March 23, 2018
Last year Bell & Ross added to their heritage collection with the Bellytanker duo, one a three-hand time only piece, and one chronograph. This year Bell & Ross are bringing you a pair of watches modeled after a racing aircraft designed in-house by Bell & Ross’ design team. The Bell & Ross BR V2-94 Racing Bird Chronograph is a 41mm vintage-inspired, two register chronograph. It’s the counterpart to their BR V1-92 Racing Bird, both of which are going to be available in limited editions of 999 pieces.
Brand: Bell & Ross
Model: BR V2-94 Racing Bird Chronograph
Water Resistance: 100m
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Crystal/Lens: “Ultra Curved” Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
Movement: BR-CAL 301 based on the ETA 2894-2
Power Reserve: 42 hours
Strap/Bracelet: Stainless steel bracelet or blue calfskin strap with orange accents
Price & Availability: $4,700
One of the things I find interesting about these new heritage releases is how formulaic they are in comparison to last year’s, even down to using the same movements and having the same basic structure. For example, the Bellytanker Chrono is a 41mm chronograph with screw-down pushers, 100m water resistance, and the BR-CAL 301 inside. Just seems a little plug and play for me. Also, just like my comparison of the V1-92 to the IWC Mark XVII, I think that the BR V2-94 Racing Bird has a distinctly Tudor Heritage Chronograph vibe to it. To be fair, I think there’s only so far you can take a 2-register, vintage-inspired chronograph before it starts to resemble something else, but it’s a pitfall that needs to be avoided if possible.
Criticism aside, I think this formula is working for Bell & Ross so far. The Racing Bird Chronograph is, just like the time only version, a watch I could see myself looking into owning one day. I think that there are some questionable design decisions that were made on these watches, not in terms of aesthetic necessarily but rather in their choices to adhere to established looks. However, I do have to say that I think this design does have a fun and funky appeal to it that keeps me coming back. The Bell & Ross BR V2-94 Racing Bird Chronograph will be available for $4,700 in a limited edition of 999 pieces. bellross.com