Bell & Ross last week debuted the first chronograph within its retro-classic BR 05 collection.

The new Bell & Ross BR 05 Chronograph, which debuts with a choice of blue or black dial and steel bracelet or rubber strap.

You might recall that the BR 05 collection, which debuted in 2019, signaled the brand’s entry into the expanding field of Swiss-made 1970s-style steel watches with integrated bracelets.  

Directly referencing the groundbreaking integrated steel watches of the 1970s, Bell & Ross’s BR 05 design essentially is an evolution of its cockpit-inspired BR 03. With the first time-only BR 05 collection, Bell & Ross placed its very identifiable 12-6-9 numerals and four bezel screws exactly where you’d expect them on a Bell & Ross aviation watch, and framed them with curved, polished bezel and case edges that nicely meld into a new steel bracelet.

Now with a chronograph option, the BR 05 retains the solidly integrated case and bracelet but adds a familiar chronograph dial layout. The watch’s retro-shaped snailed counters (chronograph minute counter at 9 o’clock and small seconds at 3 o’clock) between the 12 and 6 on the dial echo the BR 05’s case, which now measures 42mm in diameter, up from the 40mm of the debut collection. 

Designing the chronograph challenged Bell & Ross to add pushers to a case it built to present fluid lines and curves. By flattening the pushers, smoothing their edges and essentially incorporating them within the case, Bell & Ross handily met that challenge.

Bell & Ross finishes the new BR 05 chronograph with flat satin-polished surfaces and polished bevels. The effect is more dressy than sporty, though the optional blue or black rubber strap might tilt that view just a bit. The watch’s 100-meter water resistance and robust ETA-based automatic chronograph movement (Bell & Ross Cal. 301) allow for wear most anywhere but deep dives. Luminous markers and hands keep the time visible in dim light.

Bell & Ross offers the new, quite nicely executed BR 05 chronograph with either a blue or black sunray dial and with a choice of integrated steel bracelet ($6,400) or blue or black rubber strap.  ($5,900).

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