Over the years, pilot watches have become as iconic as other novelties, such as chronographs and GMT timepieces. These watches have large dials with high-contrast hour markers that help in navigation. Like several other luxury timepiece manufacturers that offer unique interpretations of pilot watches, Bell & Ross has now launched a new BR 03 collection that seeks to turn a cockpit instrument into an aviation watch. Sporting the signature circle-within-a-square look, the latest BR 03 collection comprises two versions in two different case materials, namely black ceramic and stainless steel. Each has four new dial colours and is driven by a new movement with a higher power reserve.
At this year’s edition of Watches and Wonders, Bell & Ross unveiled a whole new range of BR 03 timepieces in 42 mm. To cater to a wider variety of wrist sizes, the new collection has been reduced by one mm, compared with the collection that was launched in Geneva earlier this year. After all, in the universe of watchmaking, every millimetre counts. Nevertheless, the collection bears all the signature aesthetic elements of a typical BR 03 series that, over the years, has enjoyed a cult status among watch aficionados. Also, common to all new eight models are the Arabic numerals for 12 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, and 9 o’clock. Each of the 41 mm novelties comes in a square case, secured with four screws, a round dial, and a date window at 4:30 that matches the dial colour. Here’s a closer look at the watches.
BR 03 CERAMIC
This includes BR03 Black Matte (Ref. BR03A-BL-CE/SRB), BR03 Heritage (Ref. BR03A-HER-CE/SCA), BR03 Military Ceramic (Ref. BR03A-MIL-CE/SRB), and BR03 Phantom (Ref. BR03A-PH-CE/SRB). There are three models here that come with black dials, such as Black Matte (white hands and hour markers), Heritage (beige hands and hour markers), and Phantom (an all-black model). The Military Ceramic model sports khaki dial and hour markers.
Finishing this collection are three rubber and calfskin straps that match the colour of the respective dials, accompanied by steel with matte black PVD pins.
BR 03 STEEL
There are four new novelties, including BR03 Black Steel (Ref. BR03A-BL-ST/SRB), BR03 Golden Heritage (Ref. BR03A-GH-ST/SCA), BR03 Copper (Ref. BR03A-GB-ST/SCA), and BR03 Blue Steel (Ref. BR03A-BLU-ST/SCA). This collection includes two sunray dials (brown and blue) for the Golden Heritage and Blue Steel models while the Black Steel version gets a black dial. The Copper variant, on the other hand, gets a gilt copper dial.
This collection is also distinguished by its hands. The Golden Heritage and Copper models get hands matching the colour of the dials; the Black Steel and Blue Steel models get white hands matching the hour markers. Finishing this collection are three calfskin leather straps — two in brown and one in blue — and a black rubber strap, accompanied by satin-polished steel pins.
A New Movement
Last but not least, the Bell & Ross BR 03 collection is run by a new movement: BR-CAL.302, based on the Sellita SW300-1 architecture. This comes with an extended power reserve of 54 hours.