Bell & Ross CEO Carlos Rosillo speaks to aBlogtoWatch at Baselworld presenting the brand’s new watches for 2013. We look at new BR01, BR03, and BR 123 and BR 126 models. Clearly more emphasis on aviation and aviation history. Later we looked at the watches and will continue to follow up with Bell & Ross’s new timepieces for this year. bellross.com
The Bell & Ross BR-X1 Skeleton Tourbillon Sapphire is a whole hell of a long way to get a brand whose humble beginnings started with instrument watches (remember B&R’s watches used to be manufactured by German tool watch master Sinn), but a journey that has gotten considerably more impressive as the Experimental line continues to find interesting ways to visually and technologically push the envelope. Sapphire crystal is more or less scratch-proof, but its hardness has made it especially hard to utilize in anything other than very simple shapes. Technology and techniques have improved in recent decades, however, with more completely sapphire-cased watches, as well as prices for them starting to come down such as with the Hublot Big Bang UNICO Sapphire (hands-on) – though they tend to stay more infrequent and expensive even than precious metal instance watches.One thing that’s particularly neat about the X1 series watches, however, is that no matter how outlandish each layout gets, it still carries Bell & Ross’ core design language; which square 45mm case, screwed together at each of the four corners. Although this DNA does take through to the Bell & Ross BR-X1 Skeleton Tourbillon Sapphire, were it not for its instance signatures, this one may be mistaken for something other than a Bell & Ross watch, because the primary timekeeping cues (the hour and second hands) were shrunken to the upper 12:00 region of this dial. While this does give plenty of opportunity to enjoy the flying tourbillon’s motion against most of the clear, negative distance from the sapphire, it does detract somewhat from overall utility and legibility in comparison with the new pilot and instrument watches — something that other Experimental offerings have claimed.