Introducing the Bell & Ross BR-05 Artline Dragon Watch For Chinese New Year

Bell & Ross' watch has a street art look to it to mark the year of the dragon.


We’ve already seen a great number of Chinese New Year watches so far, a surprising number, actually. I’m not sure there have been this many watches released that mark the occasion, or maybe it’s always been like this, and we’ve just never covered them that much. Regardless of what the answer to that may be, we’ve got another one for you in the form of the superb-looking Bell & Ross BR-05 Artline Dragon watch.

The BR-05 is Bell & Ross’ integrated-bracelet sports watch, and I know what you’re thinking: “We’ve had far too many of these kinds of watches, and they all look exactly the same”. Well, you’re mostly right, except for this one as Bell & Ross has gone for something special. 

Instead of making a little sculpture for the dial and glueing it on or painting it in a different colour, Bell & Ross has turned the entire watch into a piece of artwork. A special laser engraver is used to emblazon the 40mm x 10.33mm steel case in this style, which is much flatter than if it had been engraved by hand, but the darkness of the engraved parts creates the contrast you need to clearly see the floral and fauna motifs, and the dragon, of course.

In the true spirit of this time of year, the dragon takes centre stage in the dial, glaring outwards at you as if looking into your soul. You can also follow its body down the bracelet links as it curves round on itself in the style of Chinese dragons. I love the detail of the scales which stand out clearly thanks to the laser engraving, and you can clearly see what Bell & Ross were aiming for.

Inside the watch is the self-winding calibre BR-CAL.321, which is made by Sellita for Bell & Ross. The watch has a 54-hour power reserve and a 4Hz beat rate, it follows the same design as the movements in the other watches. Although I know Bell & Ross has a budget to keep to, it would’ve been nice to see that detail on the caseback as other watchmakers have done.

That leads me to my only other criticism of this watch, which is its hands. I know they want to be arty and these are press renderings rather than photos of the real watch, but the wavy hands seem to blend into the dial really easily. Perhaps it’s right in person, but in these photos, the watch looks hard to read. It’s also expensive at £7200 and it’s limited to 99 pieces, still, I like the almost street art style they went for with this one.