The Bell & Ross BR-X1 Skeleton Chronograph is one of the three pieces that the brand have released on a marine theme, a departure from the aviation spirit on which they built their reputation. Like the Bell & Ross Instrument de Marine, this watch has a case made of bronze and rosewood, with titanium used for the caseback, where there is a small circular wndow centred on the balance. It is a large piece at 45 mm side length, mounted on a brown alligator strap with bronze pin buckle. There is a somewhat hygge feel. Water resistance is 100 metres.
On the skeletonized dial, the gilded applied indices and the hour and minute hands have areas of SuperLuminova for visibility in low light conditions. The marine theme is underlined by the Roman numerals on the inside of the bezel. The chronograph is quite rudimental, with a minutes counter at 9 o’clock whose indicator takes the form of an aluminium disc instead of the usual hand, another reference to the marine theme, recalling perhaps a ship’s wheel, or a propellor. The small seconds subdial is at 3 o’clock. The dial is in grey-tinted sapphire crystal, providing a view of parts of the X-shaped upper bridge, and the movement, including the date ring that has its frame at 6 o’clock. The overall impression is of a large and complex piece, with the rich textures of the wood contrasting with the warm colour of the bronze components. The pushers on the right-hand side of the case are more “rockers” than pushers, and they are balanced by corresponding projections on the other side of the case.
The calibre has 56 jewels, and it runs at 28,800 vibrations per hour, 4 Hertz. It is the BR-CAL.313, based on the ETA time-only calibre 2894-2, with chronograph module developed by Dubois-Depraz. Bell & Ross have used this calibre in previous watches, such as the Bell & Ross BR‑X1 HyperStellar.
Price and reference
The Bell & Ross BR-X1 Instrument de Marine Skeleton Chronograph, reference BRX1-CM-313, is a limited edition of 99 pieces. Price €23,000.