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Bell & Ross
Bell & Ross
Bell & Ross
Bell & Ross
Bell & Ross
Bell & Ross
Bell & Ross: Retro Instrument Watches
The young brand Bell & Ross offers utilitarian watches with a retro style. The innovative design of these timepieces is inspired by classic military watches. Top models come in gold and feature a tourbillon.
A Vintage Look for the 21st Century
Bell & Ross owes its success to the efforts of two business partners and visionaries, Bruno Belamich (Bell) and Carlos Rosillo (Ross), who founded the brand Bell & Ross in 1992 as part of a university project. While Belamich is responsible for watch design, Rosillo is the company's operational manager. Creating modern instrument watches with designs based on early military timepieces was their goal then, and remains their goal to this day. Essentially, Bell & Ross timepieces are inspired by the watches worn by special forces. In the early 1990s, the company had their watches built by a series of external partners. The most important of these was Frankfurt-based watch manufacturer Sinn, whose instrument watches bore the Bell & Ross logo. Watches with the label "Bell & Ross by Sinn" are now highly-coveted collector's items.
Watches in the current Bell & Ross collection are made in the Swiss town of La Chaux-de-Fonds. The models are divided into various lines: Instruments, Urban, Vintage, Haute-Horlogerie, and Concept. Watches in the first three form the core of the company's portfolio. The Instruments series offers an array of timepieces reminiscent of the aeronautical instruments seen in the cockpits of planes, with large, square cases and clearly designed dials.
Watches in the Urban line have similar dials, but cases with rounded corners and a more delicate look given the somewhat smaller proportions.
The Vintage line unites the best of both worlds by reinterpreting the classic design of early pilot's watches and combining it with additional complications like GMT functions or chronographs. With diameters starting at 38.5 mm, some Vintage models make great unisex watches.
When it comes to calibers, Bell & Ross rely mostly on modified movements manufactured by ETA and Sellita. But like every other watch manufacturer worth its salt, Bell & Ross also offers high-end timepieces with tourbillons. If you enjoy whimsical watches, you may want to take a look at the BR 01 Skull from the Bell & Ross Concept Collection, which, as its name suggests, features a skull-shaped dial.
Reasons to Buy a Bell & Ross Watch
- Eye-catching designs reminiscent of early military watches
- Clean, legible dials
- Sizes ranging from 38.5 to 46 mm
- Modified ETA or Sellita calibers
- Haute-Horlogerie watches with tourbillons
Price Overview: Bell & Ross Watches
|Reference number, name||Price (approx.)||Diameter, material(s), caliber|
|BRX1-CHTB-PG-D, Tourbillon||118,000 USD||45 mm, gold, cal. 283 tourbillon|
|BRX1-R.S.18, -||14,200 USD||45 mm, titanium, cal. 313|
|BR01-SKULL-SK-ST, Laughing Skull||7,500 USD||46 mm, steel, cal. 206|
|BR05C-BL-ST/SST, Black Steel||5,200 USD||41 mm, steel, cal. 301|
|BRV294-BC-BR/SCA, Bellytanker||4,400 USD||41 mm, bronze, cal. 301|
|BR05A-BL-ST/SRB, Black Steel||3,700 USD||40 mm, steel, cal. 321|
|BR0394C-BL-ST/SST, Black Steel||3,600 USD||42 mm, steel, cal. 301|
|BR V2-94 Steel, Heritage||3,400 USD||41 mm, steel, cal. 301|
|BR 03-92, Diver Blue||2,900 USD||42 mm, steel, cal. 302|
|BR0392-BLC-ST, Black Steel||2,500 USD||42 mm, steel, cal. 302|
|BR V2-93-GMT, -||2,700 USD||41 mm, steel, cal. 303|
|Bell & Ross by Sinn (Sinn 103) Vintage||2,300 USD||40 mm, steel, Valjoux 7750|
|BRV123-BL-GMT/SRB, -||2,100 USD||41 mm, steel, cal. 303|
How much does a Bell & Ross cost?
You can acquire a simple three-hand Bell & Ross like the BR V1 for a little over 1,000 USD. If you'd prefer a watch from the current Instruments collection with a GMT function like the reference BR0393-GMT, for example, plan to spend about 2,600 USD. A three-hand Urban model like the BR05 Blue Steel in mint condition will set you back approximately 3,700 USD. A Bell & Ross chronograph requires an investment of around 5,000 USD.
Prices for a three-hand Bell & Ross BR V2-92 Heritage from the Vintage line sit at about 2,500 USD, while the chronograph version (ref. BR V2-94) costs around 3,400 USD. A high-end chronograph with a tourbillon and gold case like the ref. BRX1-CHTB-PG, for example, will set you back a good 118,000 USD.
Bell & Ross Instruments Watches in Detail
The Bell & Ross Instruments collection is made up of five lines: Auto, Diver, GMT, Chrono, and Quartz. The Auto series offers a selection of three-hand watches with differing design elements, whereby the common characteristic is a clean dial design based on that of aeronautical instruments. These dials come with extra-large Arabic numerals at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o'clock, while the other hours are marked by bars, supplemented by narrow minute markers. These watches also have a date display at 4:30. Depending on the model, the 42-mm timepiece is available in stainless steel or black ceramic. You can identify this watch by its square case and the screws that adorn each corner around the bezel. Bell & Ross have fitted this timepiece with the BR-CAL.302, which is based on the Sellita SW300-1 and has a 38-hour power reserve.
The BR 03-92 Black Matte is a black ceramic variant with a black dial, black rubber strap, and a price tag of around 2,800 USD. If you'd prefer a stainless steel model, the BR 03-92 Black Steel costs about 2,100 USD, as does the BR 03-92 Blue Steel, which, as the name indicates, comes with a blue dial. The BR 03-92 Phantom is made entirely of black ceramic, thus evoking the look of stealth aircraft. This watch changes hands for approximately 2,900 USD.
If you like the look of the BR 03 Auto collection, but want a watch with a GMT function, you should take a closer look at the BR 03 GMT. The dial design is the same as that of the three-hand timepieces, but the bezel is equipped with a red and black GMT scale for keeping track of the time in a second time zone, which is indicated by an additional hour hand. This watch costs about 3,400 USD on Chrono24 in mint condition.
Bell & Ross BR 03 Diver
The case design and diameter of watches in the Instruments Diver series are identical to those of the Auto line. But in contrast to the latter, the Diver editions come with a diving bezel and dot indices on the dial, a traditional feature of classic diving watches. The model is powered by the BR-CAL.302, and all versions feature a sapphire crystal and water resistance to 300 m (30 bar, 984 ft).
The BR 03-92 Diver has a satin-brushed stainless steel case and a black dial and bezel. Plan to spend approximately 2,950 USD on this model. If you'd rather cast your gaze on a blue dial, the BR 03-92 Diver Blue will cost you a bit more. The BR 03-92 Diver Black Matte is made of black ceramic and comes on a black rubber strap, with a price tag of around 3,350 USD.
What's in a name? The BR 03-92 Diver Brown Bronze says it all. This timepiece pairs a bronze case with a brown dial and bezel, and comes on a brown strap made of leather and rubber. The watch is limited to just 999 pieces and costs roughly 3,800 USD on Chrono24 in new condition.
Chronographs in the Bell & Ross Instruments collection have a diameter of 42 mm and are available in stainless steel or black ceramic. All models are fitted with the caliber BR 301, which is based on the ETA 2894-2 and offers a power reserve of around 38 hours. The dial features a bicompax layout with a small seconds subdial at 3 o'clock and a 30-minute counter at 9. The date is located between 4 and 5 o'clock. All watches feature a sapphire crystal and are water-resistant to 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft).
The BR 03-94 Black Matte comes in black ceramic on a black rubber strap. This timepiece will set you back about 3,900 USD in mint condition. The BR 03-94 Heritage chronograph also comes with a black ceramic case, but the Super-LumiNova on the dial is a shade of brown reminiscent of naturally-aged lume. Fittingly, the watch comes on a brown calfskin leather strap. Plan to spend approximately 4,100 USD on this edition.
If you prefer a watch with a stainless steel case, you should check out the BR-03 94 Black Steel, which you can purchase for around 3,700 USD. The version with a blue dial costs only about 100 USD more.
About the Urban Collection
The Urban collection is divided into three distinct lines: the BR 05 Auto, BR 05 GMT, and BR 05 Chrono. While the Auto and GMT timepieces measure 40 mm across, the chronograph comes with a diameter of 42 mm. All three watches have a square case with rounded corners and an integrated band which, depending on the model, comes in steel, gold and steel, or rubber.
If you're looking for a watch with a simple, legible dial design, three hands, and a date function, you may want to test drive a watch in the BR 05 Auto line. Most models feature a traditional pilot's watch dial with line indices and large Arabic numerals at 6, 9, and 12 o'clock. Some models, like the BR 05 Horolum, Artline, and Skeleton, feature nothing but line indices at five-minute intervals around the dial. Apart from the Skeleton, which does not have a date function, these timepieces all have a date display at 3 o'clock.
Bell & Ross watches with a date function are powered by the automatic movement BR-CAL. 321, which is based on the Sellita SW300-1 and boasts a 38-hour power reserve. The Skeleton editions are fitted with the cal. 322, also based on a Sellita caliber. These timepieces feature a sapphire crystal and water resistance to 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft).
The BR 05 Black Steel is probably the most classic timepiece in the collection. It comes with a black dial and is mounted on a stainless steel bracelet. Plan to spend approximately 3,800 USD on this watch. If you prefer a black rubber strap, this edition will cost about 400 USD less. Prices for models with a blue or gray dial are not far off.
The BR 05 Gold with a black dial features a case and bracelet made of 18-karat rose gold. In mint condition, this timepiece will cost you around 23,000 USD on Chrono24. If you can do without the gold bracelet, the watch is also available on a rubber strap for approximately 16,000 USD. Editions with a blue dial cost a few hundred dollars more.
If two-tone timepieces are more your style, the Bell & Ross BR 05 Black Steel & Gold may be the watch for you. This watch will set you back about 4,800 USD on a gold and steel bracelet, or a little less if you opt for a rubber strap instead. Editions with a skeletonized dial, like the BR 05 Skeleton Green with a green dial, change hands for around 6,400 USD on a stainless steel bracelet.
Want a watch with a GMT function? The BR 05 GMT features an additional GMT hand with a 24-hour scale on the rehaut. Plan to spend roughly 4,200 USD for one of these GMT watches on a stainless steel bracelet. The same model on a rubber strap costs about 3,800 USD.
BR 05 Chronographs
Bell & Ross also offers chronographs as part of their BR 05 line, all of which have a bicompax dial design. These timepieces are 42 mm in diameter and available in stainless steel or two-tone stainless steel and gold. The watch is equipped with the BR-CAL. 301, which is based on the ETA 2894-2 and boasts a 42-hour power reserve. The date is located at 4:30.
The BR 05 Chrono Black Steel has a black dial and comes on a rubber strap or stainless steel bracelet. Prices for the latter option hover around 5,300 USD, while the former requires an investment of about 4,700 USD. The BR 05 Chrono Blue Steel on a steel bracelet will set you back approximately 5,000 USD, while the same model on a rubber strap costs roughly 4,800 USD.
The BR 05 Chrono Edición Limitada is a limited edition of just 250 pieces. The bracelet's middle links and the bezel on this two-tone chronograph are made of rose gold. The dial and subdials are brown. At the end of August 2022, this timepiece cost approximately 13,000 USD on Chrono24. The same model on a rubber strap is also limited to 250 pieces and changes hands for roughly 7,700 USD.
Bell & Ross Vintage Collection
The Bell & Ross Vintage Collection consists of the lines BR VI Auto, BR V2 Auto, BR V2 GMT, BR V2 Chrono, and BR V3 Chrono, all of which feature a classic and elegant military design. In contrast to the Instruments collection, Vintage models are more refined and thus suitable for both casual attire and more formal occasions.
The BR VI-92 is a good entry point into the collection. This watch is only 38.5 mm in diameter – a great size for all wrists. Both versions have a clean, legible dial design featuring Arabic numerals at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o'clock, line indices to mark the other hours, and a date display at 4:30. The editions are powered by the BR-CAL. 302. The BR VI-92 Black Steel comes with a black dial and a price tag of 1,700 USD new, while the Blue Steel edition with a blue dial costs approximately 1,850 USD. Both watches come on a black leather strap.
BR V2-92 - Sporty Three-Hand Watches
The BR V2-92 Collection offers a selection of various sporty three-hand, stainless steel watches with diving bezels. All models have a 41-mm case, which makes them suitable for most wrists, and come with dials in a range of colors. As you would expect from Bell & Ross, the dial design prioritizes legibility and employs the company's trademark pilot watch style (depending on the reference). This means the dial features Arabic numerals at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o'clock, with line indices to mark the intervening hours. Other models use Arabic numerals to mark the hours one through twelve. All editions come with a sapphire crystal and are water-resistant to 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft). Depending on the reference, the watches are available on a rubber, leather, or NATO strap or stainless steel bracelet. Regardless of reference, these timepieces are powered by the BR-CAL. 302, which is based on the Sellita SW300-1 and offers a 38-hour power reserve.
The BR V2-92 Black Steel is a black-dial variant with white Super-LumiNova and a three-piece link stainless steel bracelet. In mint condition, this watch costs around 2,500 USD on Chrono24. If you prefer a rubber strap, the watch costs about 350 USD less. The BR V2-92 Steel Heritage offers artificially-aged Super-LumiNova and changes hands for approximately 2,500 USD in new condition. The same model on a rubber strap costs roughly 2,300 USD.
The two editions with a blue dial have been given the additional designation “Aeronavale”. On a stainless steel bracelet, this watch costs approximately 2,600 USD; on a blue leather strap, the price sinks by about 200 USD. If you're looking for a timepiece that can double as a flashlight, you should take a look at the BR V2-92 Full Lum. The entire dial on this watch has been coated with green Super-LumiNova offset by black hour markers. This edition is limited to 500 pieces and only available on a rubber strap for a price of 3,600 USD.
Both BR V2-92 models bearing the additional designation “Military Beige” have beige dials with black Arabic numerals marking the hours one through twelve. The watch comes on a stainless steel bracelet or color-coordinated NATO strap. Both models cost around 2,350 USD in mint condition. “Military Green” editions come with a green dial featuring Arabic numerals at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o'clock. Prices for this timepiece hover around 2,600 USD on a stainless steel bracelet and 2,300 USD on a green NATO strap.
BR V2-93 GMT – With a Second Time Zone
If you like the look of the BR V2 but want to keep track of the time in a second time zone, the BR V2-93 GMT may be the watch for you. This model comes with a black or blue dial and a selection of different bands. This timepiece is equipped with the BR-CAL. 303, which is based on the ETA 2893-2 and boasts a 42-hour power reserve.
On a stainless steel bracelet, the BR V2-93 GMT with a black dial in new condition costs around 2,800 USD. The same model on a rubber strap costs about 300 USD less. Prices for the blue-dial edition are marginally higher.
About the BR V2 Chronograph
Chronographs in the BR V2-94 line have a case diameter of 41 mm and are thus the same size as the three-hand editions. Depending on the model, these watches come with a diving or tachymeter scale on the bezel. The dial has a bicompax layout with subdials at 3 and 9 o'clock and a date display at 4:30. Along with dials featuring line indices and Arabic numerals, dials with only Arabic numerals one through twelve are also available. Various models come with black, blue, beige, or white dials, but all watches in the collection feature a sapphire crystal and are water-resistant to 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft). These timepieces are powered by the BR-CAL. 301, which is based on the ETA 2894-2 and offers a 42-hour power reserve.
The Chronograph BR V2-94 Black Steel sports a black dial and comes on a leather strap or stainless steel bracelet. You can buy the latter in mint condition on Chrono24 for around 3,400 USD, while the former variant changes hands for approximately 3,200 USD. If you like a bit of artificially-aged Super-LumiNova, check out the BR V2-94 "Heritage" chronographs. One of these watches on a stainless steel bracelet will set you back about 3,500 USD in new condition; the same model on a rubber strap costs roughly 3,200 USD.
Bell & Ross chronographs with a blue dial bear the French designation Aeronavale, just like their three-handed siblings. The watch costs about 3,150 USD on a stainless steel bracelet, or 3,250 USD on a blue leather strap. A special edition of the Aeronavale with a blue dial and bronze case, limited to just 999 pieces, changes hands for approximately 4,000 USD.
The so-called BR V2-94 “Bellytanker Bronze” is a variant of the watch in bronze, with a black bezel and black and bronze dial. This model is also limited to 999 pieces and comes on a black leather strap. You can purchase this timepiece for around 4,500 USD on Chrono24 in mint condition.
The BR V2-94 “Military” variants have a beige dial with beige subdials, as well as Arabic numerals one to twelve. Plan to shell out about 3,450 USD for this model on a stainless steel bracelet, or 3,200 USD on a matching NATO strap.
BR V3-94: Distinctive Sporty Design
Chronographs in the BR V3-94 line have a decidedly sporty and distinctive design. All models are made of stainless steel and measure 43 mm in diameter, and although most editions feature a bicompax dial, the BR V3-94 Black Steel comes with three subdials. The hour markers consist of line indices interrupted by a single Arabic numeral 12. The dial, subdials, and diving bezel are black. At the heart of this timepiece is the BR-CAL. 301. In mint condition, on a stainless steel bracelet, this watch costs roughly 3,500 USD on Chrono24.
The BR V3-94 A521 is limited to 500 pieces and comes with a black bicompax dial. The hours are marked by applied Arabic numerals. This timepiece has blue accents on the rehaut, central stop seconds, and 30-minute counter hand. You can purchase this model on Chrono24 for about 4,000 USD. If you'd prefer something in a yellow hue, the BR V3-94 R.S.20 may be the watch for you. This edition is limited to 999 pieces and costs approximately 3,000 USD.
The Concept Collection
With their Concept Collection, Bell & Ross ventured to create a striking but whimsical design that, although not exactly new, manages to beguile: The dial, or in some cases the entire watch, is shaped like a laughing skull. According to Bell & Ross, this timepiece is meant to be "an hommage to the era of World War II paratroopers," and to remind us of the bravery of soldiers who face death every day. The laughing skull with crossbones, also known as the Jolly Roger, was originally a pirate talisman intended to intimidate enemies at sea.
If you're looking to intimidate your enemies – or maybe even some of your friends – in pirate or paratrooper style, a skull watch from Bell & Ross may do the trick. You can start with the BR 01 Laughing Skull, for example, and see who gets the last laugh.
The square case measures 46 mm and is decorated with a Clous de Paris pattern. The center of the watch is taken up by the skull, and the hour and minute hands, which are filled with Super-LumiNova, spring from the middle of the skull, i.e., the nose cavity. The watch features a sapphire crystal and is water-resistant to 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft) and fitted with the hand-wound, in-house BR-CAL. 206. When you wind the watch, the skull's lower jaw moves.
Plan to spend approximately 7,600 USD on a model in mint condition. If you don't mind spending 12,000 USD on a Laughing Skull, you can buy a variant with a skull bordered by diamonds like the BR 01 Laughing Skull Light Diamond.