Bell & Ross mixes nature and architecture with the new BR 05 Chrono Green Steel, the latest model in its BR 05 series of ‘rounded square’ designs.
While we saw a similar sun-ray green dial from Bell & Ross earlier this year when the watchmaker introduced a gold-cased, three-hand model (BR 05 Green Gold), this newer model appears even more contemporary, especially as a steel chronograph.
Steel, after all, shines in any urban area, and with the geometric, multi-level BR 05 case and fully integrated bracelet, the watch’s so-called ‘urban spirit’ is evident.
“The case and strap are one,” notes Bell & Ross Creative DirectorBruno Belamich. “This design is a nod to a type of watch that first appeared in the 1970s. Transposed into the Bell & Ross identity, we were able to achieve a result that is at once clear, modern and graphic.”
The new BR 05 Chrono Green Steel joins a wide range of Bell & Ross chronographs, many of which are also powered by the Sellita-based self-winding BR-CAL.326 movement.
Bell & Ross fits an eye-catching automotive-inspired 360-degree rotor to the movement, which is visible through a sapphire caseback.
Price: $6,200 (rubber strap) and $6,700 (steel bracelet).
Specifications: Bell & Ross BR 05 Chrono Green Steel
Movement: Automatic Caliber BR-CAL.326 (Sellita base) poweringhours, minutes, small seconds at 9 o’clock and date. Chronograph: 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, central chronograph seconds.
Case: 42mm by 14.25mm satin-polished steel. Screw-down crown. Crown guard. Sapphire crystal and sapphire case-back with 360° oscillating weight. Water-resistance to 100 meters.
Dial: Green sunray with applique indices filled with SuperLuminova. Satin-finished applique numerals. Metal skeletonized SuperLuminova-filled hour and minute hands.
Strap: Green rubber or satin-polished steel with satin-polished steel folding buckle.
Price: $6,200 (rubber strap) and $6,700 (steel bracelet).
The 1970s-style Chronomaster ‘Big Eye’ Yachting offers a sharp-looking clean white dial with easy-to-see broad arrow hands and a minute counter (at three o’clock) modified with blue and orange sections made specifically for counting down the first ten minutes of a yacht race.
The watch’s chronograph display can track up to thirty minutes with a bright orange central seconds hand, the minute counter and a small seconds counter at the nine o’clock position.
In addition, the watch’s unidirectional aluminum bezel offers a third function: tachymeter. The engraved tachymeter scale includes markers for fifths of a second to track average speed.
Inside the case Nivada Grenchen fits a manually wound Sellita SW510 BH B movement with a 63-hour power reserve. The movement is set under a sapphire crystal that the watchmaker has domed to mimic the same shape of the original Chronomaster’s acrylic crystal.
As vintage experts, Analog Shift asked Nivada Grenchen to pair the limited edition watch with a genuine vintage ‘beads of rice’ steel bracelet.
The Chronomaster ‘Big Eye’ Yachting, a limited edition of 100, is available from all Watches of Switzerland Group platforms, includingWatchesofSwitzerland.com, Mayors.com, Betteridge.com, and AnalogShift.com.
If your typical day takes you in or near the water, the Oris Aquis Small Second Date 45.5mm ($2,900) is your best bet here given its much-greater-than-average 500-meter water resistance rating.
Oris notes that the watch’s water resistance rating is actually greater than the standard model within its Aquis dive series, which typically includes watches rated to 300 meters of water resistance.
The watch, with its ocean-inspired deep-blue dial, represents a new size the Oris Aquis time-and-date-only series. It retains all the dive-ready specifications you’d expect from Oris, including a small seconds indicator (at the 9 o’clock position) with a luminous hand, a screw-down crown with protection, a uni-directional rotating bezel with a ceramic insert, and either a metal bracelet or rubber strap equipped with the Oris-patented extendable security folding clasp.
Oris has launched an impressive selection of colorful watches in recent years, especially within its Big Crown series. Even the watchmaker’s ProPilot collection now includes hues unexpected within such a technical series.
The new Oris Aquis Small Second Date 45.5mm revels in its ocean-colored dial, bezel insert and rubber strap. (See below for detailed specifications).
Bell & Ross
Inspired by summer skies, Bell & Ross finishes its latest BR 05 GMT with a sky blue sun-ray pattern dial. Earlier BR 05 GMT models have only been available with a black dial or a white dial.
Framed by the Bell & Ross’s own circled-in-a-square case shape, the dial allows the wearer to determine time in a second time zone thanks to the blue-tinted GMT hand. With its easy-to-read large white arrow-shaped tip, the hand allows means wearer can quickly determine the hour in any of 24 timezones emblazoned along the graduated inner bezel.
Bell & Ross enhances this flange with a sky blue and silver color treatment. The colors allow the wearer to further differentiate whether the second time zone hour is in the daytime (silver) or nighttime (blue). Bell & Ross coats the hands and the rhodium-plated baton-shaped indexes with a healthy amount of SuperLuminova.
Inside Bell & Ross fits its bedrock BR-CAL.325 movement, a Sellita-based automatic caliber. And, for all-weather wear, Bell & Ross supplies a screw-in crown to guarantee water resistance to 100 meters. (See below for detailed specifications.)
Bell & Ross offers two types of attachment for the BR 05 GMT Sky Blue. The first is a stainless-steel bracelet and second is a blue rubber strap tinted to match the dial color.
Price: $5,000 (rubber strap) and $5,500 (steel bracelet).
Specifications: Oris Aquis Small Second Date 45.5 mm
Case: 45.5 multi-piece stainless steel with ceramic bezel insert, sapphire domed crystal, anti- reflective coating inside, screwed steel back with special engravings, stainless steel screw-in security crown, water resistance to 500 meters. Movement: Oris 743, Sellita-based automatic with center hands for hours, minutes and seconds, date, Oris fine timing device and stop-second. Power reserve is41 hours.
Dial: Ocean Blue with SuperLumiNova applied indices.
Bracelet/strap: Multi-piece stainless steel metal bracelet with folding clasp with extension. Also available on a blue rubber strap with stainless steel security folding clasp with extension.
Functions: hours, minutes, central seconds, date and second 24-hour time zone. Quick setting of the GMT hand, independently of the hour hand.
Case: 41 mm wide. Satin-polished steel. Satin-finished rhodium-plated and blue two-color flange, with 24-hour scale. Screw-down crown. Crown guard. Sapphire case-back with 360° oscillating weight. Crystal is sapphire with anti-reflective coating. Water-resistance to 100 meters.
Dial: Blue sun-ray finish with numerals and indices coated in white SuperLumiNova,, metal skeletonized SuperLumiNova-filled hour and minute hands.
Strap: Blue rubber or satin-polished steel with satin-polished steel folding buckle.
Price: $5,000 (rubber strap) and $5,500 (steel bracelet).
Bell & Ross launches the BR 03-92 Patrouille De France 70th Anniversary watch to celebrate the seventh decade of the namesake French aerobatics team.
Built using a high-tech, blackened ceramic 42mm by 42mm case, the new limited edition watch (999 pieces) features a sharp-looking dial matching the blue hue used by the Alpha Jet of the Patrouille de France.
To underscore the team’s blue identity, Bell & Ross opts to connect the case to the wrist with a matching blue calfskin and black synthetic canvas fabric strap.
To further enhance the partnership of the two French organizations, Bell & Ross also places the insignia of the team and the specific logo of its 70thanniversary directly on the Bell & Ross circle-in-a square dial. The logo is encircled with the colors of the French flag.
On the back of the watch, Bell & Ross engraves the silhouettes of the five aircraft that have flown since the creation of the Patrouille de France in 1953. The design reflects the wishes of the team’s pilots, according to Bruno Belamich, Creative Director and co-founder of Bell & Ross.
“Pilots are always consulted for the creation of watches: the primary goal of the (Bell & Ross) house is to meet the needs of these men and provide them with a tool to serve their mission,” he adds.
Inside you’ll find the Bell & Ross Sellita-based automatic movement BR-CAL 302, which powers the dial’s hours, minutes, seconds and date displays.
William Henry’s new Legacy timepiece collection, its first foray into wristwatches, features dials created from meteorite, fossilized mammoth tooth and other exotic materials.
Matt (William) Conable and his business partner Michael (Henry) Honack founded William Henry in 1997 with the belief that there was a potential consumer base for fine knives situated between the work of individual bladesmiths and mass production. They were right.
First, the Knives
Having practiced his knife-making art under his own name for almost a decade prior to launching the Oregon-based William Henry,Matt Conable developed an appreciation of exotic and unusual materials for his craft.
Today, William Henry incorporates exotic woods, fossilized dinosaur bone, mammoth tooth, semi-precious stones, corals and other unusual materials into handles. Frames, blades, bolsters and other metal elements are crafted in a variety of functional, semi-precious, and elegantly forged metals.
Unlike the results of mass production, William Henry’s knives combine the talents of expert individuals around the world to bring each designto life. Bladesmiths work Damascus and other exotic steels, metalsmiths create Mokume Gane while a host of specialist engravers work their craft to embellish handles and bolsters in their individual style.
I’ll admit that I often lament the overuse of “unique” when describing unusual designs, but each William Henry knife is in-fact unique. No two are exactly the same. The Damascus pattern, the grain of exotic woods, the striations of color in a fossilized mammoth tooth, or even the Widmanstatten patterns of meteorite all lend themselves to this distinctive individuality.
Next, the Accessories
Following the success of their blade-bearing beauties, Conable and company expanded the stable of offerings from knives to a host of other high-end men’s (and a few women’s) accessories including bracelets, necklaces, cufflinks, money clips, writinginstruments, and more.
In each product line, the ethos and feel of the William Henry design was clearly evident.
Seeing this evolution into new product lines I had always wondered – and had actually asked the leadership at William Henry “why not watches?” Vague answers intimated they were clearly considering the idea, but I never got a confirmation – until now.
Finally, the Watches
In reality, the connection between knives and watches is notthat great a leap. Both have ostensible functionality that justifies their existence, and both can be elevated beyond functionality and become works of art crafted in metal and other exotic materials.
For William Henry’s new Legacy timepiece collection, its first foray into wristwatches, five variations (see below) perfectly exemplify the spirit of William Henry.
From the brand: “William Henry is a studio that tells stories through timeless pieces, and our first watch designis a testament to that intention. The Legacy watch collection is a perfect blend of form and function, built around the extraordinary materials that have defined us.”
Entering the luxury watch market can be a risky thing. Unlike jewelry – or even knives – mechanical watches house a complex engine perfected and refined over hundreds of years by trial and error.
For their own launch watches, William Henry chose to go with the Sellita SW 400, a Swiss automatic time & date (only) movement without extraneous functions or complications, allowing the full impact of the rare materials to take center-stage. All else being equal, the SW 400 is a slightly larger version of the SW 200 and fits very nicely into the 42mm case without looking lost in the see-through back.
These high-grade movements are housed in grade 5 titanium, Damascus steel, and even Moku-Ti (Damascus titanium) – clearly putting the metallurgical roots and experience of the William Henry brand on full display. These watches are also built to high standards and are water resistant to 100 meters, regardless of the case material.
Under the sapphire crystals, each dial represents more than just color, pattern, and texture. They actually embody time in several different ways:
The Superconductor dial is a wafer of a modern material originally created as a particle accelerator moving protons and electrons to 99.997% the speed of light. It just so happens that the cross-section of this space-age material presents an intriguing pattern born from technology, and never used for its aesthetic value – until now.
The Moku-Ti dial combines ancient metalworking techniques in a mélange of modern materials and historical metalsmithing where the Damascus style layering of metals dating back to 1,500 BC are applied to the more modern titanium, a metal not really in widespread use until the 1900s.
Traveling a bit further back on the William Henry materials time-line, we find the one model sporting a Mammoth Tooth dial. Crafted from the fossilized teeth of these extinct giants, the amazing dials on these watches show color and grain that belie the source of the material and are at least 10,000 years old – when the last large herds of Wooly Mammoth roamed the planet.
The next series jumps back several orders of magnitude to fossilized dinosaur bone dating back 100-200 million years. When initially exhumed from the ground, the fossilized bone looks fairly mundane; much like a rusted rock. When shaped, sanded, polished, and finished, striations of dark grey create patterns over a varicolored Martian-red background in an ethereal expression of natural artistry brought to life through modern craftsmanship.
Traveling even further back to the very beginnings of our universe in our William Henry “Wayback” machine we find the meteorite dials. Not without precedent in the watchmaking pantheon, meteorite dials embody the ancient travelers of the cosmos that have seen billions and billions (thanks Carl) of years go by.
William Henry’s own dials display the iconic Widmanstätten patterns within a contrasting and colorful Moku-Ti case. This creates a vibrant counterpoint to the monochromatic Thomson structures of the dial.
Each William Henry timepiece represents a merger of materials, design, and engineering that integrates a totemic representation of time into timekeeping itself.
This limited-edition Legacy Meteorite model features a dial crafted from pure meteorite, a remarkable interstellar remnant dating back billions of years and discovered here on Earth. The fine crystalline pattern, in metal, is unlike anything else we’ve ever seen, and offers a window back to an earlier era in the story of our universe.
The dial is housed in a forged Moku-Ti case, built with ninety layers of four alloys of aerospace grade titanium. This tapestry in metal is crafted by a master smith in Ukraine specifically for this William Henry watch case, which requires heat to reveal the final pattern.
The watch is finished with a sapphire crystal and exhibition back revealing the Swiss automatic movement with a 38-hour power reserve. Water resistance is rated to 100 meters, and the hand-crafted leather strap features a custom stainless deployant clasp for easy wear and adjustment.
The Fossil Dinosaur Bone Dial
This limited-edition Legacy Dinosaur model features a dial crafted from dinosaur bone; an extraordinary fossil material that ranges from 100 to 200 million years old.
The ‘high red’ dinosaur bone is considered the finest in the world and is found in the American southwest. Initially it has a similar appearance to rock, but after the painstaking process of crafting a precision dial, the beautiful hues and patterns are revealed. Surrounding the ancient dial is a forged Damascus case built with 300 layers of stainless-steel alloys and etched to reveal the individual patterns.
The Wooly Mammoth Tooth Dial
Color and grain are the earmarks of the dial crafted from fossil mammoth tooth. This relic of the giant that last roamed the Earth 10,000 years ago is occasionally discovered on the sea floor or riverbeds. When used for decoration, each tooth or remnant must dry for about 2 years before William Henry can begin to work with it.
Vacuum stabilized with resin, the finished dial reveals unique patterns and colors that have been waiting (at least) 10,000 years to become a timeless story on your wrist. The dial is housed in a forged Damascus case, built with 300 layers of stainless-steel alloys and acid-etched to reveal the flowing patterns of the contrasting metals.
The case on the Legacy Mammoth is finished with a sapphire crystal and exhibition back revealing the Swiss automatic movement with a 38-hour power reserve. Water resistance is rated to 10 ATM/100 meters, and the hand-crafted crocodile leather strap features a custom stainless deployant clasp for easy wear and adjustment.
The Moku-Ti Dial
This Legacy Moku-Ti watch (also limited) features a dial crafted from Moku-Ti, a complex tapestry in titanium. The metal is created by forging eighty-four separate layers of four different alloys of aerospace grade titanium into a finely patterned billet.
This exquisitely detailed material is forged specifically for this project by one master artist located in Ukraine. After a detailed diamond polish, William Henry uses carefully applied heat to reveal the different alloys and final pattern in the dial ensconced within its titanium case.
The Superconductor Dial
This limited-edition Legacy Superconductor model features a dial crafted from Superconductor; a copper-niobium composite originally intended to become wire in a massive particle accelerator. The project was never completed, and this exotic patterned material was never drawn down to its final dimension.
Very little of it exists, and we have enough to make a limited number of watch dials. The dial is housed in a titanium case with black DLC coating, with a sapphire crystal and exhibition back revealing the Swiss automatic movement with a 38-hour power reserve.
This feature appears in the Spring 2023 issue of iW Magazine, where it includes an interview with William Henry co-founder Matt William Conable.