Instrument BR 01, the latest addition to the Bell & Ross range, has fast become a talking point since its introduction at the 2005 Basel World Salon. Its unique personality and charisma have already unleashed the wrath of the most conformist, while aficionados wait with impatience.
Bell & Ross Instrument BR 01 – 94 under the magnifying glass
Bell & Ross Instrument BR 01 - 94
Return to first principles: from airplane watch to instrument watch.
When they set up Bell & Ross in 1993, Bruno Belamich and Carlos-A. Rosillo threw themselves into the watch making adventure by associating their new brand with a powerful image. A highly efficient watch capable of responding to the needs of the most exacting users, including NATO, the Air Force and the bomb disposal units of the French Civil security forces, Bell & Ross became the brand of choice for high quality functional watches. In 1997, they developed the Hydromax, a diver’s watch that at a depth of 11,100 meters broke the record for deep-sea water resistance. Today, Bell & Ross have forged new and stronger ties with the origins of their success by unveiling the BR 01 Instrument.
Savoir-faire and technology
In the past few years several watch making brands have associated their image to a sport or other fashionable activity. Automobiles, aviation, sailing and golf - anything goes. Without any seemingly obvious legitimacy beyond perhaps commercial interest, the connection establishes the image that the brands and their respective partners wish to project.
With the Instrument BR 01, Bell & Ross offer its customers a true moral contract. As the owner of an Instrument BR 01, you’ll not only acquire a real “on-board instrument” you’ll also get into the skin of a fighter pilot on a mission whenever you look at your BR 01 watch. In terms of marketing, it couldn’t be better. No watch brand has ever gone further with and for its customers.
On the wrist
The votes that you’ve returned in reply to our “Instrument BR 01 Express Survey” are the exact reflection of the reactions to this unusual timepiece. Love it or hate it, opinion is divided, but the watch leaves no-one who sees it indifferent. Prepare yourself for the fact that your wrist is going to attract everyone’s attention every time it appears from under your sleeve.
BR 01 Instrument: an object of envy that will suit a lady’s wrist (however slender) as well as the most virile of male wrists.
• Case: Monobloc, diameter XXL 46 mm, in stainless steel 316L satin polish finish. • Movement: Mechanical with automatic winding. • Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph • Crystal: Anti-reflecting sapphire • Case back: Stainless steel. • Water resistance: 100 meters • Bracelet: Leather or heavy-duty synthetic fabric. • Constructor’s Reference: Instrument BR 01 – 94
• On sale as from: end May 2005 NB: The construction of the case of the BR 01 with its adjustable clasp system enables the watch to be easily and rapidly transformed from wristwatch to desk watch or pendant watch, or to be attached to a dashboard.
Opinion of La Cote des Montres
A timepiece with an overtly military appearance as well as a timeless object, we haven’t heard the last of BR 01 Instrument: the most newsworthy concept watch this year.
We loved the very functional appearance of the BR 01 Instrument and its perfect legibility in all conditions. A watch that we can already predict will enjoy a successful commercial career as well as success in two other areas, as a military instrument with a civilian vocation, adored by adventurers, and as a fashion object. The model is equally appreciated when worn by the most beautiful of our female companions. We noticed a particular penchant for the black versions, with vacuum discharged carbon finish on a tinted alligator bracelet or the military style fabric bracelet.
Strong points • Originality • Personality, character • Ultra fashionable • A fighter plane on your wrist! • Modularity • Unisex • Finish • Price
Weak points • Disconcerting originality.
Our rating: *****
BR 01Instrument The concept watch freely available on sale from Bell & Ross
We would like to thank the Bell & Ross teams for their invaluable assistance.
Thierry Castagna / La Cote des Montres™ Photos Luc Virginius