These watches were made for the military

  • Style
  • Thursday, 26 May 2016

Desert Type BR 03-92. Photos: Bell & Ross

As a watchmaker, Bell & Ross is well known for creating luxury timepieces inspired by the world of aviation. The latest models from the BR 03 Desert Type collection are not any different in that respect.

They were designed to meet the specifications of air forces operating in warm countries. Therefore, the watches come sand-coloured – just like the outfits worn by pilots on desert missions, and equipped with a chronograph function.

Each is said to perfectly illustrate four fundamental principles of Bell & Ross: Legibility, functionality, precision and water resistance. The strap (available in beige leather or black ultra-resistant fabric) denotes a practical purpose, as well.

Bell & Ross even opted for ceramic in a black through-coloured shade for the case of its new chronograph. Hypoallergenic and ultra-light, the material apparently offers an exceptional feel and quickly adapts to body temperature for ultimate comfort.

The anti-reflective crystal is made of sapphire, a very tough material exhibiting tried-and-tested robustness. The four screws in the corners of the case evoke the aeronautical origins of the BR 01, using the front-mounting system of on board instruments featured in aircraft cockpits.

Formed by two overlapping inserts, the dial has a beige upper section cut away around the numerals and indices. This reveals the black photoluminescent coating covering the lower insert for maximum legibility.

The BR 03 Desert Type is available in three versions, each with its own Swiss movement. The focus of the 42mm version, the BR 03-92 and BR 03-94 chronograph, happens to be the large opening generally used for instrument watches.

The 39mm BR S is more suited for smaller wrists – or perhaps, women wishing to stand out from the crowd. While originally developed for fighter pilots, these designs will also delight lovers of characterful watches. – Bervin Cheong

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