In their WW1 (Wrist Watch 1) collection, Bell & Ross produce their tributes to the earliest aviation watches, and this piece has some characteristics of the early pilot’s watches and the 1909 Zenith that probably initiated the style. With those precedents, it shares the numeral design, and the welded wire lugs. This piece is one of Bell & Ross’ higher-priced models at €19,900, justified by the red gold case, the finish of the movement, the window on the dial revealing the balance, the power reserve indicator on the dial, and the presentation box in Macassar ebony, which can be transformed into a humidor with a humidifier and hygrometer, capable of storing 50 cigars. Co-founder Carlos Rosillo is a cigar enthusiast, and this limited edition creates an artful combination of that world made up of leathery colours and heady fragrance with contemporary watchmaking. Even the text on the dial is in Spanish.
Case and dial
The red gold case is 42 mm in diameter, with brown dial and numerals in powdered gold. The dial has a power reserve indicator, always a good feature for a manually-wound watch. A circular window reveals the balance. The sapphire caseback provides a view of the three-quarter mainplate and balance bridge with Côtes de Genève finish and blued screws. The case has a 30-metre water resistance. The strap is in brown alligator with a red gold pin buckle.
The BR-CAL.202 calibre hand-wound movement has a double barrel providing a five-day power reserve. It runs at 28,800 vph (4 Hertz). Bell & Ross don’t make their own movements; this one is unusually highly-finished, and it could be something like a hand-wound Technotime TT 738 but this is just a guess.
The Bell & Ross WW1 Edición Limitada, reference BRWW1-GRM-PG, a limited edition of 99 pieces, costs €19,900. Available in boutiques or their e-boutique at www.bellross.com