Few watches are as immediately recognisable as the iconic square Bell & Ross models. Designed for professionals who demand optimal reliability, Bell & Ross watches meet four basic principles: legibility, functionality, precision and reliability. Thus, every detail has its purpose, its function. This technical precision is expressed through pure lines and timeless elegance. Time+Tide is proud to be the Australian home of Bell & Ross online.

HANDS-ON: Put a smile on your dial – the Bell & Ross BR 01 Laughing Skull

If there’s one thing Bell & Ross love more than aviation, it’s skulls. They have been regularly releasing models adorned with the macabre motif since 2009. However, the two themes aren’t mutually exclusive, with their skull-emblazoned pieces referencing the military airborne units of WWII, who used the Jolly Roger as a not-so-subtle symbol of their ferocity in battle as well as to remind them of their own mortality. This year, Bell & Ross continue the tradition, introducing the very clever and, quite frankly, badass BR 01 Laughing Skull. There’s no doubt about it: if skull watches are your thing then chances are so is wrist presence. And here it’s delivered in spades. With a large 46mm square case decorated by a “Clous de Paris” pattern and inspiring thoughts of cutlasses and daggers with its matt microblasted finish. However, it’s the dial that immediately draws your eye. Resembling 2016’s BR 01 Burning Skull, the literal sword-shaped hands are filled with black Super-LumiNova and lowered slightly to now rest over the centre of the skull’s nasal cavity. There are also now glimpses of something new inside, as the skeletonised stage is set for something truly special. You see, by manually winding the crown, the… Read More

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HANDS-ON: The night owl friendly Bell & Ross BR 03-94 Horolum

It’s not unusual to see high-flyers Bell & Ross take inspiration from the world of aviation. In fact, it’s almost expected. However, the latest addition to their “Horo” label does it with a far more “grounded” perspective. Finding its muse in the practical aesthetic of an airport runway. Following on from last year’s three-handed Horolum, the Parisian brand has taken the next logical step and added a chronograph, featuring all the utilitarian styling of the original that’s sure to please the tool watch crowd. Beginning with the brand’s ever-popular BR-03 square case design, the BR 03-94 Horolum uses a 42mm microblasted steel case, with large rectangular pushers on its side to control the chronograph. By microblasting the case with a high-pressure spray of tiny glass beads, Bell & Ross were able to dull down the finish, creating a matt concrete-grey colouring that doesn’t reflect light, an effect that is also matched on its sandwich-style dial. That sees the hour markers of its top metal plate cut out to reveal a healthy dosing of lume – in step with all five hands of the Horolum – that has been applied below. Powering it from within is an ETA-based automatic chronograph movement,… Read More

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HANDS-ON: The bird is the word – Bell & Ross’ BRV2-94 Racing Bird that is

Every year, the Bell & Ross design team goes nuts with an incredible and (sadly) hypothetical vehicular creation. This year it was the Racing Bird, an awesomely streamlined take on a prop-powered racer, the sort of machine you’d see at the Reno Air Races. Of course, while the plane is conceptual, the watches are very, very real. Built off the base chassis of the vintage chronograph, the BRV2-94 Chronograph is at once modern and gloriously old-school. The case is near perfectly proportioned, 41mm across, though the crown guard and screw-down chrono pushers add a little breadth. It doesn’t sit too high on the wrist either, despite the sweet domed sapphire. This sizing, combined with the classic style and solid bracelet, give the watch a timeless yet purposeful character. While the appeal of the watch’s design might be eternal, the details are very much of an era — the ’70s. This time is recognised as a golden age of sports watches, with watchmaking innovations like the automatic chronograph, as well as the popularity of sports that required them. It’s also a time unafraid of bold colour. It’s the punchy personality that the Racing Bird plays with, taking a lustrous off-white base… Read More

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HANDS-ON: Put a smile on your dial – the Bell & Ross BR 01 Laughing Skull

If there’s one thing Bell & Ross love more than aviation, it’s skulls. They have been regularly releasing models adorned with the macabre motif since 2009. However, the two themes aren’t mutually exclusive, with their skull-emblazoned pieces referencing the military airborne units of WWII, who used the Jolly Roger as a not-so-subtle symbol of their ferocity in battle as well as to remind them of their own mortality. This year, Bell & Ross continue the tradition, introducing the very clever and, quite frankly, badass BR 01 Laughing Skull. There’s no doubt about it: if skull watches are your thing then chances are so is wrist presence. And here it’s delivered in spades. With a large 46mm square case decorated by a “Clous de Paris” pattern and inspiring thoughts of cutlasses and daggers with its matt microblasted finish. However, it’s the dial that immediately draws your eye. Resembling 2016’s BR 01 Burning Skull, the literal sword-shaped hands are filled with black Super-LumiNova and lowered slightly to now rest over the centre of the skull’s nasal cavity. There are also now glimpses of something new inside, as the skeletonised stage is set for something truly special. You see, by manually winding the crown, the… Read More

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VIDEO: A lot of squares and a few surprises – 5 of the best Bell & Ross watches of 2018

It’s always fun seeing Bell & Ross at Baselworld. Aside from the quality, and strong, distinctive DNA of their core offerings, the design-oriented brand is exceptionally good at creating narratives and mythologies around their watches. Case in point is the new Racing Bird series, a colourful take on their vintage line, inspired by a concept plane that (honestly) we wished was much closer to reality. Their collaboration with Renault’s F1 team has the same high speed, high-tech inspiration, but here it’s very much reality. And then there are the latest versions of their 2017 hit, the large and very much in charge BR 03-92 Diver, now offered in two new variants: a blue dial and a (smoking hot) bronze case. And finally there are smart, sensible, and very legible updates to their core — we particularly liked the catchily titled Horolum and Nightlum. So while it’s still squares aplenty over at B&R, there’s plenty of tales to tell and new looks to fall for.

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HANDS-ON: The Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver Bronze

While Bell & Ross are well known for their aviation-inspired designs, there’s another side to the French watch brand that takes them from the flight deck to the boat deck. A side that saw them introduce their first ever dive watch in 1997. The oil-filled, and more round than square, Hydromax — with an unbelievable water resistance of 11,100 metres. It’s also a side that last year welcomed their first ever square-cased dive watch, the BR 03-92 Diver. Beginning a collection, that for Baselworld 2018, grew by two. One of which is the brand new BR 03-92 Diver Bronze, which, as the name suggests, is all diver and all bronze. Vital statistics Updating the colour and material of last year’s BR 03-92, this new version features a black dial with gold-plated indices and hands, as well as a 42mm x 42mm square case that’s constructed from a chunk of satin-polished CuSn8 bronze. To match the case is an all bronze – without aluminium insert – unidirectional rotating bezel with 60-minute scale, and proud crown guards that flank a black rubber-coated crown. Water resistance is kept at 300m, while inside is the same BR-CAL.302 movement – based on the automatic Sellita SW300… Read More

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HANDS-ON: Getting up to speed with Carlos Rosillo and the Bell & Ross R.S. 18 Collection

This year saw Bell & Ross expand their popular Renault Sport collection, and add a smaller, regular dialled version. I had the pleasure of chatting with Bell & Ross co-founder and CEO, Carlos Rosillo, to discuss the new models, and hear his thoughts on the ongoing partnership with Renault Sport. Most people know Bell & Ross for their iconic aviation-inspired timepieces; however, Carlos sees the partnership with Renault as a natural fit, highlighting their fondness of Bell & Ross, and Renault’s Chairman and CEO, Carlos Ghosn, as key reasons for the partnership coming to fruition. Launching into F1 was foreign territory for Bell & Ross, but partnering with a fellow French brand makes sense. Now in year three of the partnership, Carlos has gained several insights into the sport, and what it takes to be successful — placing a high emphasis on teamwork and collaboration. CR: It’s like in any business – it’s all about teamwork. You need the right car and the right team; if you do, you have a better chance to succeed. Looking at the collection itself, we saw an additional model added, the BR 03-94, which features a ‘regular’ carbon fibre dial, and comes in at 42mm… Read More

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