The steel-cased Bell & Ross BR05 is a fresh, modern interpretation of the genre-defining, premium all-steel sports watches of the 1970s, established by the Gerald Genta-designed AP Royal Oak in 1972 and the Patek Philippe Nautilus in 1976. This new category of luxury timepieces became the ultimate expression of sophistication and style of that decade and they continue to inspire new collections to this day. Although an 18k rose-gold model and a skeleton dial version are included in the BR05 lineup, for me it’s the purest all-steel pieces that are the most successful in expressing the new design direction of this Bell & Ross collection.
Inspired by aircraft instruments, elements of their signature BR01 and BR03 collections are evident in the new BR05, however, the square case with its rounded corners has been finessed for a less literal interpretation from the cockpit. More sophisticated, the 40mm case, bezel and lugs are now integrated into a harmonious, elegant design while still bearing the familiar codes of the heritage Bell & Ross collections, such as large Arabic numerals, the four case screws – now securing the bezel in place – and round dial within a square frame.
The new pieces are all time and date only, powered by the BR-CAL.321 automatic movement, with a 42-hour power reserve, which is visible through the case back. The three satin-polished stainless steel versions are offered with three dial options, including classic black, deep blue, and a dark silver. (The black dial is the only one with minute markings.)
The bracelets have a clean, sporty aesthetic, with alternating satin-finished and polished surfaces, and are designed to fuse with the cases to form a unified piece, as are the ribbed black or blue rubber straps, which are standard options across all steel, gold and skeleton versions. Guards protect the screw-down crown and, combined with a water-resistance of 100m, make the BR05 the perfect companion for the active urbanite who is always ready for adventure.
• Bell & Ross BR05 steel-on-steel, $4900, and steel-on-rubber, $4 400. Visit www.bellross.com.