The Manual Wind: Bell & Ross BR-X1 Skeleton Chronograph
The aviation inspired watch has been around since, well, the dawn of aviation. This category of watches are designed truly fueled by necessity; large numbers and hands in large cases for easy legibility while flying and monitoring a flight control panel. Back in 2005, Bell & Ross took the gauge to the wrist with the introduction of the BR series. This 46mm goliath, distinguishably square, with large numbers and hands was an instant hit. Reasonably priced at under $5,000, the BR caught on fast and became a staple weekend timepiece for collectors. Now almost ten years later, the BR line has come a long way bearing new materials and complications. Their latest offering, the BR-X1 Skeleton Chronograph, proves just that.
Made out of Titanium, ceramic, and rubber, the 45mm BR-X1 case has a modern yet rugged appearance; almost futuristic yet still keeping the BR theme. Matte ceramic, rubber, and brushed titanium bring out some of the best finishing Bell & Ross has offered. Add to that a sharp skeletonized dial of grey-tinted mineral glass revealing an exposed date wheel and gears and this piece becomes a standout. Beneath the skeleton dial is the Swiss made Bell & Ross modified chronograph movement. Flip the piece around and there is a small sapphire window giving a peak into a portion of the movement as well. As with most of the BR line, this piece is paired with a rubber strap and ceramic tang buckle staying true to their original functionality.
When modeled after history, watch design certainly has staying power. The BR line from Bell & Ross has proven that over the last ten years. As technology has developed and watch interest has grown, Bell & Ross has stayed with the times and the BR-X1 is a perfect example of that. Limited to only 250 pieces and priced at a steep $19,500, don’t expect this BR to enter your collection as easily as the other BR’s.
See them all here for the only square sport timepiece any collector needs in their collection.