Luxury watchmakers have always seized opportunities to associate themselves with Formula One, a.k.a F1, often as official timekeepers. Creating special timepieces to celebrate this association is a time-honoured tradition, followed by several luxury watch brands every year. As far as F1 is concerned, not too long ago, French automobile manufacturer Renault announced that it would stay on in the race under a new name, Alpine F1 Team. The just-launched BR 05 Chrono A523 from Bell & Ross is the timepiece maker’s first collab watch with the rebranded Renault F1 team, now known as Alpine. Aimed at discerning connoisseurs, this timepiece is available in a limited edition of 500 pieces.
The latest chronograph is named after the new Alpine A523 F1 car. This car is powered by a 1.6 litre V6 engine putting out more than 950 horsepower; it is mated to semi-automatic eight-speed transmission with one reverse gear and a Quickshift system to minimise shift times. This car is capable of reaching a top speed of 355 km/hour and weighs only 796 kg.
Now coming back to the new Bell & Ross x Alpine BR 05 A523 Chrono watch, this limited-edition timepiece comes in a 42 mm polished steel case, boasting the signature rounded square shape. The raised stainless steel bezel gets four visible screws with a crown and two pushers at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock. There is a matte black base dial with a blue tachymeter flange on the outer periphery. The white applique Arabic hour markers get Super-LumiNova®.
You can also spot on each watch metal skeletonised Super-LumiNova®-filled hour and minute hands, and a blue central chronograph hand with an Alpine A-shaped logo. The date window has a black background and a white numeral at 4:30. There is a white minute track below the tachymeter. What’s more, the dial is decorated with the French flag in blue, white and red just above 6 o’clock, and has two counters — a 60-second subdial at 9 o’clock that has a white hand and a 30-minute subdial at 3 o’clock with a blue hand.
Powering the watch is the self-winding mechanical Calibre BR-CAL.326 with 60 hours of power reserve. Although no caseback images have been provided, we do know that the new Bell & Ross x Alpine BR 05 A523 Chrono watch has a sapphire caseback with a 360° oscillating weight. Finishing the timepiece is a stainless steel bracelet with flexible, comfortable links or a black leather strap with a folding, satin-polished steel buckle.