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Bell and Ross Watches

Updated on October 7, 2014

The History of Bell and Ross Watches

Bell and Ross Watches (or should that be "Bell & Ross") have become very popular with watch collecting enthusiasts. Compared to the Tag Heuer, or ICW they have a very young pedigree, being only 20 years old (in 2012).

Bell & Ross as a brand started in 1992, as a brand from German watchmaker Sinn. They were designed by a French and Swiss designer Bruno Belamich for Sinn. In 2002 Bell and Ross separated from Sinn, and they became an independent French company, with its own production facility in Switzerland, the home of fine watchmaking.

Typical Bell & Ross Watch owners
Typical Bell & Ross Watch owners

Bell and Ross Design

The Bell & Ross watch has its very own identity, being influenced and based on the dials from aeroplane cockpits. They have a very distinctive design, and the classic square faced designs such as the Bell & Ross BR01-94 look like they come straight out of a plane. "BR" watches are very much from the "military wristwatch" school of watch design, with their traditional black face, and white hands.

Aimed at professional divers, aviators, bomb disposal experts, and "astronauts" (can't see that as a massive market!! :-) ) - they have a tough pedigree - which comes from the key design principles that inform the overall design. These are:

Optimal water resistance

Accurate time keeping based on classic Swiss mechanical movements

Clear visuals that replicate the sort in aeroplane dials

And more specific functions depending upon what the watch is intended for.

"Their ambition was to be part of the great Swiss watch-making tradition while meeting the demands of men facing extreme situations

Bell & Ross watches have become fashionable and collectible, and the brand has grown in distinction.

Bell & Ross Aviator Watches - Military Style Watches from Bell & Ross

Bell & RossMilitary Watches
Bell & RossMilitary Watches

Bell & Ross BR-03-92 Heritage

Bell & Ross Marine Automatic
Bell & Ross Marine Automatic

Bell & Ross Marine Automatic - Diving Watches

Robust Diving watches

Bell and Ross design watches for professionals. This is one of their key design features, and among the professionals they design their watches for are divers. The B&R Diving watches are built with diving in mind, and the features meet the demands of serious diving enthusiasts and professionals alike.

The automatic range (there is a chronograph version - see paragraph below) is water resistant to up 1000 metres (that is for serious divers!!) , and since at that level there is not much light, the numerals and hands are still visible thanks to their photo-luminescent coating. In addition it the glass is a tough sapphire casing

With the addition of the chronograph version (on the BR 02-94) means you can keep track of your compression and diving times. The watch is built tough, and to withstand deep water dives, with a screw down crown which features a decompression valve. The makers claim that this decompression valve is guaranteed to be water resistant up to 500 metres - more than enough for most dive professionals.

Bell & Ross Watch Recommended

Between the Heritage and Aviation style watches - whatever your taste, the Bell & Ross Watch designs always seem to espouse a classic feel.

Top 10 Bell and Ross Watches - Here are my Top 10 Bell & Ross Watches

  1. Bell & Ross Men's BR-03-51-GMT TITANIUM Aviation Black GMT Dial Watch Watch
  2. Bell & Ross Men's BRWW1-92HERITAG Vintage Tan Leather Strap Watch
  3. Bell & Ross Men's BR-03-92-CARBON Aviation Black Dial Watch Watch
  4. Bell & Ross Men's BR123-ORIGINAL BLACK Vintage Black Dial and Strap Watch
  5. Bell and Ross Aviation Radar Black Dial Mechanical Mens Watch BR0392-RADAR
  6. Bell & Ross Men's BR-126-ORIGINAL BEIGE Vintage Beige Chronograph Dial Watch
  7. Bell & Ross Men's BR-01-94-CARBON Aviation Black Chronograph Dial Watch Watch
  8. Bell & Ross Men's BR126 ORIGINAL CARBON Vintage Black Dial and Brown Strap Watch
  9. Bell & Ross Men's BR126-HERITAGE Vintage Black Chronograph Dial and Brown Strap Watch
  10. Bell & Ross Men's BR-01-93-GMT Aviation Black GMT Dial Watch Watch

Bell and Ross Heritage Chronogrpah
Bell and Ross Heritage Chronogrpah

Bell & Ross Heritage Chronograph Review

The Bell & Ross Heritage Chronograph range harks back to a buy-gone era, in its styling. The watches ooze worldly class, and with their light brown tan straps, you can imagine them adorning a Spitfire pilot - even though BR watches were NOT around then!!

Moving away from their iconic square face, this is a dress style watch in the more classic tradition - the Heritage chronograph looks like a classic. The black face and Arabic numerals are in the traditional military issue watch of the past - and the overall look makes reference to the heritage of the traditional military watch.

The use of the large bold Arabic numeral 12 and 6, on a black dial, mirrors the old standard military wristwatches from World War 2, and this helps make the watch feel it has heritage. Buy this watch, and you have a watch that does not date, or go out of fashion. The sort of watch that is a collectors item, can be worn with pride, and handed down from generation to generation.

Its key features are:

Black PVD stainless steel case with a tan leather strap.

Fixed bezel.

Black dial with luminous hands and index hour markers.

Arabic numerals mark the 6 and 12 o'clock positions.

Minute markers around the outer rim. Dial Type: Analog.

Date display appears between the 4 and 5 o'clock position. Chronograph - two sub-dials displaying: 30 minutes and 60 seconds.

Mechanical automatic movement.

Scratch resistant sapphire crystal.

Solid case back. Case diameter: 41 mm.

Tang clasp.

Water resistant at 100 meters/ 330 feet.

Functions: hours, minutes, seconds, calendar, chronograph.

Bell & Ross Heritage Chronograph - For more details see here

Bell & Ross Men's BR126-HERITAGE Vintage Black Chronograph Dial Watch with Brown Strap
Bell & Ross Men's BR126-HERITAGE Vintage Black Chronograph Dial Watch with Brown Strap

There is something timeless about this Bell&Ross Heritage Chronograph watch. It reminds me of the iconic military watches of a bygone era. The ligh tan strap, and the classic round dialed face. This is the sort of watch that can be handed down from generation to generation. It has classic styling, which gives the piece a timeless feel.

 

Bell and Ross Aviation

Bell and Ross Aviation Collection
Bell and Ross Aviation Collection

Bell & Ross Promo Video

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