The Bell & Ross company (Yep, that’s an ampersand. The joke is that Bell & Ross got theirs from Vacheron Constantin, who used to be Vacheron & Constantin.) has been a recurring subject here on Watch Report. We like many of their watches, particularly the aircraft-styled Instrument collection and their new line of dive watches. Today we’ve got some new models from B&R, so let’s take a look and see what’s changed.
First up is the BR01 Instrument Pro Titanium. Like their predecessor Instrument models, it has the square case, bold dial and aircraft-gauge style paired with a reliable ETA mechanical movement. This new model is now made of lightweight titanium, and they’ve also changed the style of the hour and minute hands to a beveled/polished look that I quite like. It’s very similar to the style of the hands on the Seiko Marinemaster SBDX001, another watch slated for review here. The BR01 has a chronograph, using the ETA 2892 base coupled with a Dubois-Dupraz chronograph module. Specs are 46mm, grade-2 titanium with a satin finish. The dial is grey with white Superluminova coating on hands and hour markers. The crystal is sapphire with an anti-reflective coating, and the strap is rubber.
About the only thing I don’t like is the MSRP of 5500 Euros, or $7900. That’s quite a bit for a stock-ETA watch, and probably reflects how well B&R has been doing in the marketplace with the Instrument series.
The other new model is the BRS Ceramic Instrument. This pays homage to the immensely influential Chanel J12 series, debuting in 2000, which were the first to ship watches made from super-tough white and black ceramics.
(The picture is from the Chanel site) Ever since the J12, other companies have introduced watches made of ceramics, which we consider a fine thing: ceramics make excellent watch cases and bracelets. I should also note that other companies have been making ceramic watches for a while, such as Rado, but for some reason the J12 proved more influential. Such is fashion.
Bell & Ross have done some interesting things with it – they used it to make an ultra-thin watch of more moderate size, which combined with the quartz movement chosen should result in a fantastically durable watch.
The specifications for the Ceramic Instrument
- 55g, 6.8mm by 39mm. Only 7mm less than the Ti Pro, but that’s quite a lot in a square watch.
- More than one material is available – white or black ceramic, steel or gold, with or without diamonds around the bezel.
- List prices range from 2900 to 7900 Euros, or 4100USD to 11,300USD.
Here’s a shot of the family faces, courtesy of their PR: