Skip to main content

The Manual Wind: Bell & Ross WW1-97 Heritage Power Reserve

the manual wind bell ross ww1 97 heritage power reserve brhww1a
Image used with permission by copyright holder
In the watch world, size matters.  Not five years ago,  monster timepieces ruled the landscape.  Consumers wanted clocks on their wrists and thats exactly what brands made.  It was common to see 48mm and 50mm timepieces being released on the regular; and barely fitting on wrists.  Some well designed pieces made the cut and brands are working on scale.  Brands like Hublot, Zenith, and Bell & Ross are now making these pieces smaller for the current market trend.  45mm has proved to be the realistic max for the market and brands are complying.

brhww1bBell & Ross, known for the large square BR-01, has rounded its corners and complied with a great design in the WW1-97 Heritage.  A steel case measuring 45mm holds a superbly detailed dial.  Gillette gold lettering and track contrast against a black glossy dial.  Untreated steel numbers in a classic pilot font make this piece.  It may resemble the Zenith 48mm Pilot but the difference is in the detail.  These textured steel numbers match the hour and minute hand standing out from the gloss dial.  Below this classic dial lies a 42 hour power reserve automatic movement with power reserve indicator.  Strap this on with a black crocodile strap and tang buckle.

The pilot watch has become its own segment in the watch marketplace.  Size, design, and price are the biggest factors.  Bell & Ross has come out with a strong contender in the WW1-97 Heritage.  Sharp design, reasonable 45mm case, and price of just $4,500.  Move over Zenith Pilot, you are too big and pricy.

Ian Schwam
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Contributing writer and watch enthusiast Ian Schwam dons an expert knowledge of all things watches. Having spent a decade in…
Overland is the king of ski towns: Celebrating 50 years of American mountain west outerwear
How did Overland win over the mountain town
Taos Storefront 2023

Every industry has its mainstay brands that only get stronger with more competition. There will always be some new and fresh idea that challenges all those before it and tries to change the industry. Then there are those brands they face, who have been around for decades, weaving in and out of competition and outlasting every challenge thrown their way. For every new and exciting watch brand, there is a Rolex standing strong. While there are plenty of explanations for why a brand outshines every other around it, Overland Sheepskin Co. has an explanation all its own. On this, their 50th year, we look back and try to understand how this family-owned business became the King of the Mountain towns and what keeps them on top.

Back in 1973, the flagship store in Taos, New Mexico, took a bale of sheepskin and a sewing machine and began creating coats, hats, and mittens for the surrounding area. As word began to spread about their quality, the whole family had to pitch in to help out to meet the growing demand. Five decades later, with 17 stores throughout the Rocky Mountains and across the country, they have become a mainstay in the mountain and ski towns for their quality and dependability. We got a chance to sit down with Monty Goodson, manager of the Santa Fe store and a buyer for the company, to find out how they did it and how they maintain the culture that has made them who they are today.

Read more
Bell & Ross BR-03, its flagship watch, updated for first time in almost 2 decades
A classic design gets a much-deserved update
BR 03 Military Ceramic watch Bell & Ross

In the realm of luxury watches, Bell & Ross holds a unique place. The brand is renowned for its meticulous craftsmanship and innovative designs, which have consistently pushed the boundaries of watchmaking. One of their most iconic watches, the Bell & Ross BR-03, recently underwent a significant update, marking a milestone in its nearly two-decade history.

Founded in 1992 by Bruno Belamich and Carlos A. Rosillo, Bell & Ross quickly gained recognition for its dedication to producing professional timepieces tailored to specific needs. Their watches are often inspired by aviation and military aesthetics, characterized by a perfect blend of form and function. Over the years, the Bell & Ross BR-03 has become a symbol of precision and reliability, earning its place among the finest luxury watches.
The timeless design of the BR 03
The Bell & Ross BR 03 has always been celebrated for its distinctive square case design, paying homage to cockpit instruments. Its robust and bold appearance sets it apart from traditional round watches, and the BR 03 has been a favorite among those who appreciate a timepiece that makes a statement. The signature square case, clear numerals, and luminescent hands make it not only aesthetically pleasing but also highly legible.

Read more
Apple doesn’t sell the Hermes Apple Watch leather band anymore – and we think we know why
Leather is not exactly "sustainable"
apple watch hermes leather band


In the realm of luxury, Hermes is a distinguished name known for (amongst other things) its collaboration with Apple in creating exquisite Apple Watch bands. In recent days, Hermes appeared to remove all leather Apple Watch 8 bands from its site, sparking intrigue and raising questions about the underlying reasons; many even wondered if Hermes and Apple were ending their partnership. All Apple Watch Series 9 bands are listed on the Hermes website – including leather bands. Still, Apple isn't selling the leather bands on its website, and there's an excellent reason why.

Read more