When you look at the Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Desert Type automatic, you can’t help thinking of Panerai. The dial is made in three layers, a beige top surface, with cut-out numerals revealing the black luminescent coating at the core of the sandwich construction. During the day, the black luminescent paint contrasts effectively with the sand-coloured dial; by night, it provides good visibility. Panerai has been using a similar system since about 1938, in response to the Italian Navy’s specific request for higher visibility in low lighting conditions, and it is still a feature of its watches such as the Luminor. The numerals of the Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Desert Type automatic also bear a powerful resemblance to the Panerai style – in part because the sandwich technique imposes certain graphic design features onto the numbers.
The case is 42 mm in diameter, in matt black ceramic, with 100 metres water resistance (10 bar). The square shape and the four screws are like a distant throwback to Bell & Ross’s original inspiration from cockpit instruments. The watch has a beige calfskin strap; a black fabric strap is also available. The pin buckle is in black PVD-coated steel.
The watch is powered by the self-winding BR-CAL.302 movement, probably the Sellita SW300, providing 38 hours power reserve. The caseback is solid and so the movement is not in view.
The Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Desert Type automatic costs €3,400.