This year marks the 40th anniversary of French carmaker Renault’s involvement in Formula One. And to celebrate this landmark, official partner Bell & Ross has unveiled a limited edition chronograph – the BR126 Renault Sport 40th Anniversary.
The Renault Sport Formula One Team returned to Formula One last year but the French team has been involved with the sport for years now both as a constructor and engine supplier. Renault famously won two constructor’s championship in 2005 and 2006 with Fernando Alonso.
The chronograph is inspired by the Renault RS01, the first Formula One car to be powered by a turbocharged engine. The first to use radial tires (Michelin), it was designed by André de Cortanze and Jean-Pierre Jabouille and made its debut at the 1977 British Grand Prix.
Based on the BR126 Vintage models, this retro-styled Bell & Ross takes its inspiration from the RS01’s design codes most notably the yellow and black color scheme that was adopted by the racing team.
It uses a 41 mm case made of satin-finish steel with a domed anti-reflective sapphire crystal and piston pushers for the chronograph function. The steel caseback features an engraving of the historic logos of Renault from the Seventies and a checkered flag seen at the finish line of races.
As mentioned earlier, the black and yellow dial is a nod to the colors of the Renault Sport Formula One Team. The timing scale is in black on a yellow strip, reminiscent of the hatched decoration of Formula 1 in the Seventies. A running seconds dial sits at 3 o’ clock and a 30 minute counter sits at 9. The central chronograph seconds hand takes the same yellow color as the strip on the dial. The historic Renault logo and chequered flag appear here as well and the watch is paired with a vintage-style rubber strap.
This timepiece is powered by Calibre BR-CAL.301, a self-winding mechanical movement based on the popular ETA 2894-2. It is a 4 Hz movement with a power reserve of 72 hours and is widely used in Bell & Ross chronograph watches.
This limited edition of 170 pieces is a reference to the number of Renault’s victories in Formula 1. The watch will retail at $4,545 (AED16,713).