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Bell & Ross BR V2-94 Bellytanker Bronze Watch Hands-On

Bell & Ross BR V2-94 Bellytanker Bronze Watch Hands-On Hands-On

One of the most fashionable new watches at Baselworld 2019 was, not surprisingly, released by Paris-based Bell & Ross. Using the BR V2-94 watch collection as a base, the new-for-2019 limited-edition reference BRV294-BC-BR/SCA BR V2-94 Bellytanker Bronze combines a “rich look” with affordability in a non-tarnishing bronze case. On the wrist, you’d be hard-pressed not to think this watch was solid gold when viewing it from a few feet away. Enthusiasts, however, know that its wearer is more practical than flamboyant, opting for great design and aesthetics over sheer showing-off.

That isn’t to say the Bell & Ross BR V2-94 Bellytanker Bronze is a budget watch, at just under $5,000 — but it sure costs less than if the case were in gold. Bell & Ross’s BR V2-94 case is 41mm-wide and paired with actual screw-down chronograph pushers and a matching crown. The rear of the watch has a bellytanker automobile motif printed on the exhibition caseback window, as this is part of the Bell & Ross Bellytanker watch collection that debuted not too long ago.

Bell & Ross BR V2-94 Bellytanker Bronze Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Bell & Ross BR V2-94 Bellytanker Bronze Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Inside the BR V2-94 Bellytanker Bronze watch is a Swiss ETA 2894 automatic chronograph movement (that they call the BR-CAL. 301) with a lightly decorated movement visible through the rear of the case. The chronograph on the dial is laid out with only one subdial (the other subdial is for the running seconds) making it a 30-minute chronograph. A small circular window between 4 and 5 o’clock has the date using a discreet black-colored disc.

Black and gold with some hints of red mark the attractively designed Bellytanker Bronze dial. The gold-toned subdials are a nice touch and remind me of the color palettes of certain Everose gold Rolex Daytona watch models. As I said above, Bell & Ross didn’t choose oxidizing bronze but rather a stable bronze alloy. This is an important distinction because the bronze alloys that helped popularize bronze as a modern watch material do, in fact, “patina” over time. This Bell & Ross with a bronze case (and some other watches out there) opted for a metal alloy that does not oxidize and subsequently patina. The watch will, of course, scratch, but it won’t start to get green or black over time. I prefer stable bronze, more often than not, and given that the BR V2-94 Bellytanker Bronze is going for a more chic (versus antique) look, I agree with Bell & Ross’ decision use stable bronze for the case.

Bell & Ross BR V2-94 Bellytanker Bronze Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Bell & Ross BR V2-94 Bellytanker Bronze Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Bell & Ross complemented this attractive watch color combination with a black calf leather strap and Bell & Ross’ still-pretty new deployant clasp. For the money, I can’t think of too many other modern watches out there that have as classy a look for a vintage-style sport watch design. As a limited edition of 999 pieces, the Bell & Ross BR V2-94 Bellytanker Bronze will easily be a sleeper hit from Bell & Ross for 2019, and I expect these to do well once enough people discover them. Price is $4,990 USD. Learn more at the Bell & Ross website here.

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Comments

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  • H.S.M.

    Always like a nice panda face, but…
    – the 1/10 sec hand should have been red
    – the two small hands should have been black with red tip

    Readability is not too strong with this one.

    • Sheez Gagoo

      There’s no 1/10 sec hand. Just a normal sec hand and a minute counter hand.

  • DanW94

    It’s a handsome watch. I think the B & R design team has really stepped up their game in the last few years. Their issue remains cost. They price like they carry the same brand cachet like Tudor or Omega. An eventual in-house movement would go a long way in legitimizing their prices.

    • Mikita

      While I do agree about inhouse, I must say it’s quite difficult to beat 2892 in means of accuracy and hassle-free-ness. My BR123 has been my most accurate watch over last years, beating all my other watches, including those with inhouse movement. And it can get services by literally anyone in my city for fraction of price for servicing Omega, which appeared to be less accurate over time.

      So I strongly believe that developing a better movement than 2892 is truely a non-trivial tast only big companies can achive.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    horrible colour combination.

    • ray h.

      Bronze and black, no good ?

    • Tom Erne

      Im beginning to wonder if you actually like watches at all…

      • Raymond Wilkie

        Hi Tom. You only have to spend a moment looking back at my comments to see how balanced they accually are.

  • That’s a sharp-looking watch. Well done date window. As with all B&R offerings, however, way overpriced.

  • Mikita

    So far Bell & Ross are the first to claim that they use non-oxidizing bronze alloy. If it’s true – it’s a great achievement in my book.

    • SuperStrapper

      I don’t argue, but I also have doubts. I can’t imagine they went out and forged a new bronze alloy, I assume this case has been coated somehow.

      • Mikita

        I’ll just wait a feedback from first customers 🙂

  • Independent_George

    All bronze alloys patina to a degree, even “stable” bronze. I might be wrong, but I don’t think you can have a non-oxidizing bronze unless you coat it.

  • Independent_George

    The tetrameter bezel looks cool. You know what else would look cool, and be actually functional as well? A 12-hour bezel. You solve the issue of bi-register 30-minute chronographs.

    • Agreed! The tachy scale is just there for the sake of making the watch appear “tool-like” and “purposeful” while serving no real world purpose (I know of no-one who has ever used it). I’m also guessing tetrameter = tachymeter right? 🙂

      • Independent_George

        “Tetrameter” is because of my Pixel 3’s auto-correct. Although “a verse of four measures” (the definition of tetrameter) would be cool on a watch bezel.

        But yeah, never understood why more brands don’t add a 12-hour bezel to bi-compass chronos, because they are quite useful. Maybe they figure guess they won’t sell as well? The Tudor Heritage Chrono, off the top of my head, is the only one I can think of. The Heuer Heritage 02 has one, but the bi-compass version also has a 12 hour and 30 minute sub-dials (and no running seconds), so go figure.

      • SuperStrapper

        His typos are the cutest 😉

  • H.S.M.

    Sporty look for a sporty watch.
    Where is the problem with that?

  • Gokart Mozart

    Nice looking watch and one where I think the tackymeter is actually less tacky and goes with the watch.

    If it is a patina free bronze why does it need a stainless steel back?

    • SuperStrapper

      Great question. An aluminum bronze would have nickle content.

      • Gokart Mozart

        Let people get a rash….

  • DanW94

    It’s not a bellytoomah!!

  • anonymous

    I like it except for that Bellytanker crap on the back crystal. The whole point of an exhibition back is to see the movement!

  • SuperStrapper

    I bit my tongue on being bitchy about the red 100m on this dial. But I still kinda wanna be.

  • ProJ

    Really nice.

  • hatster

    The first bronze watch I can get behind, including the promised lack of oxidation. But that doesn’t seem to come cheap, now….

  • Michael Nacey

    Is the Bellytanker emblem on the back just a sticker or is that permanently on the exhibition glass?

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