Bell & Rossi is a company with head office in Paris, and manufacturing facility in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. It was founded in 1992 by French-Swiss designer Bruno Belamich, who had studied at the École Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle, in Paris, and entrepreneur Carlos A. Rosillo, who had studied at the HEC (École des Hautes Etudes Commerciales) business school in Paris. They were both 28 at the time, and shared a passion for watches. Their concept for the brand was based on highly functional watches, whose form is defined by their specialist functions – linked primarily to aviation, but also diving and bomb disposal work. And so they initially began working with German brand Sinn, which had a powerful aviation background and also made cockpit instruments. The first collections of watches had Swiss-made movements by Valjoux and Lemania, and were co-branded by Sinn and Bell & Ross.
In 1997, Chanel Horlogerie became a minority shareholder of the company and injected capital. Successively this also gave Bell & Ross the chance to begin manufacturing their own watches in the Chanel manufacture named Châtelain, based in Le Chaux-de-Fonds, which makes watches for Chanel and other third-party clients; in 2002, the partnership with Sinn came to an end. The partnership with Chanel contributed another important factor: their familiarity with ceramics as a case material.
In 2005, Bell & Ross presented their BR 01, a watch based on the design of a cockpit altimeter. Other watch families include the BR-X1 aeronautical chronographs, the BR 03, another aviation watch family, the diving watches BR 02, and the Vintage BR collection based on vintage aviation models.
Most of the movements that Bell & Ross use for their watches are manufactured by Swiss company Sellita. The company’s annual production has been estimated at about 65,000 watches per year (source: thewatchworld.ch), and the company has about 170 employees, 50 of whom at the Paris head office. It has about 750 points of sale worldwide, and its products are sold for about 50% in Europe, 50% in the rest of the world, principally the USA, Middle East and Asia.
Bell & Ross
8, rue Copernic
Tel. +33 (0)1 73 93 93 00