Bell & Ross came to the market in 1992 determined to offer high quality Swiss timepieces to professionals in extreme working environments (see Bell & Ross: Watches for Professionals). Now with the instantly recognizable square design of the Instrument collection (the cases literally look like gauges lifted directly off of fighter jets or submarines), Bell & Ross may have found the individuality it needs to keep competing with better known and long-established brands. Bell & Ross continues to push forward with a Breitling-like passion for professional timepieces, and a combination of avant-garde style and Swiss watch making tradition.
All the watches in the Bell & Ross Instrument collection have automatic ETA movements, anti-reflective sapphire crystals, luminescent hands and markers, and are water-resistant to 100 meters (about 330 feet). There are 11 different models available with the following complications:
- No date.
- Small date.
- Big date.
- Power reserve.
Across these five basic versions, you can get all kinds of variations, including:
- Stainless steel, black carbon finished steel, pink gold, or titanium cases.
- Leather, canvas, rubber, or alligator straps.
- Limited edition orange or blue accents (blue version pictured here).
- Diamond encrusted with mother-of-pearl dials.
The Instrument Collection has become the symbol of the company’s brand image, and will likely be their calling card for many years to come. While Bell & Ross may want you to believe that their Instrument collection is for serious professionals, I believe that these watches will be very intriguing to the enthusiast who appreciates style and passion over brand and history. The cornerstone of this business is quality and character — something that Bell & Ross seems to have come to understand very well.
By James Stacey