Bell & Ross has always been passionate about military history, and particularly that of aviation, which made precise timekeeping one of its key navigational tools. The brand’s new model illustrates the unique parallel between the history of aviation and that of watch-making.
In 2011 Bell & Ross reached a key stage in its history, updating the first wrist watches worn during the First World War: the PW1 (Pocket Watch 1), and its development into a wrist watch, the Vintage WW1 (Wrist Watch 1).
In 2012, Bell & Ross is marking another key moment in the history of military watch making by reinterpreting Second World War navigational instruments with the Vintage WW2 Bomber Régulateur.
Renaissance of a legendary tool
By creating the Vintage WW2 Bomber Régulateur (Wrist Watch 2), Bell & Ross pays tribute to the timekeeping instruments used by bomber navigators in the 1930s and 1940s.
The Vintage WW2 Observation Watch emphasizes the minutes display, essential for aviators in calculating their position or fl ight speed. The modern version of this functional and historical model possesses the ergonomics and immediate legibility of a navigator’s watch.
The remarkable legibility of the dial Watches of the period needed to be immediately clear to respond to the pilot’s needs. The Vintage WW2 adopts the same style with its large 49mm diameter case. To ensure perfect legibility, the minutes are displayed across the full width of the dial. This aspect is again highlighted by the sand-colored digits contrasting against the black dial.
A complication promoting legibility Bell & Ross has opted for a "regulator" movement that ensures optimum legibility of the minutes by separating the time information. The Vintage WW2 therefore features a central hand for the minutes, a counter for the hours, and a small independent seconds hand, enabling a fast and precise reading of short amounts of time. it is a swiss-made complication movement.
Ergonomic controls The large bidirectional notched bezel is used to mark a certain point in time. it is the most characteristic identifying element inspired by the navigational instrument. For greater comfort, the oversized crown has been placed on the left at 9 o’clock, rather than the more traditionally placed 3 o’clock. The large grooved crown and the very wide-notched bezel ensure optimal ease of use, facilitating operation while wearing gloves. As with the original timepieces, the Vintage WW2 has mobile strap fastenings which adjust to the wrist for absolute comfort.
Military finishes inspired by history The Vintage WW2 features a case with a "gun-metal grey" steel fi nish with a aged look, giving it the appearance of a watch which has gained a patina over time. The sand-colored hands, numerals and index markers, and the mat leather strap emphasize the authentic nature of this timepiece.
A new icon
Armed with its unique military expertise, Bell & Ross reinterprets the authentic spirit of a navigational tool from the 1930s and 1940s and gives it modern watch-making qualities. The Vintage WW2 Bomber Régulateur is a real embodiment of master watch-making expertise, combining a complication movement with a sophisticated case, demonstrating the brand’s expertise. By accurately reflecting period style, this model also opens a new chapter in the development of Bell & Ross design with an emphasis on the Second World War. Illustrating the watch-making firm’s philosophy, which favors the absolute legibility of the time, this new model’s unique design is surprisingly original and authentic. It will appeal to both collectors of military watches and watch-making connoisseurs.
Bell & Ross Vintage WW2 Bomber Régulateur
Dubois Dépraz mechanical regulator with automatic winding.
49 mm. Sandblasted steel case with grey PVD* finish.
hours (counter at 6 o’clock), minutes (central hand), seconds (counter at 12 o’clock). Bidirectional notched bezel.
black. Numerals, index and hands covered in a sand-colored photo-luminescent coating.