Bell & Ross threw its hat into the highly competitive integrated steel sports watch ring last year with the new BR 05 model line. Clearly inspired by the success of luxury steel sports watches but sticking to their characteristic round dial in a square case shape, the BR 05 opened up a new segment of the French watch brand. This year the brand grows the collection with the introduction of a chronograph, the BR 05 Chrono – available in two models, Black Steel and Blue Steel.
While the time-only models were 40 mm in size, the chronographs are slightly bigger. Both models feature a 42 mm stainless steel case that has a brushed surfaces and polished bevels and is 13.5 mm in profile. The crown-guard and pushers appear as one unit and the screw-down crown carries the brand’s ampersand logo in relief. Like all other watches in the BR 05 line, this has a sapphire crystal caseback and is depth-rated to 100 meters.
There are two dial options – jet black or navy blue – and both have a sunray finish. The chronograph has a bi-compax layout and the two snailed counters (a 30-minute counter at 9 o'clock and a running seconds hand at 3) are essentially two squares with rounded-off edges. Legibility is excellent and there is generous use of Super-Luminova on the applied hour indices and hands.
Caliber BR-CAL.301, a self-winding mechanical movement based on the popular ETA 2894-2 and widely used in Bell & Ross chronograph watches, is called up for duty here again. It is a 4 Hz movement with a power reserve of 72 hours amassed by an open-worked rotor.
Paired with an integrated steel bracelet whose lines flow seamlessly from those of the case, the watch is also available on a rubber strap. It will retail or €5,400 on a rubber strap and €5,900 on the steel bracelet.