Bell & Ross BR 05 Artline Dragon
2024 will be the Year of the Dragon. According to Chinese astrology, those born under the Dragon have a character that is active, strong-willed, confident, enterprising and lucky. The new BR 05 Artline Dragon watch takes on this bold personality, with exclusive laser engraving reminiscent of a tattoo.
While the Maison has built its reputation on producing efficient instrument watches designed for professionals, Bell & Ross has never held back from giving free rein to creativity. This is the BR 05 Artline’s mission: a unique variation within the BR 05 line allowing for a freer range of artistic expression. The Maison aims to offer watches with ornate finishes: an ambition clearly expressed in the version embellished with gadrooning. “We wanted to launch a watch that was dressy and decorated. The BR 05 had potential, with a case with ample space for embellishment”,
Bell & Ross’ Creative Director Bruno Belamich
noted at the launch of the first Artline model.
Now, Bell & Ross is going further. Part of the Maison’s philosophy is pushing one’s limits. The BR 05 Artline Dragon moves into a whole new field by adopting graphic codes linked to the art of tattooing. Playing on light and shadow through the relative fineness and thickness of each stroke, this line work is crucial to transcending the realm of drawing to that of a metal tattoo.
According to Chinese astrology, the year of the Wood Dragon will begin on Chinese New Year, which lands on 10 February 2024 – also known as Spring Festival. The dragon is more than a mythical creature; it is a major cultural and spiritual reference. It evokes power because it actively participates in the world’s equilibrium. Bringing rain for the crops, the dragon is an omen of life. To create the motif on the new BR 05 Artline Dragon watch, Bell & Ross has invoked highly symbolic natural elements, such as the sun and moon, as well as references to flora and fauna, as with the swallow motif.
In popular culture, the dragon is the marker of strong, courageous, powerful individuals, but it also symbolises benevolence, prosperity and luck. The dragons of Asian mythologies bring good news.
For artists, the dragon motif is a tireless source of inspiration with endless variations, from the most figurative to the most refined. Dragons are thought to be an amalgamation of many animals, with their snake like bodies, deer antlers and eagle claws, not to mention their carp scales and eyes of a demon. The graphic designer’s work meets that of the watchmakers to create a harmonious motif across the entire watch, with engraving on its different surfaces.
The BR 05 Artline Dragon still features the collection’s principle of a bezel with rounded corners, attached to the case by four screws. It was also necessary to work around the readability of the watch’s time indications: another sign of boldness on this avant-garde timepiece.
On the BR 05 Artline Dragon’s dial and integrated bracelet, the decorative motif is finely engraved. The ancestral technique of engraving has been practised in China for more than a millennium.
In watchmaking, engraving is traditionally considered the first non-functional enrichment of a timepiece. With its new BR 05 Artline Dragon, Bell & Ross pays homage to Chinese culture and its art of engraving, while pushing its mastery of watchmaking techniques a little further. To produce the BR 05 Artline Dragon’s case and links on the integrated bracelet, an exceptional laser engraving technique is used. For the bracelet, this means engraving each link individually before assembly. There is no room for error: perfect precision is required to make sure the pattern is not distorted. Each link is a feat in itself, with continuity of design ensured from one component to the next.
Contemporary elegance concentrated
Since its launch in 2019, the BR 05 line has been the tangible expression of Bell & Ross’ desire to offer an urban watch with contemporary elegance.
Ever faithful to the desire for technical excellence, which is the guiding principle behind the development of all Bell & Ross watchmaking instruments, the BR 05 Dragon features a BR-CAL.321 self-winding mechanical movement. It has a 54-hour power reserve, ensuring not only advanced chronometric precision, but also great ease of use for active lifestyles. The hour graduation is subtly positioned at the level of the flange so as not to compromise the design.
Designed to celebrate the strong symbolism of the Chinese dragon on the advent of this new year, the BR 05 Artline Dragon is deliberately created as a rare piece – not only because of its character, but also the complexity of its design. This exceptional timepiece will only be produced in a limited edition of 99 pieces. The BR 05 Artline Dragon is on sale exclusively in Bell & Ross boutiques and e-boutiques.