Well before Bell & Ross became synonymous with bold squares, they were all about clean, simple, highly readable watches of a much more conventional shape. The BR 126 was a welcome return to round when it debuted as part of their ‘Vintage’ collection in 2010. Since then, Bell & Ross have used it as the base for a number of limited edition pieces. The latest is the BR 126 Carbon Orange.
Inspired by the legibility of a plane’s on-board instruments, the bold colour scheme certainly makes it an easy watch to read and reference quickly. The colour palette also adds some modernity to the BR 126 line-up, which is heavy on heritage browns and creams. Reasonably sized at 41mm, we particularly like the black NATO strap, with thin bands of colour at each edge that complement the orange highlights on the hands and dial. So, while the similar Original Black lends itself well to sharp suits, pencil ties and dark Aviators, the Carbon Orange’s added personality opens it up to the statement spectacle-wearing, road-cycling crowd.
One of the more interesting features of the Carbon Orange is the ultra-curved high-dome sapphire crystal with antireflective coating, providing great strength and better legibility under lights or out in the sun. The steel case is rated to 100m, and features luminescence on the large Arabics, indices and main hands. Meanwhile, running off the-tried-and-tested BR-CAL.301 automatic (based on the ETA 2894-2), the watch features date and chronograph complications with a 30-minute timer.
With a limited run of only 500, the BR 126 Carbon Orange is a well-judged watch from Bell & Ross, offering a balance of classy and quirky, subtle and colourful, old and new. And though there’s a lot of chronographs on the market at this price point, many will find it a perfect daily-wearer with enough pop to stand out from the pack.
Bell & Ross BR 126 Carbon Orange Australian pricing
The BR 126 Carbon Orange has an RRP of $6650.