HANDS-ON: The night owl friendly Bell & Ross BR 03-94 HorolumCameron Wong
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, the Bell & Ross labelled calibre BR-CAL.301, with a power reserve of 42 hours. And to hold it to the wrist is a supple grey-green calfskin strap.
While this isn’t exactly a whole new watch for Bell & Ross — there’s already a number of chronographs in the BR-03 range that use the same bi-register layout — the newly styled anti-reflective finish of its case goes a long way in adding to its purposeful styling. While dial cut-outs for the hour markers add further depth and outstanding legibility, which is only made better when the lights go out and the runway lights come on.
The Bell & Ross BR 03-94 Horolum Australian pricing
The Bell & Ross BR 03-94 Horolum, limited to 500 pieces, $8900