Bell & Ross launched its Horo line last year with the BR03-92 Horolum. This year, the brand presents two new models: the BR03-94 Horolum and the BR03-92 Horoblack.  Their name comes from «Horo», which is a reference to Bell & Ross’ concept using matt micro blasted steel on the boxes and dials and a sandwich dial for an optimal readability.

The BR03-94 Horolum and the BR03-92 Horoblack reflect the spirit of Bell & Ross instrument watches and are reminiscent of a cockpit clock. They both have 42-mm micro blasted steel cases – water resistant to 100m – and dials, which gives them a monobloc effect. Steel blasting involves high-pressure spraying of tiny glass beads on the metal’s surface. This treatment “depolishes” the surface giving it a uniform appearance and a grey tone of high purity. The finish is matte, and therefore, anti-reflective. The other common feature is the sandwich construction of the dial, which consists of two superimposed metal plates. The main characteristic of the “Horo” models is to the best readability at all times.

The chronograph gets one extra detail exclusive into the Garde-Côtes, not discovered on another Vintage-series watches: a pulsometer in the aluminum bezel fit for measuring an individual’s heartbeat, rather than the more commonly seen tachymeter scale. Now, how practical this would be in a crisis situation is probably available for debate. But it’s a neat little bit, because let’s be honest — we weren’t all cut out to be rescue swimmers (in actuality, the majority people weren’t — the app is proud of its notoriously higher attrition rate, which rivals that of the Navy SEALs). The Bell & Ross Garde-Côtes collection prices begin at $2,900 for its 3-handed BR V2-92 about the rubber strap, and jumps to $4,300 for its bi-compax chronograph variant.Though likely famous for its more affordable, instrument-inspired pilot and field watches, French watchmaker Bell & Ross continues to claim itself as much more than the usual one-trick pony, using the most recent addition to its BR-X “Experimental” assortment: the wild Bell & Ross BR-X1 Skeleton Tourbillon Sapphire.Standouts in this occasionally divisive collection have contained the stealthy forged carbon BR-X1 (hands-on) and also the more exotic Bell & Ross BR X2 Tourbillon Micro-Rotor Automatic watch (hands). Sapphire crystal is less or more scratch-proof, but its hardness has made it especially hard to work with in anything other than very simple contours. Technology and techniques have significantly improved in recent decades, nevertheless, with much more fully sapphire-cased watches, and even prices for them starting to come down like with the Hublot Big Bang UNICO Sapphire (hands-on) – however they tend to stay more rare and expensive even than precious metal instance watches.

BR03-94 Horolum

BR03-94 Horolum & BR03-92 Horoblack

BR03-94 Horolum © Bell & Ross

This chronograph comes in a limited edition of 500 pieces and brings to mind light (“Lum”), and readability thanks to the Superluminova® treatment. The intense green color used for lighting landing strips, is used in the dial. It is ultra-phosphorescent and lasts a long time in the dark. The indexes and giant numbers 12 and 6 are very legible and painted on the bottom plate. The dial has two counters for calculating short times and a tachymeter scale on the flange. The functions of the timepiece are powered by the automatic calibre BR-CAL.301. The BR03-94 is mounted on a grey-green calfskin and black synthetic fabric strap, with micro blasted steel pin buckle. Its retail price is 5,300 Swiss francs.

BR03-92 Horoblack

BR03-94 Horolum & BR03-92 Horoblack

BR03-92 Horoblack © Bell & Ross

This three-hands model offers a simple and uncluttered display that features a graphic dial with clear indications – bar indexes and the four black numbers 12, 3, 6 and 9. Indexes and hands play on the black and gray contrast, which guarantees optimal readability. A limited edition of 999 pieces, the BR03-92 Horoblack houses the automatic calibre BR-CAL.302 displaying the hours, minutes, seconds and date. It is fitted with a black rubber and ultra-resilient black synthetic fabric strap, with micro blasted steel pin buckle. Its retail price is 3,400 Swiss francs.

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