The story in a second:
The Bell & Ross BR-X1 Carbon Forgé is an example of Bell & Ross demonstrating their high-end technical watchmaking capacity. But even though this watch strays from their credo of simplicity – it’s still unmistakeably a Bell & Ross.
The watch world, like any consumer industry, is driven by trends. And the Bell & Ross BR-X1 Carbon Forgé is a watch that ticks two big current trend boxes: Skeletonised dial – check. Carbon case – check.
The BR-X1 is the Bell & Ross BR01 on ‘roids, or as Mr Carlos Rosillo put it in a more diplomatic manner, “the most extreme example of Bell & Ross’ iconic, square shape.” But aside from being a mean looking hunk of watch, the Bell & Ross BR-X1 case showcases the versatility of the classic square shape.
On the Carbon Forgé the 45mm case is made from a pressed carbon, rather than the more traditional layered carbon fibres we’re more familiar with in the watch world. This particular material is primarily used in aerospace applications, and it’s a nice circularity that it’s largely used by French company Dassault Aviation, frequent partners and collaborators with Bell & Ross.
Aside from the attractive, marbled look of the material it’s super lightweight and super scratch resistant. On its own this case would be interesting, but not particularly remarkable. Bell & Ross have kicked it up a notch by adding a ‘bumper’ (just like on your old iPhone). The case is encircled with a ceramic and rubber protective band. I’m not convinced about the efficacy of this bumper as a shock protection device (impact would have to be directly on the side of the case, which is unlikely on the wrist. But there’s no denying it looks cool.
The other, and much more practical benefit of this case is that the chronograph pushers have been covered with rubber and ceramic rockers, totally changing how you actuate the chronograph, from a pushing motion to a more lever-like motion. It’s a style of actuator you don’t see too often (Graham are the best known example), and the action is very comfortable.
The highly technical construction doesn’t end with the case. The dial is about as far as you can get from the usual Bell & Ross simplicity. The dial is tinted mineral crystal, which exposes the skeletonised dial.
Stay tuned for more live pictures.
Bell & Ross BR-X1 Carbon Forgé pricing
The Carbone Forgé will retail for 20,000 EU