By Osheen Arakelian

Born of a dream between Shaw Harley Davidson and Bell & Ross to conquer the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, America, the 2 iconic companies after much deliberation and coaxing, decided it was time to live the dream. Thus was born what you see before you today, the Shaw Harley Davidson B-Rocket motorcycle that’s accompanied by 2 limited edition wristwatches, The BR1-01 chronograph and its smaller cousin, the BR-03 B-Rocket.

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The journey began roughly 3 years ago in the UK when the first pencil line was drawn and the incredibly simple idea of a unique, aerodynamic and vintage looking motorcycle started taking shape. The end result was an incredible design that evoked the era of American aviation set in the 1950s and 60s. From there everything was in place and just 3 years later the B-Rocket was launched in France, with a subsequent tour seeing the bike travel across the Atlantic and to its home, the Bonneville Salt Flats. Who else but Bell & Ross would accompany this beautiful and unique motorcycle on its journey and although the bike is a beautiful piece of engineering, the timepiece is the real reason we’re here today so let’s get to the good stuff!

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A direct offshoot of the B-Rocket the BR-01 B-Rocket is the ultimate drivers watch and has the same design aesthetics as the B-Rocket motorcycle. The case is an impressive 46mm in diameter and houses a wonderful chronograph function that is the highlight of the BR-01 B-Rocket. Equipped with a large minute counter, with a tachymetric scale on the outer edge of the dial, which measures short periods of time is a wonderful looking chronograph that allows instant performance display. It also houses 3 additional counters: 60 second, 30 minute and 12 hour counter. Its tied back to the B-Rocket beautifully with the replication of the graphics display used for the experimental testing vehicle.

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The more elaborate BR-03 B-Rocket is also tied beautifully to the B-Rocket motorcycle but is housed in a smaller 42mm case finished in satin-brushed steel and fitted with two complications. The hours, minutes and seconds display with large date window and a power-reserve indicator. The unique dial features various cut-outs in the dial revealing the discs operating the large date window, highlighting the sophistication of the movement underneath. The circular power reserve counter at 6 o’clock is reminiscent and taken from the fuel gauge seen on the B-Rocket motorcycle and cars of that era.

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Both use Swiss self-winding mechanical movements and have satin-brushed finishes with the use of a matte black dial. The graphic display of each piece is reminiscent of the motorcycle tachymeter or airplane instrument panel in both appearance and colour. The use of red accents on the dial also help tie the timepieces to the B-Rocket motorcycle as can be seen on the turbines and tachymeter. Both are finished off using sapphire crystal with anti-glare coating and have a water resistance of 100 meters.

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One my personal favourites from Bell & Ross and one that really hits the mark in all respects. For more info, please visit bellross.com

Technical Specifications

BR-01 B-Rocket

Movement: Swiss mechanical automatic
Functions: hours, minutes and small seconds. Date. Tachymeter scale. Chronograph: Three-counter (60 seconds, 30 minutes and 12 hours accumulators).
Case: diameter 46 mm. Satin-polished steel. The red push-button is made from steel with a polycarbonate-ABS protective cover.
Dial: matte black. Skeletonised metallic hours and minutes hands filled with superluminova.
Crystal: antireflective sapphire
Water-resistance: 100 m.
Strap: padded black leather, edged in red and black heavy-duty canvas.
Buckle: pin buckle. Satin-polished steel.

BR-03 B-Rocket
Movement: Swiss mechanical automatic.
Functions: hours, minutes and seconds. Big date at 12 o’clock. Power reserve indicator.
Case: diameter 42 mm. Satin-polished steel.
Dial: matte black. Skeletonised metallic hours and minutes hands filled with superluminova.
Crystal: antireflective sapphire.
Water-resistance: 100 m.
Strap: added black leather, edged in red and black heavy-duty canvas.
Buckle: pin buckle. Satin-polished steel.

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Osheen Arakelian – Contributing Editor

Drawing on a lifelong love of horology and a more recent introduction to appreciation of fine whisky, Osheen brought the two together with watch & whisky. He is proprietor of the site, which covers everything related to watches and whisky. In between completing a degree in commercial law and supporting a rich social life, he is out and about attending all the latest watch and whisky events Sydney has to offer. His passion has also taken him around Australia attending a number of events and he hopes to continue his career in the watch industry on a more serious level after he graduates. Read his articles here.