Bell & Ross BR-X5 takes brand’s ‘Jewel of Strength’ to next level
Ever at the forefront of innovation and design for timepieces reminiscent of aviation and the aeronautical, Bell & Ross takes flight once again with the BR-X5; a forward-looking, sophisticated watch that remains in-line with the familiar attitudes that have helped define the brand throughout the decades, specifically that of the BR 05 collection.
When the collection debuted in 2019, the BR 05 was Bell & Ross’ own “jewel of strength”, full of character with carefully executed finishes — a sculptural and seductive instrument that is not only chic and powerful, but also exude strength and elegance for modern masculinity. The collection housed a family of timepieces with an integrated bracelet that featured the same cohesive design as the case; designed meticulously to follow the contours of the wrist, for a secure and comfortable fit all day long, in any given situation.
The BR 05 also came in a few models to suit the modern day gentleman from all walks of life: the BR 05 Chrono with its two snailed counters (chronograph minute counter at 9 o’clock, and small seconds at 3 o’clock) reminiscent of the 1970s, powered by a chronograph movement that was a mechanical complication adapted to the pace of urban life; and the BR 05 GMT with its red GMT arrow-hand — a symbol of orientation in time and space, on the 24-hour graduated inner bezel showing the time in the wearer’s country of origin no matter his location at other parts of the globe.
Not to mention, the limited edition BR 05 Artline, incorporating an artistic dimension (art) in its design (line) from the 1930s industrial design trend, the Stream-Line; fluid lines inspired by speed and aerodynamics, parallel to Bell & Ross’ watchmaking DNA.
Three years later, the new BR-X5 iteration elevates the original BR 05 collection to its pinnacle, by drawing from the predecessor’s urban focused design in a unique and distinctly geometric fashion, for a new and sleek design that balanced perfectly the sporty design with practical reliability seen in its black steel and ice blue steel models.
Debuted in 2019, it was a sculptural and seductive instrument that exudes strength and elegance for modern masculinity, with an integrated bracelet designed to follow the contours of the wrist, for a secure and comfortable fit all day long, in any given situation.
Measuring 41mm in diameter with an approachable thickness of 12.8mm, the case — of polished, satin-brushed and micro-blasted finishings — features a sandwich type multi-layer construction, discreet when viewed from the front, but comes into its own when seen from the side. It highlights the senses of streamlined lightness and industrial resistance that permeates through the avant-garde aesthetic, carried through to the hollowed-out architecture of the case middle, revealing a technical construction that optimizes lightness without compromising on utility or water resistance.
Made from the same block of metal as the steel core, the crown ensures the superior protection of the timepiece and its movement held within; whereas flanking the core is Bell & Ross’ unmistakable signature look of solidity: the square bezel, highlighted via a rubber ring; the caseback, both fixed to the two steel plates that form the top and bottom of the case; all kept watertight to 100m by four screws that pass through the thickness of the case via four columns.
Safe within the encasement the BR-X5 displays proudly a highly refined expression of the original urban instrument shape upon the dial. Providing a favorable background for the Super-LumiNova® applique indices and metal skeletonised hour and minute hands, each of the two colorways — black and ice blue — represents two sides of the brand’s appeal: the black, a classic and timeless noir highlighted with bright, sharp accents of red; the ice blue, the tasteful spirit of sport and play, which once defined the urban BR 05.
Developed in partnership between Bell & Ross and the esteemed mechanical manufacture Kenissi, the mechanism for the automatic movement features in design, development, and fine-tuning an exclusive configuration in compliance with the watch brand’s defined specifications.
The “Jekyll and Hyde” dials of both the BR-X5 models evoke the ever-present aeronautical DNA of Bell & Ross, taking inspirational cues from the analog flight instruments, and melding them into the contemporarily oriented timepiece with its date window towards the 3 o’clock position, and a stepped power reserve indicator with its 3-day scale hinting, the impressive mechanism powering the watch from within.
The Calibre BR-CAL.323 that makes the BR-X5 tick is one of the most significant calibers in the Bell & Ross’ storied history. Developed in partnership between the French brand and the esteemed mechanical manufacture Kenissi, the mechanism for the automatic movement is one of nobility several years in the making. Representing a new era in mechanical thinking within the brand’s catalog, and a continued expression of Bell & Ross’ cutting-edge work, it features in design, development, and fine-tuning, an exclusive configuration in compliance with the brand’s defined specifications.
“While aesthetic daring was the guiding principle throughout the creative stages of the BR-X5, when it came to timekeeping reliability and precision, the notion of risk was banished from our vocabulary.”
— Bruno Belamich, Creative Director of Bell & Ross
The 28-jewel Calibre BR-CAL.323 possesses an important and dependable 70-hour power reserve that runs on a smooth frequency of 28,000 alt/h. It is incredibly precise in its timekeeping, thanks to a variable-inertia balance wheel of a COSC certification chronometer-grade spec. Furthermore, the movement is equipped with a rapid date correction device, which allows for a quick and seamless date adjustment without any effect on the timekeeping.
All the magnificence of the Calibre BR-CAL.323, enhanced through its apparent attention to detail and fine finishing throughout, is visible through the sapphire exhibition caseback with the Bell & Ross signed skeletonized oscillating weight.
Available in black steel and ice blue steel iterations, with matching steel bracelet or openworked rubber strap, the BR-X5 comes with a 5-year warranty, impressively exceeding the previous standard warranty of 2 years for the Bell & Ross preceding timepieces.