There comes a time in every watchmaker’s life when the spotlight is turned on the brand, revealing to the world what it truly represents. 2019 presented Bell & Ross with such a moment of glory, following the introduction of BR01, that reinforced the brand’s unique identity and style. This was also the year when BR 05 was introduced — the Skeleton collection, part of this family, has been a huge success since its launch. As the name suggests, the open dial of the collection reveals the watch mechanism in great detail.
The first all-steel Skeleton was released in 2019 as well. Bell & Ross has now introduced the integrated H-link stainless steel bracelet (Ref. BR05A-CH-SKST/SST) and a brown rubber strap (Ref. BR05A-CH-SKST/SRB) that come with a golden dial and a stainless steel case. The collection is limited to 500 pieces.
Skeleton watches are not a new concept. In fact, they have a very rich history. As mentioned earlier, this is a type of watch where its inner workings are exposed. This concept was introduced in the 1700s, thanks to clockmaker André Charles Caron’s efforts. Many watchmakers have incorporated this minimalistic layout into their signature collections.
Bell & Ross’s BR 05 Skeleton has become the Maison’s signature collection and has seen multiple variations since its introduction. Following the success of the inaugural dial in grey, the brand put forth limited editions in blue, black and gold. This year, the timepiece maker has introduced a new gold dial on a stainless steel case without making any further changes. This means this watch is like an old wine in a new bottle.
Bell & Ross did introduce an all-gold variant in the past, but this is the first time that a gold dial has been incorporated in a stainless steel case. The BR 05 Skeleton Golden uses the same square-shaped, 40 mm stainless steel case with rounded corners and four visible screws on the bezel. The watch uses a pair of sapphire crystals fitted to both its bezel and caseback for a clear view of the movement. The crown at 3 o’clock gets angular guards, similar to the ones in the previous variants, which are separately attached to the middle case in order to offer protection for a signed winding crown.
At the centre of the dial are a trio of gold-finished hands and both the hour and minute hands (along with all hour markers) are coated with Grade X1 White 10 Super-LumiNova, which appears white in the daylight and emits a green glow in the dark. The decision to lean on the golden colourway for the hands and dial accents helps create a warmer overall appearance. Ultimately, it is these gold tones that make this iteration the ‘Golden’ model, rather than just being the orange version of the BR 05 Skeleton watch.
Given the fact that the BR 05 Skeleton is similar to the previous variants, the surface gets a transparent golden orange colour and is surrounded by a galvanised golden chapter ring with applied baton-shaped hour markers with LumiNova®. The centre of the dial gets gold-finished hour, minute and second hands with LumiNova®.
The new Bell & Ross BR 05 Skeleton Golden is powered by the same BR-CAL.322 automatic movement that can be found in other variants. As this skeletonised calibre is based upon Sellita SW300-1, it offers users with a power reserve of 38 hours. Turning the watch over reveals a sapphire skeleton caseback with a custom Bell & Ross oscillating weight. Like the previous models, the latest collection offers a water resistance of 100 metres.