Étonnamment remarquable – the new Bell & Ross military collection is a spot on homage to the defence forces
Let’s not kid ourselves; hearing the name Bell & Ross we all rush in expecting square shaped cockpit watches and when we see the traditional round dialled watches, there is usually a gasp of annoyance.
After all, Bell & Ross have traditionally been known for creating excellent aviation related timepieces.
So when Bell & Ross announced this new series of watches, it was with less than my customary enthusiasm that I approached the press release.
How wrong was I ?
Bell & Ross’s passion about military history and its functional and aesthetic archetypes is evident in this new 2020 lineup of military inspired watches. The new models — BR V2 series — takes this military inspiration and splits it into three categories: air, land and sea.
Features of reference BRV293-BLU-ST GMT Blue – the air version
Following on from the BR V2-93 GMT 24H launched in 2018, the new 41mm diameter satin-polished steel watch features the automatic winding mechanical movement, calibre BR-CAL.303.
The stand out feature is the blue and grey —two-colour, grey for daytime and blue for night-time — anodised aluminium disc bezel, that rotates bi-directionally with a 24-hour scale.
The watch features a 100m (10 ATM) water resistance.
The dial is blue sun-ray offering great legibility with numerals and indices coated in white Superluminova® and metal skeletonized Superluminova®-filled hour and minute hands.
The dial shows the functions of hours, minutes and central seconds and date, along with a rapid-setting second time hand that is independent from the hour hand. The dial is covered by a box-type sapphire with anti-reflective coating.
Features of reference BRV292-MKA-ST Military Green – the ground version
It comes on a grey and blue elastic canvas strap or satin-polished steel strap option.
The new sport-chic 41mm diameter satin-polished steel watch features the automatic winding mechanical movement, calibre BR-CAL.302. The stand out feature is the black anodised aluminium disc bezel, that rotates bi-directionally and features a 60-minute scale. The watch has a 100m (10 ATM) water resistance.
The dial is a khaki camouflage green offering far great legibility with green Superluminova® numerals and indices and black skeletonized hour and minute hands filled with green-coloured Superluminova®. There dial shows the functions of hours, minutes and central seconds and date at 4.30. The dial is covered by a box-type sapphire with anti-reflective coating.
It comes on a khaki and black elastic canvas strap or satin-polished steel strap.
Features of reference BRV294-BLU-BR/SCA Aéronavale Bronze in a limited edition of 999 – the sea version
The new 41mm diameter CuAI7Si2 bronzed case watch features the automatic winding mechanical movement, calibre BR-CAL.301. The stand out feature is the combination of blue dial with that of the bronze case.
The version also features a blue anodised aluminium ring bezel with a 60-minute scale and screw-down crown at 3’o clock and push-buttons at 2 and 4’o clock. The watch has a 100m (10 ATM) water resistance.
The dial shows the traditional functions of hours, minutes, small seconds at 3’o clock and date at 4.30, along with a chronograph featuring a 30-min timer at 9’o clock and a central chronograph seconds hand.
It comes on a blue calfskin strap with a satin-polished bronze buckle.
Watch Ya Gonna Do About It?
Out of the three, it’s hard to choose a favourite version. Usually in releases like these, this is pretty simple. Here however, Bell & Ross have left us dazed. The watches are so different that it’s hard to compare between them. Sure the movements are very similar and so is the case sizing. But the visual aesthetics are very different.
The BR V2-93 GMT Blue is perhaps the most simplistic versions of a GMT function watch we have seen in recent years.
The most striking feature of this watch is the dial and its legibility considering it’s a GMT watch. The galvanic blue dial featuring a sun-ray pattern is a nod to the world of air travel. On this dial the second hand counterweight is subtly styled in the shape of an aircraft.
The GMT hand with its red arrow again stands out aiding the readability of the dial.
The BR V2-93 GMT Blue is an under the radar, simplistic watch. It doesn’t shout, it discreetly aides in telling of multiple times.
The BR V2-92 Military Green on the other hand has the best legibility out of the three; it’s a no nonsense military watch with the camouflage green one of the best iterations of this colour we have seen so far.
And then there’s the BR V2-94 Aéronavale Bronze whose aesthetics are designed to combine the subtle elegance of the prestigious ceremonial uniform of French naval officers.
Visually striking, Bell & Ross have got the combination of blue and golden bronze just right.
Add to this ocean blue sun-ray the gilded and polished numerals and indices along with satin-polished and gilded skeleton Super-LumiNova®-filled hour and minute hands, and what you get in a stunning watch with killer looks.
You know what, for a change, we aren’t going to choose a favourite. They are all good within their intended purposes. If you wish to start a military inspired. collection, this would be the time. As a collection featuring nods to air, land and sea, it doesn’t get better than this.
For more information on this watch and other Bell & Ross watches, head to their website here.