The Bell & Ross adventure started in a cockpit with watch designs that were directly inspired by flight instruments and the golden age of aviation. This journey continues to this day on the wrist but now it also returns to the skies on the wings of the BR-Bird. While the on-board instruments set the standard for legibility, precision and reliability, the entire history of aviation serves as a powerful inspiration for Bell & Ross. This area of research has helped the brand to create incredible machines rooted in the quest for speed and performance.
The B-Rocket motorcycle, the Aéro-GT supercar and the Bellytanker racing car © Bell & Ross
Following the B-Rocket motorcycle (2014), the Aéro-GT supercar (2016) with the sci-fi silhouette of the Rafale and the Bellytanker racing car (2017) with a tapered shape reminiscent of the drop tanks used by the fighter jets of the 1940s, today it is the BR-Bird’s turn to take to the skies for a new adventure in aviation and watchmaking. With machinery both technically and stylistically inspired by the world of aeronautics, bringing together pioneers both past and future, these machines have been the source of inspiration of exceptional limited edition watches
The BR-Bird : a plane designed by Bell & Ross
After designing racing cars inspired by aeronautical shapes, Bell & Ross has now designed a high-speed plane of its own, capable of competing in the Reno Air Races. Created in 1924, the most extreme speed competition in the aviation world – being held every year in Reno at the edge of the American desert – brings together aircrafts flying at full speed and at very low altitude, on a closed circuit delineated by 10-metre-high pylons.
BR-Bird © Bell & Ross
Featuring exceptional power, aero dynamism and maneuverability, the BR-Bird plane was imagined by Bruno Belamich, Bell & Ross’s cofounder and creative director. An ultramodern single-seat, propeller-engine aircraft, built entirely of high-tech material (graphite, fiberglass, titanium and aluminum alloy), the BR-Bird is powered by a V12 Rolls Royce Falcon developed on a Merlin base (names that have legendary status in aviation, particularly thanks to the legendary English Spitfire).
BR-Bird © Bell & Ross
While its cockpit is placed as far back as possible, evoking the high speed of dragsters, its short but broad wings, placed very far forward, hark back to the Comet DH.88, Hughes H-1 and the Bugatti-DeMonge 100P of the 1930s, but also the famed P51 Mustang of the 1940s. Its Y-shaped empennage ensures maneuverability, while making it immediately recognizable. With its meticulously designed shape and its powerful aesthetic, the BR-Bird belongs to the world of speed, forging a bond between aviation history and future technology.
There are over a half a million km of shoreline in the world with more than 2 billion people living within earshot of said shore — and somebody’s got to keep ’em all protected. The Bell & Ross V2-94 & V2-92 Garde-Côtes watches observe the women and men of the world’s many branches of the Coast Guard who do exactly that, using a pair of sporty and capable watches that look and feel as though they’re easily around the task.Now, in the event the V2-92 and V2-94 Garde-Côtes editions look eerily similar to the new vintage-inspired V1-92 & V2-94 Bellytanker capsule watches that’s OK — Bell & Ross meant to do that. The ‘Classic’ (delineated by the ‘V’ here) collection has a constant layout purpose and aesthetic, that has been demonstrated to be rather popular for its French brand, so obviously we were bound to see a few more color treatments to the original three monochromatic options introduced earlier this year.Each measuring a more conventional 41mm, both the V2-92 and also the V2-94 come in much smaller compared to Bell & Ross’ square-shaped 46mm BR 01, whose instrument panel inspiration has come to be a signature of the newest. And thanks to the one-two punch of a slender profile and a stylish, vintage-inspired aesthetic, the conservative shape works especially well on a wide variety of wrists too — something that should really appeal to anyone looking for an inoffensive, yet stylish alternative to the similar, yet equally excellent Diver 65 from Oris.At the asking price for Bell & Ross though, you really do begin to see subtle vases standard with watches of the price point: stuff like beveled hands, a sloping date window cutout, and snailed and recessed sub-dials on the chronograph. You also receive a very generously domed sapphire crystal, along with an exhibition caseback which bears a somewhat non-specific Coast Guard motif that also marginally obscures a clear look in the finishing on the movement within. For the V2-92 3-hand option, you’re looking at an automatic BR-Cal. 302, that is essentially a modified Sellita SW300-1, also on the V2-94 chronograph, the movement is Bell & Ross’ Cal. 301 — a altered ETA-2894-2.
BRV1-92 and BRV2-94 Racing Bird
This identity of speed and performance is evident in the design of the three-hand and chronograph Racing Bird watches. These timepieces share their aesthetic choices with the racing aircraft designed by the Bell & Ross studio, particularly the color code.
BRV1-92 Racing Bird © Bell & Ross
The dial is white, like the fuselage of the plane. The numerals, bezel, chronograph counter and strap are blue, like the empennage and decorative elements tracing the aerodynamic lines of the BR-Bird. The central second hand, details on the dial and lining of the leather strap are orange, like the color highlighting the most important information on the flight instruments. The timer is grey, reminiscent of the chequered flag used in speed competitions, like the Bell & Ross logo on the wings and flanks of the aircraft.
BRV2-94 Racing Bird © Bell & Ross
On the dial, the numerals use the same typography as the onboard counters, and the date window shows three numerals – a direct reference to flight instrumentation. The final touch is the silhouette of the aircraft on the case back and at the base of the second hand (on the three-hand version) and the second timer (on the chronograph version). With a 38.5 mm steel case for the BRV1-92 and a 41 mm for the BRV2-94, both versions are powered by a self-winding mechanical movement.
BRV2-94 Racing Bird © Bell & Ross
With their graphic design and style, these BRV1 and BRV2 Racing Bird watches limited to 999 pieces are starting a new chapter in a saga that weaves together Bell & Ross and aviation history, performance, extreme professionals… and passion.