HANDS-ON: Bell & Ross hits the highway with the BR03-92 AeroGT

We’ve already met the brooding chunk of finely machined steel that is the BR03-94 AeroGT chronograph. Well, today we’re having a look at its less complicated brother – the BR03-92 AeroGT.

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While the fundamentals of this time-only AeroGT are very similar to the many other BR03-92 models – namely the square 42mm case, the distinctive case screws, short lugs and chunky strap – in reality this feels like a completely different watch. That’s thanks to the stripped back, cut-away dial and the slick rally strap, complete with go-faster red piping. Aside from being incredibly fun to wear, this watch demonstrates Bell & Ross’s formidable design prowess.

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The bold military styling of the very first Bell & Ross instrument watch was crucial in rocketing the French brand to popularity in the early to mid-2000s, but as with its peers and competitors Panerai and Hublot, a recognisable design can be something of a blessing and a curse. After all, continuing to create interesting and appealing watches that conform to the same essential DNA must be a challenge. The solution for Bell & Ross has been to avoid repetition by constantly reinventing its square icon, using new materials and developing smart aviation-inspired associations, such as the skull-emblazoned Airborne collection and last year’s Rafale tie-in.

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The AeroGT concept car

The story for this collection is a little different. This time, Bell & Ross has gone so far as to design a concept car – the AeroGT – encapsulating the fusion between the aviation and high-end automotive worlds, in a neat evolution of the B-Rocket motorbike from 2011. A clever idea and a great design, this has generated a lot of positive buzz and two (so far) very handsome watches.

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The key element of the AeroGT watches is the technically skeletonised dial, something that, up until now, has been the preserve of the top-line BR-X1 timepieces. It’s good to see Bell & Ross using this look in other aviation models – and not just because it’s en trend at the moment. More importantly, it genuinely suits the industrial aesthetic of the design, resulting in a fresh, modern take on the classic Bell & Ross design.

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Bell & Ross BR03-92 AeroGT Australian pricing and availability

The Bell & Ross BR03-92 AeroGT, $7800, limited to 500 pieces worldwide