Bell & Ross, known for its cool square watches, returns with, well, a cool square watch. This French brand didn’t take part in Watches & Wonders, but it might well be benefitting from that decision. Now that everything is winding down, they’ll be catching the attention of everyone looking for that last little horological hit before we melt into the summer season and the summer season melts us.
Bell & Ross was founded in Paris and marries a love of horology with aviation and sports cars, the passions of the brand’s founders and namesakes Bruno Belamich (whom I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing) and Carlos Rosillo. The square case (which is undoubtedly an icon in watchmaking now) returns with the new BR 03-93 GMT watch. It’s based on old-school aeronautical instruments, particularly the big square ones found in old planes.
It takes on a new look here. Compared to the blacked-out appearance we’re used to, this one features a classical brushed look with polished exposed screws and a polished bevel around the entire case. What stands out more is the ‘Coke’ bezel, which is now operable by the user. The older version of this piece had a fixed 24-hour GMT bezel, but this one is fully turnable, wait, is that a word? This means you can use this watch to time in three different timezones, just like the GMT Master II (for a demo of how that works, read my full review of the 126710BLNR).
The dial is exceptionally clear; this is designed to be used professionally, after all. The numbers are oversized and filled with lume, as are the hands. There’s even a small date window nestled in there to make it even more practical. Perhaps the most practical thing about this one, though, is the size. You see, some Bell & Ross watches can be a little big, but not this; it’s 42mm x 11.3mm. It also comes with a wide tapering leather strap to prevent it from being too cumbersome or the corners digging in.
Inside the watch is an ETA calibre 2893-2, which Bell & Ross renames the BR-CAL.303 in this instance. It has a 42-hour power reserve and a beat rate of 4Hz. It also has the extra GMT hand. It’s not hard to add but still the entire point of this watch.
It’s not a limited edition piece this one, and it’ll cost $4200.