Size-wise, the BR 05 is noticeable but hardly over-sized for the most wrists. Smaller than the 46mm wide BR 01 and the 42mm BR 03, the BR 05’s case is 40mm-wide but wears a bit on the larger size, given the case shape. It is 10.33mm-thick and has a very wearable lug-to-lug distance of just 47.5mm. The case is water-resistant to 100 meters and, of course, has sapphire crystals on the top and rear. The narrowing of the lugs where the bracelet attaches and the tapering of the bracelet itself help maximize the look of the case and promote general wearing comfort. In good taste, the bracelet is well-made with solid polished links, but it isn’t too thick, adding to the intended low-profile wearing style of the design.

The dial design (may be different based on the model) is effective and simple. Bell & Ross merges the core “instrument” look of the BR 01’s cockpit clock design with sporty simplicity of Panerai. The addition of the date gives the BR 05 appeal to more consumers, and the overall dial proportions are very good. I like the new little details, such as the combination of an hour marker and an Arabic numeral for some of the indices. Another detail enthusiasts will enjoy is how the four screws on the bezel line up so that the screw heads are all symmetrical.

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Inside the BR 05 watches, Bell & Ross uses a movement produced exclusively for them by Swiss Sellita, known as the caliber BR-CAL.321 automatic. The skeletonized version of the watch has the BR-CAL.322 automatic movement. Customized for Bell & Ross, the movements are visible through the rear of the watch, where you can see the car wheel-style automatic rotor design that Bell & Ross reminds us has a “360-degree” design (the rotor weight is hidden from view). The movement operates at 4Hz with about two days of power reserve. This is an example of one of the increasingly bespoke movements made for a particular watch brand by Sellita. The future is less in each watch brand making its own movement and more in companies like Sellita producing particular movements exclusively for a brand partner (in this case, Bell & Ross).

Bell & Ross BR 05 Launch Models For “Urban Explorers”

Bell & Ross offers a few versions of the BR 05 at launch, with a focus on teasing directions the collection could go in. That means one can clearly envision at least some of the different BR 05 model variations that will arrive in the future, ranging from different colors to complications. The five launch models are available either on the matching metal bracelet or a fitted rubber strap. Personally, I feel that Bell & Ross didn’t need to produce two SKUs per model and could have gotten away with selling only the watch on a bracelet and including the strap as part of the kit. That said, there is a special science and strategy to coming up with brand model varieties that I am not often privy to.

The most exclusive of the BR 05 watches will be the BR 05 Gold, and it comes in a solid 18k rose gold case. Perhaps this is the only model for which it makes sense to have one version with the strap (reference BR05A-BL-PG/SRB) and another with the bracelet (BR05A-BL-PG/SPG), given the natural cost differential. With a simplified (no minute markers) black dial and sumptuous look, it will be interesting to see who wears this beauty. Price for the Bell & Ross BR 05 Gold on the strap is $21,500 USD and on the bracelet, the price is $32,500 USD.

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Bell & Ross is hoping that the compelling BR 05 Skeleton will be the model with the most appeal to watch enthusiasts and collectors. They are probably right. A neat skeletonized dial that is also legible and not wildly priced? On paper, the BR 05 Skeleton is a very attractive value-proposition and handsome looker with its gray-on-gray aesthetic and visible mechanics through the dial. Price for the Bell & Ross BR 05 Skeleton is $5,900 USD on a strap (BR05A-GR-SK-ST/SRB), and $6,400 USD on a bracelet (BR05A-GR-SK-ST/SST).

Finally, there are the three more mainstream versions of the BR 05 that will likely make up the majority of bulk sales for Bell & Ross in this collection. This includes the BR 05 Black, Blue, and Grey with respectively associated dial colors. Note that the Bell & Ross BR 05 Black Steel (BR05A-BL-ST/SRB on strap and BR05A-BL-ST/SST on bracelet) has a different dial design in that it has hour and minute markers whereas the BR 05 Blue Steel (BR05A-BLU-ST/SRB on strap and BR05A-BLU-ST/SST on bracelet) and BR 05 Grey Steel (BR05A-GR-ST/SRB on strap and BR05A-GR-ST/SST on bracelet) have more simple dials that contain hour makers only. It is really just a matter of style when it comes to which to choose. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the Bell & Ross BR 05 does on the market. Price for these latter BR 05 models is $4,400 USD on the strap and $4,900 USD on the steel bracelet. Learn more at the Bell & Ross website here.

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