French brand Bell & Ross is synonymous with their aviation design aesthetic but every now and then the brand ride the neo-vintage wave sweeping the industry to give us some retro-style timepieces. Being a relatively young brand (founded in 1992), they don’t have much of a historic catalogue to dip into, but their neo-vintage BR V2 line sort of imagines what a Bell & Ross would have looked like in the 1950s or 60s. Ahead of Baselworld 2020, they have blooded the BR V2 line with three new models, let’s have a look at them here.
The trifecta - BR V2-92 Military Green, BR V2-94 Aéronavale Bronze, and BR V2-93 GMT Blue – is meant to represent sea, air, and land watches. All three are watches feature the Marine Nationale-style elastic Nato strap with a practical closure system, created using upcycled parachute straps. The first of the three new watches is the land-focused BR V2-92 Military Green. The watch has a 41-mm steel case, with crown guards protecting its screw-down crown, and a bidirectional steel bezel with an anodized black aluminum ring.
The olive green dial has a black outer minute ring, printed white Arabic numerals at the quarter-hour markers and simple lines for those in-between, and a subtle round date window at the 4:30 position. Time is indicated by the brand’s pilot-inspired hour and minute hands, with a simple white pointer used for the seconds counter. The watch is powered by the Sellita-based BR-CAL.302 automatic movement, storing a 38-hour power reserve. It’s priced at $2,990 on elastic canvas strap, $3,300 on a steel bracelet, and expected at retail in late March 2020.
The BR V2-93 GMT Blue uses the same steel case as the Military Green, though this one includes a 24-hour blue-and-gray bidirectional bezel. The dial of the watch uses a similar configuration to the land-inspired piece, using oversized printed white Arabic numerals for the quarter hours and a 4:30 date window, though distinguishing itself with its chronograph-style outer minute ring and small non-quarter-hour markers.
The hour and minute hands also use the white Super-LumiNova-filled, pilot-inspired configuration, though now in metal, while a red arrow hand is used in a striking contrast to the rest of the dial to indicate the time on the 24-hour scale. This watch is powered by the automatic BR-CAL.303, based on the ETA 2893-2 with a 42-hour power reserve. The watch will retail at $3,200 on the strap, $3,500 on the bracelet, and will hit stores this month.
The BR V2-94 Aéronavale Bronze. This chronograph model is inspired by the ceremonial uniform of French naval officers, from which it takes its name. It has a bronze 41-mm BR V2 case with screw-down chronograph pushers, as well as a fixed blue bezel with a 60-minute scale. The sunburst blue dial of the watch is somewhat different from those of the previous two, featuring applied, bronze-colored, oversized Arabic numerals at the 12 and 6 o’clock positions, a white outer chronograph minute ring, and subdials at the 3 and 9 o’clock marks for running seconds and a 30-minute counter, respectively.
Gilded baton hands are used to indicate the hours and minutes, with another similar pointer used for the chronograph seconds. The self-winding BR-CAL.301 is based on the ETA 2894-2 and has a 42-hour power reserve. This is a limited edition of 999 pieces is priced at $5,200 and available in late April.