The Manual Wind: Bell & Ross BR03-96 Big Date
Like building blocks, there can only be so many shapes of a watch case. Round, square, tonneau, rarely rectangular, and thankfully nothing triangular. The square timepiece, if proportioned correctly, can be very attractive on the wrist. Bringing the square to the forefront many years ago, Bell & Ross exploded on the scene with their BR01 model. The oversized 46mm case was perfect for the then ‘bigger is better’ watch mentality. Since then, that mentality has deflated some making way for the more practical and wearable BR03. Always hiding behind its larger counterpart, this 42mm square gets its turn. Bell & Ross has released a new complication in this case with some great looking dials; the Bell & Ross BR03-96 Big Date.
The 42mm case with automatic movement always had a date function in the other complications, but as the name says, its now larger. With a slightly exposed date wheel displaying this larger date at the 3’oclock, this piece takes on new dial proportions. The new dials offered are different from previous dials. Two variations include a steel and black dial in the base piece and the same dial but with gold accents in the Golden Heritage edition. The Golden Heritage is fit with a camel colored calf strap to bring out the gold accents, while a black strap fits the contrast well of the other.
I like this move by Bell & Ross to reintroduce some simple pieces into their line. The BR03 42mm case was always the better fit in my opinion, no matter ones wrist size. With the brand producing many limited editions and more out there designs lately, this piece offers simplicity, attention to detail, and a more useful complication. These pieces are hardly meant to be worn formally and Bell & Ross has done a good job creating a new casual watch thats squarely classic. If you are still unsure about the square, these pieces should have you considering one at a well priced $3,700 msrp.