA-1 limited edition, Bell & Ross looked beyond the cockpit instruments and took its design cues from an iconic piece of aviator apparel, the famous MA-1 flight jacket adopted by the U.S. Air Force in the 1950s. The watch pays tribute to the MA-1 “bomber,” whose parachute-derived nylon shell and reversible khaki green and orange design took it from utilitarian military gear in the ’50s to a stylish fashion statement in the ’70s. The 42-mm case is made of dark khaki-colored ceramic, a lightweight and scratch-resistant material. The dial, also khaki-colored, is in the “sandwich” style with two superimposed metal plates, the lower one coated with orange Super-LumiNova that shines through the stenciled, cut-out numerals and indices in the upper layer. The strap, made of calfskin leather and fastening to the wrist with a gunmetal-colored PVD steel pin buckle, continues the theme. Like the jacket, it is dark khaki on its top layer and orange on its lining, and reversible. The Bell & Ross BR 03-92 MA-1 is powered by the automatic BR-CAL.302, based on the tried-and-true Sellita SW.300-1, which offers a 28,800-vph frequency and a 38-hour power reserve.
Bell & Ross’s R.S.19 collection is a series of chronograph-equipped limited editions springing from the watchmaker’s partnership with the Renault F1 racing team. The hero piece of this year’s series is the BR-XI Tourbillon R.S.19, whose skeletonized dial hosts a large flying tourbillon aperture at 6 o’clock, within which the watch’s finely tuned escapement and balance wheel rotate 360º every minute; colorful subdial counters for the monopusher chronograph function at 11 o’clock (30 elapsed minutes) and 1 o’clock (60 elapsed seconds); an indicator for the watch’s phenomenal four-day power reserve at 9 o’clock; and Super-LumiNova-filled hands and hour indices. The 45-mm square case features a stripped-down design inspired by F1 automobile engineering, and a bright yellow motorsport-style lap counter on the bezel’s flange surrounds the dial. The manually wound, openworked movement, caliber BR-CAL.283, controls its integrated stopwatch functions with a column wheel and uses a rocker system to start, stop, and reset them with the monopusher. Housed in satin-polished titanium and matte ceramic with rubber inserts, and mounted on a perforated black rubber strap, the BR-XI Tourbillon R.S.19 is limited to just 20 pieces.
All of Bell & Ross’s newest models, as well as many popular pieces from its current collections, will be on display at WatchTime Los Angeles. Click here for info on the 25+ other exhibiting brands, details on our events, panels and presentations, and to order tickets.