Probably, 90% of all watches that are sold have circular cases. Bell & Ross is therefore an exception to the rule, and they have achieved extraordinary success with their watches whose square cases with four screws at the corners are directly derived from aircraft cockpit instruments. The Bell & Ross BR 03-94 Desert Type chronograph is given extra character by its sand-coloured dial reminiscent of the military uniforms used in hot countries. It is available with a strap in beige leather or tough black fabric, with pin buckle in black PVD-coated steel. The case is in black ceramic, 42 mm across, with 100 metres water resistance.
The dial has a structure reminiscent of the Panerai-type sandwich dial, with hour indices and two numerals cut out from the top surface to reveal the black photoluminescent coating underneath. Hands are coated in the same luminescent paint. There is a small circular date window; the two subdials are for 30 chronograph minutes and continuous seconds.
The movement is the Bell & Ross calibre BR-CAL.301, a self-winding mechanical movement. This is made by ETA, the 2894-2. It runs at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hertz) and has a 42-hour power reserve. The movement has the stop-seconds function that stops the balance when the crown is pulled out into the time-setting position. The date display has the quick-set function.
The price of the Bell & Ross BR 03-94 Desert Type chronograph is €4,990. At first sight, this may seem a tad high, considering the ETA movement, but in the watch industry, pricing often incorporates some abstract considerations unrelated to real costs, and in this case you are paying for the unusual case conformation and the Bell & Ross name. Click here to see an overview of chronograph watches at prices ranging from about €1,500 upwards. The price of the Bell & Ross chronograph could be compared with the IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph IW377709, by way of example.