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Introducing The Bell & Ross BR 05 Watch Collection

Introducing The Bell & Ross BR 05 Watch Collection Watch Releases

A beaming smile radiated from the face of Bell & Ross co-founder Carlos Rosillo as he presented his new “baby” to the aBlogtoWatch team a few months before its official debut — the BR 05 collection. The Bell & Ross BR 05 is the latest chapter in the Parisian brand’s ongoing saga to match modern fashion sensibility to the age-old pleasure of wearing an instrument on the wrist. Unlike most of Bell & Ross’ previous timepieces, which mostly focused on emulating a particular style or theme from the past (rendered for today’s tastes), the BR 05 is entirely inspired by something much more modern.

In short, the Bell & Ross BR 05 is the brand’s attractive, sensible, and distinctive answer to the popularity of the dressy sports watch on an integrated bracelet. Extremely well-loved watches, such as the Patek Philippe Nautilus, Audemars Piguet, and even, to a slightly lesser degree, the Rolex Submariner, are brimming with popularity as the taste among luxury seekers today is very much a hybrid between “look at me, I like to stay active,” and “look at me, I have money, good taste, and the confidence to wear it.”

Introducing The Bell & Ross BR 05 Watch Collection Watch Releases

The Appeal Of Watches With An Integrated Case & Bracelet

The most direct complaint anyone can make about the Bell & Ross BR 05 is also probably its greatest asset. “Isn’t Bell & Ross simply emulating the Patek Philippe Nautilus in its own style?” one might ask. The short answer to the question is “yes,” but that would entirely ignore the larger popularity of high-quality men’s bracelet watches that we see today since Bell & Ross isn’t exactly trying to steal sales from Swiss Patek Philippe. Rather, Bell & Ross is recognizing the importance of this product segment and giving it their best with a lovely new collection of timepieces. More so, one can easily argue that the Bell & Ross deserves much attention in this product category space because the value-to-quality ratio for the BR 05 is very high.

What makes integrated bracelet sporty-style watches like the Nautilus so popular in the first place? It isn’t as though Patek Philippe did anything remarkable to popularize this category. In fact, like the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, the Nautilus was a dud for a long time. In fact, the Nautilus was initially criticized for how ugly it was. It did, however, embody a winning formula that the watch industry should generally credit Mr. Gerald Genta for popularizing.

Introducing The Bell & Ross BR 05 Watch Collection Watch Releases


The way I explain something like a BR 05 or a Nautilus watch is that it’s an attractive men’s bracelet that happens to have a watch attached to it. In plain terms, these are jewelry bracelets that, for me, are made utilitarian by the addition of a watch face. Even Gerald Genta himself was famous for quipping that he did not particularly like watches. Rather, his interest was in making the jewelry bracelet more popular for men. The trick was in creating a bracelet that wasn’t just a means to securing a watch onto your wrist, but that was also a decorative element unto itself. Logically speaking, this is sound reasoning, since the majority of the visual space on a watch (when worn) is the strap or bracelet.


Introducing The Bell & Ross BR 05 Watch Collection Watch Releases

The massive popularity of high-end (mostly) steel sports watches on bracelets today is not merely about related current tastes merging with this look. It is also about economics and watch-industry supply. Luxury spending has focused a lot more on value. That means that someone interested in a noteworthy brand is more interested in wearing the name — and also interested in convenience. The prospect of wearing a solid-gold, complicated (thus easier to break) Patek Philippe isn’t as good for a daily wearing experience as a svelte steel watch that only indicates the time. Sport-style watches also have the benefit of not making the wearer look too old or stuffy. Maturing men who spend most of their time in business attire, but who still want people to know they have an active life, love how a timepiece such as this suggests an interest in physical activity but is also very suitable when worn with more formal attire.

Introducing The Bell & Ross BR 05 Watch Collection Watch Releases

Introducing The Bell & Ross BR 05 Watch Collection Watch Releases

One must also consider that Patek Philippe and Rolex simply aren’t producing enough of their popular steel sports watches on bracelets to go around. As demand for the more entry-level products from these popular companies remains high, consumers wanting these watches are typically in for an unpleasant surprise when it comes to being able to buy one. The waiting list from Patek Philippe to get a Nautilus watch was (the last I saw) over 12 years.

Bell & Ross (along with other companies) logically sees this as an opportunity. If consumers are interested in a product category which has insufficient supply, then why not come up with their own answer to the integrated bracelet watch question. Bell & Ross is not the only company offering such watches, but the BR 05 is among the more interesting and, of course, it is inspired by the world of Bell & Ross itself.

Introducing The Bell & Ross BR 05 Watch Collection Watch Releases

Understanding The Bell & Ross BR 05 Design

The design journey behind the BR 05 — done entirely in-house at Bell & Ross — began with the brand’s own legacy, to my knowledge. That means that, rather than being inspired by pilot watches, cockpit instruments, race cars, diving equipment, etc., Bell & Ross was inspired to create its own answer to this product category. The result is interesting because it looks on its surface to be heavily inspired by Gerald Genta, but then you find many of those design elements showing up in previous Bell & Ross watches. This begins with the square-style case that is an homage to the Bell & Ross BR 01, and the bracelet whose links hearken back to early Bell & Ross watches produced for them by Sinn.

Design areas like the hands appear to be inspired by those Gerald Genta preferred and, along the way, the integrated lugs angle down on the side of the case. Bell & Ross clearly wants to be considered as an option when consumers are seeking out watches of this category, so some visual familiarity does them good. That said, Bell & Ross, in all other respects, attempts to focus on itself and its previous models as inspiration for the BR 05. In this regard, the BR 05 is very much in line with the brand’s DNA.

Watch Brands



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  • Sheez Gagoo

    When a Nautilus loves an RO so much, that one puts is hands into the others crown, this will result.

  • NaJo

    Everything copied.. GP nau, AP RO, zenith caseback.. skeleton dial is ugly,.

  • Jared

    you know what watch this reminds me off? That Klein watch you see advertised all over instagram

    • •L•E•O•

      I like the Klein case better.

      • Jared

        thats just a rendered website photo, they all look great in photos, even total garbage

        when you see the instagram videos where they do close ups, the finishing is atrocious…but then again its like a $100 watch that will probably break after a week

        • Adrien Nis

          Still ok after I wear it more than twelve times !
          But yes, not as nice than in picture (especially) the satin polish.
          The cool thing is that you can wind it by hand because automatic winding is really bad.

  • SuperStrapper

    So, Bell &Ross and SevenFriday had a baby and once viewed obviously no one wanted it so here it is on our doorstep

    • DanW94

      Because watches are our religion here at ABTW, we have a moral obligation to take in all those horological castoffs no matter how unlovable they might be.

  • Tempvs Mortvvs

    A long time ago, Citizen and Seiko copied Rolex. Now, Maurice Lacroix copies the AP RO and Bell and Ross copies the PP Nautilus. What will come next?

    • Jared

      I think the next step would be someone will try and copy the submariner….i know i know, preposterous, noone would dare to copy something so iconic

  • Sorry people! No comments on the BR05. Just trying a BR03 on for size Apart from RM 052 ” dead serious” Skull Tourbillon, I think B&R creates arguably some of the nicest laughing skull watches around

    • SuperStrapper

      An overly competitive niche, to be sure ?

      • Alex A

        Are you even a watch maker if you do not have a laughing skull watch in your repertoire?

  • ???

    One question: Will the actual product’s bezel screws be aligned perfectly like the showcased model?

    • Jared

      absolutely not

      I believe AP holds the patent on that, so noone else can use it.

      • Andrew Thomas


    • ???

      Sure will, because they are not screws.

      • ???

        That statement applies to AP Royal Oaks, sure. But in this case, the bezel “screws” are not in the hexagon shape like with the case of RO. The round shape of these means that if they are not screws, they will be physically impossible to stay in the same direction when screwing the caseback screws in.

        • ???

          Round shape at outside doesn’t mean it is also round inside. B&R has already utilized this trick to their BR models for some time. You can check whether any of them shows unaligned “screws”.

        • Andrew Thomas

          They are aligned. There are slotted bolts holding it from the rear. Have a look.

  • Tom Erne

    Whether on strap or bracelet I think this is a very cool looking watch, and in a seemingly wearable case size. And however Genta inspired it may be, it is still clearly a B&R. If finishing and feel in the metal is up to par this could definitely become very popular.

  • Instead of urban explorer, watch journalist Darren Ho of Revolution magazine coined the term ‘The 5th Element” to describe the BR05 watch collection. Pretty darn Cool!

  • Alex A

    I usually like their watches, but not this one.

  • Ugo

    so basically a nautilus loved a royal oak?
    i’m saying, it’s not “despicable”, with the blue sunray it’s quite blingy, but com’on, it’s so deja vu that goes right into frankenstein…

  • PR

    The skeleton dial looks appalling. Thank goodness there is a regular closed dial version. I’m sure the bracelet is quite well made but the case to dial proportions look slightly off to me and not as appealing as a Piaget Polo. Price is way too high for a Sellita and IMO even by their own standard. I can see this being appealing at 3k retail. As it stands, easy pass.

  • PowNation

    B&R, a fashion house, coming up with a fashion watch. Who wulda thought it?

    B&R succeeded and carved a niche for themselves because of the distinct identity in their watch designs. Not this one. Can’t fault the company for trying to expand its business but I wish it stayed more true to its core rather than chasing trends.

  • Joe

    I’ve always had a “thing” for skeletonised watches, even though I don’t have one.

    At $6,400 it’s interesting, although for a bit more you could also get a Zenith.

    Overall, it appears a little bulky and doesn’t do it for me.

    I appreciate it’s distasteful to compare to humans and judge on aesthetics…but I’d extend the analogies below.
    It’s like two, glamorous Hollywood stars got together, then you look at their kid and wonder what happened…

  • G Street

    I really want to like this watch more than I do.
    I own a BR 03 Heritage model and do enjoy it still. My problem with this is the power reserve, I mean, come on, how hard did you work with Sellita to come up with 48 hours reserve?
    Second is more of a pet peeve but I wish there was a half marker next to the date (as there is next to the numerals) to balance out the dial.

    • AlbieC

      Or maybe leave out the other 3 half markers, and move the 6, 9, and 12 further out?

  • Quietly exploring the urban jungle from my Cayenne is all I wanted to do. Now I won’t have to wait 12 years to be able to time Starbucks baristas.

  • Marius

    I’ve warmed to B&R recently; really liked the new bronze bellytanker and was only put off by the stupid printing over the sapphire caseback. Not at all keen on this. Looks a bit like one of those microbrand watches that’s really obviously showing its influences.

    The waiting list from Patek Philippe to get a Nautilus watch was (the last I saw) over 12 years.


  • cluedog12

    BR 05 – For foodies, crossfit junkies, coffee store regulars, after-hour partiers and people who can afford a car, but enjoy biking to work.

    I like the collection. Good Genta watch.

  • Rob Crenshaw

    Does anyone at B&R realize their 15 minutes is up? The “so cool, an aeronautical gauge square watch” quickly evolved into “omg I paid *how much* money for this thing?” and no one would wear one now for fear of ridicule. The only people I see wearing B&R have also just discovered Panerai.

    • dr3

      But let’s also not forget that ‘omg I paid *how much* money for this thing’ applies especially to SS sports watches of the (seemingly above criticism, for some reason) Rolex factory.
      Now THAT’S really poor value – you are paying 1000s more than what even Rolex concede its value is (the RRP), due to Rolex deliberately under-supplying.
      Dutch tulip bulb craze anyone?

      At least the B&R you can negotiate down to well below RRP!

      • Rob Crenshaw

        Fortunately I paid retail for all my SS sports Rolexes: the two ceramic Daytonas, the Pepsi, the two Milgauss, and the Air King.

        There’s a reason why you can negotiate B&R well below retail. 😀

        • Andrew Thomas


    • paysdoufs

      That’s a level of hate I really don’t get… B&R has been around for >25 years. So, clearly, they are doing some things right and have buyers they appeal to. Not everyone wants a “boring” Sub, AT or Mark/something!

      • Rob Crenshaw

        Try Nixon. Even less boring than B&R.

      • Andrew Thomas

        Watch borez don’t like ’em. Everyone else does. Get something you like, and wind up people you don’t. Win-win 🙂

    • G Street

      Edgy stuff, Rob, you go girl!
      TBH I’ve no idea if you’re a troll or just a d**k but there are a great many fellow watch lovers that appreciate and enjoy what B&R produce, i’m one of them.
      If your only contact with the brand is via the internet then try to get out more and take a look in person, there’s plenty to appreciate, your Warhol quote notwithstanding.
      What’s Panerai btw? 😉

      • Rob Crenshaw

        Perhaps things are different here. I’m in the SF Bay Area, very wealthy, very tech. I know many WIS and no one would be caught dead in a B&R. YMMV.

        • Andrew Thomas

          That’s OK, I wouldn’t be seen dead in the SF Bay Area.

          That watch morons like you are so monumentally triggered by this watch is a really, really good reason to buy one. I mean it’s not like you’re going to open your gob and trash it when you see someone wearing one are you, son.

  • Independent_George

    I don’t understand all the, um, well, “hate” is a little strong, so let’s say “dislike”.

    So a design-ey French brand introduces a design-ey forward watch and people are surprised?

    It looks very much like a B&R watch. So if you are attracted B&R’s aesthetic, this might be a very appealing watch.

    As SC mentioned below, this will be their “Aikon” and could become their best seller.

    Niggle: Not sure why they moved the date to three. The date at 4:30 with the vertical date numerals is very much a B&R thing. Maybe it had to do with the movement?

    And if B&R is going to contract out for a movement, a three-day PR would have been nice, though perhaps they couldn’t do this and fit it into the desired price point.

    • Andrew Thomas

      Understand the hate? I do. It’s the internet. Full of blowhards who’ll keep their trap shut IRL, don’t worry.

  • dr3

    I like this.
    Discussions about value of the brand aside, it’s a nice mix of polished bevelled edges and brushed surfaces. Bracelet and clasp nicely done too.
    Will be eye catching, but agree price too high.
    Movement continues to be very underwhelming.
    Agree with post below; why change date window, something I felt they did quite well and discreetly before.

  • all74

    I like the watch-heads themselves, but I can’t understand the appeal of a bracket/strap that you can’t easily change out. The bracelet looks nice, but you’re then stuck with a bracelet only. Straps like this always look cheap to me.

  • The only one I don’t like is the skeleton dial reference. All of them lack the refinement (too many screws and the crown is too small) of a PP Nautilus, but it’s nice to see B&R break out of the BR01 mold with something other than a round watch. Not what I’d shell out $6K for but then B&R pricing is always “optimistic” shall we say.

    • AlbieC

      I see what you mean about the crown looking to small. But it is in proportion to the caseband… If only the band were wider, but then why would I ask for an unnecessarily thicker watch? Maybe keep the crown and thickness the same and just shrink the whole thing down a smidge ~39mm?

  • Pete L

    I quite like it but its an orgy of homage. Agree that the square is their bag but it looks like a Nautilus, Royal Oak and Laureato all got mushed up with a Panerai dial. The gold one is in very dangerous territory price wise but one hopes they know their market. I would wait and buy the real thing for that amount of coin!

  • AlbieC

    I think this looks great! New sports watch entry at a closer-to-earth price… probably more reasonable on the open market. Well-balanced dial… finally a rare watch with good date window placement despite a modern larger case… a rather exclusive movement. Nice dimensions, not too large, not too small… Very compelling.

    Wondering about the movement… is this a modified Sellita 200 or 300? Which would explain the somewhat only average/old-fashioned power reserve… However, if it is, B&R have found a way to still balance the appearance on the dial despite the 40mm case size… Maybe by using a smaller/old-fashioned size dial, but framed with a wider bezel?

    I think I would prefer this to a Nautilus… never cared for the “ears” on that case.

    • ???

      SW300, nothing is modified except the rotor.

  • gw01

    Clearly a Nautilus-RO wanna be. I think it’s best to get the watch one really wants, lest one catch glances of what one wish one had instead. (If affordability/availability is the issue, then best get an original offer of whatever is affordable/available).

  • fgclolz

    The lack of a “3” is a huge fail. I’ll wait for the super duper ultra rare limited Hodinkee crossover edition with no date window.

  • funNactive

    I like the bracelet and it comes in a great size! Should have a 3 on the dial & drop the date in-between the 4-5 markers.

  • Shawn Vega Velez

    I’m not a fan of all the screws or the skeletal model. Change thos items and this piece is nice.

  • Mikita

    It doesn’t look bad, but I’m not convinced.

  • paysdoufs

    It took me a while, but I am starting to like these. What I don’t like is the fact (and thanks to AA for pointing this out) that some dial variants don’t have minute markers. Something that has the potential to drive me crazy when setting a watch.

  • Mikita

    My choice would be silver dial version on silver bracelet. As I’ve said before, I’m not a bracelet type of guy, but in case of this watch a strap doesn’t work, it was meant to be worn on bracelet.

    I like the photos of silver version in the wild by Lesrhabilleurs:

  • Andrew Thomas

    Good points. I like the style but I’d take a Tudor NF at 2/3rd the price, although the shtreet price of the B&R will be the same as the Tudor’s retail price, once you’ve screamed at the B&R AD for a discount, citing Internet opinion, until you’re puce-faced :))

  • Lode_Runner

    Personally like this collection, especially the silver/grey dial. The price is delusional, of course, but no one pays MSRP for B&R.

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