The Manual Wind: Bell & Ross BR123 GMT
With the demand for vintage watches climbing a steep incline, brands are shamelessly emulating the classics. Not only are manufacturers digging up their own past, but other brands are stepping in and seeing whose past they can exploit as well. One example of this is the just released Bell & Ross BR123 GMT 24h. Though very classic in design, where do you get the nerve?
The BR123 GMT sticks to the classic Bell & Ross vintage with its dial, case, and crystal but adds one major element; the distinct GMT hand. This hand, made famous by Rolex, cannot be overlooked. Large and orange, it made the Rolex Explorer 2 the collector piece it is today, and continues to hold consumer attention in the current model Explorer 2’s.
Nevertheless, Bell & Ross has constructed another affordable timepiece that I still cannot hate on. 42mm in diameter, this high polished case with a brushed bezel bearing the 24H markings is well sized for casual dress and sport alike. A matte black arabic dial lies above the ETA 2893 automatic movement, which can be viewed through a sapphire exhibition case back. Offered with both a steel bracelet and rubber strap for true versatility, this piece comes in just under $4,000.
I do not know if honor and originality crossed the minds of designers at Bell & Ross when constructing this one, but I thank them for offering us that famous GMT hand at a price we can stomach.