Bell & Ross needs a new tagline. Its familiar “from the cockpit to the wrist” mantra doesn’t quite fit with its newest collection, BR 05, a line of elegant sport watches geared to urban professionals.
Best known for its signature square-cased aviator models, the brand is positioning BR 05 as a “time measuring instrument for urban explorers”—a wristwatch that looks equally appropriate when worn to the office, tucked beneath a French cuff, or at the beach.
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With its combination of square and round shapes and integrated bracelet, the model recalls two of the watch industry’s indisputable icons, the 1972 Royal Oak by Audemars Piguet and the 1976 Patek Philippe Nautilus, both designed by Gerald Genta. Bell & Ross co-founder and creative director Bruno Belamich has described the pared-down style as “graphic,” calling attention to the integrated bracelet, in which the first link forms part of the case.
“The goal was to develop an intermediate model between the square—our utilitarian icon—and the round, which is universal and generic,” says CEO Carlos Rosillo. “With this new line in mind, we did not want to create a city watch, but a Bell & Ross watch made for the city. The BR 05 is the subtly square watch for the city. After focusing on time instruments for professionals, we felt it was time to create a design inspired by the active, urban lifestyles of today. Full of character, this new urban instrument exudes strength and elegance. It is our latest jewel of masculinity, sculptural and captivating.”
The angular 40 mm case—which features both satin-finished surfaces and polished bevels, a look that is repeated on the steel bracelet—stands in contrast to the round dial, which comes in silver grey, navy blue or deep black color ways ($4,400 on ribbed rubber strap, $4,900 on steel bracelet). The collection also includes a version with a skeleton dial and Bell & Ross-designed caliber BR-CAL.322, available in a limited edition of 500 pieces ($5,900 on rubber strap, $6,400 on steel bracelet).
An 18-karat gold model rounds out the first iteration of the BR 05 ($21,500 on rubber strap, $32,500 on gold bracelet).