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