In 2005, a simple idea made the introduction of the BR 01: this idea is to turn a cockpit timepiece into a top-level aviation watch: reliable, powerful, accurate and easy to read. BR 01 turned gorgeously like magic, ‘from cockpit timepieces to watches’, subverting the aesthetic concept of modern watchmaking.
10 years of an iconic watch
Until now, Bell & Ross has developed more than 150 watches and 50 limited edition BR 01. This square watch series has also gradually become a showcase of watchmaking creativity (Tourbillon, Tourbillon chronograph, power reserve, skeleton, big date, GMT, chronograph) and innovative design (Flight Instruments, Heritage, Phantom, Skull, B-Rocket). To celebrate the tenth anniversary of this legendary model, Bell & Ross has launched a limited edition of 500 BR 01 anniversary models: ‘BR 01 10th Anniversary’.
‘From the cockpit to the watch’
At the beginning of the twenty-first century, a team of designers and aeronautical instrument experts began a bold and ambitious project: creating a watch that was perfect for professional use. Their goal is to follow the great traditions of Swiss watchmaking while meeting the needs of wearers in extreme conditions. This year is 2005. In the birth of this perfect watch, engineers, master watchmakers and professional pilots together created the BR 01 flight instrument watch.
BR 01 was born from this simple and breakthrough idea: turning an airplane cockpit timepiece into a watch. In order to ensure the practicality and legibility of the watch, the numbers, hands and square case of the watch adopt the same principle as the aviation instrument. Every detail design has its purpose and principle. This avant-garde watch perfectly illustrates the design principle of ‘form follows function’.
A square case, a round dial, and one screw at each of the four corners: this watch’s unusual concept and practical design subvert the traditional watch design concept. With this watch, Bell & Ross has created a ‘ufo’ for watchmaking, which will make everyone unforgettable.
In 2014, Bell & Ross revolutionized the design of the BR 01 by introducing the BR-X1, a powerful and sophisticated high-tech sports chronograph. The BR-X1’s geometric appearance is easy to identify, making the best of the advantages of BR01. The BR-X1’s ultra-modern and innovative case, made of grade 5 titanium, truly shows the uniqueness of this watch. Its rubber and ceramic ring acts like a shield to protect the watch in the event of a collision. BR 01 proves that Bell & Ross can keep up with the times and create better timepieces.
Ceramic watch / High-tech ceramic case / Precision technology and extraordinary performance
Bell & Ross always explores advanced technologies from the industrial and military fields, giving the BR 01 10thAnniversary modernity with a high-tech ceramic case. High-tech ceramics are favored by many high-tech industries for their reliability and elasticity. This material has a unique position in the aviation industry. Its uses include manufacturing parts that are resistant to high temperatures or acids, corrosion and erosion. High-tech ceramics are also used in the design of heat shields and rocket heads.
Bell & Ross, a constant pursuit of excellence, has refined this high-tech ceramic in its Swiss workshops and developed a special manufacturing process that strengthens the inherent characteristics of high-tech ceramics, including anti-scratch, anti-wear, Soft texture and temperature regulation that can immediately reach human body temperature when worn. The high-tech ceramics developed by Bell & Ross have hardness comparable to that of diamonds, have amazing abrasion resistance, resistance to deformation, are lighter than stainless steel, and have hypoallergenic properties. The transparent matte black ceramic, which is modeled on the anti-glare coating of aviation instrument panels, fully meets aeronautical standards, which is the focus of Bell & Ross design concept.
To use a high-tech ceramic material to create a BR 01 means that the designer must rethink the already complicated case structure. The ‘BR 01 10th Anniversary’ is modeled after the spacecraft’s head, and its ceramic case contains a steel ‘box-shaped section’, which is designed like a streamlined fuselage. The two are perfectly balanced, united into one and set off each other, while ceramics greatly enhance the elasticity of the case. This sophisticated case is equipped with a mechanical movement with automatic winding function, and its reliability has been tested repeatedly. The stainless steel case has been forged and micro-sprayed and engraved with the words ’10th Anniversary’.
Seeing simplicity in precision
Like the BR 01, the ‘BR 01 10th Anniversary’ always follows the principles of aeronautical design. According to the perfect creative idea, ‘BR 0110th Anniversary’ returns to the beginning, breaking the principle of watchmaking and strengthening the practical essence.
The design of this commemorative watch is concise and easy to read: the shape of the hands is similar to the altimeter hands; the fonts used for the numbers are the same as those on the analog chronograph dial (Isonorm); the embossed dial has prominent relief figures and hours The hands and hour markers are coated with white fluorescent coating (Superluminova®), contrasting with the black of the dial, ensuring that the wearer can easily read the time, day or night.
The dial features the ’10th Anniversary’ logo unique to this anniversary model. The mirror is made of sapphire crystal glass, which has excellent elasticity, and has been treated with anti-glare. The four screws at the four corners of the case follow the aeronautical design tradition of the BR 01, inspired by the front-mounted system of on-board instruments in the cockpit of the aircraft. These 4 screws secure the cover to the case and ensure that the watch is water-resistant to 100 meters.
BR 01 popular among purists
The square case of the BR 01 watch is simple and easy to identify, breaking the traditional watch design principles. Ten years ago, Bell & Ross demonstrated its cutting-edge creativity with this bold design, while solidifying the brand’s focus on practicality and functionality. Fighter pilots and most important members of the elite army use this watch as a professional tool. Today, BR 01 still demonstrates Bell & Ross’s iconic values with its own strength: easy to read, excellent performance, flexible and precise.
With its high-tech ceramic case, ‘BR 01 10th Anniversary’ broke through the limits of the watch, reinterpreted the original value concept of BR 01, and further enhanced the precision of the series. This limited edition number of engraved commemorative characters and only a limited number of 500 editions is a vivid illustration of the development of the series from the original cutting-edge watch to the iconic watch today.
Movement: BR-CAL.302. Mechanical automatic movement.
Functions: hour, minute and second hands.
Case: 46 mm in diameter. Matt black ceramic. Stainless steel case back, engraved
There is ’10th Anniversary’.
Dial: printed black. Hands, hour markers and numbers with white fluorescent coating
(Superluminova®). ’10th Anniversary’ logo.
Mirror: Anti-glare sapphire crystal.
Water resistance: 100 meters.
Strap: Rubber and super-elastic hybrid fiber.
Clasp: Black PVD coated steel pin buckle *