May 7, 2011
by Ariel Adams
A few years ago Bell & Ross began to experiment with ceramic watches. The first real collection was the BRS, a smaller square cased model that was, to an extent, a women’s watch. It was thin and lovely and ended up on the wrists of more women than men. There were also ceramic versions of the BR03 – a 42mm wide version of the 46mm wide BR01. Those ceramic models had a lot of different styles and varieties, including those with gloss and matte finished ceramic.
I don’t think there was ever a real ceramic version of the BR01 (BR 01) – the original (and best in my opinion) size for Bell & Ross’s iconic square watch look. So Bell & Ross finally decided to make one. And it is pretty nice. Somewhere along the Bell & Ross timeline the BR01 collection was given the “Aviation” label. So, technically, I think this watch is the Bell & Ross Aviation BR01 Ceramic. Anyhow, the watch opts for glossy versus the matte ceramic that has been prominently used a lot as people felt glossy ceramic had been over done. That may or may not have been true, but I think that both finishes on ceramic have a place.
Bell & Ross specifically didn’t want to offer just a ceramic version of the BR01. They wanted to offset it with a few other special parts. For those not familiar with the collection, the BR01-92 refers to this three hand version with standard date. The “92” in the name refers to the Swiss ETA 2892 automatic movement housed by its unique case.
If I recall correctly, the dial is also black ceramic. What Bell & Ross did differently here is to use brushed metal for the hour indicators and hands. I have to say, it looks really cool. This is one of the best looking BR01 models to come out in a while and is a fashionable sport watch that I think most men would be happy to wear. The brushed metal on the dial against the glossy black ceramic proves to be a successful mix and I highly anticipate seeing this look elsewhere soon.
Also new for the entire BR01 collection is the rubber strap. It is thinner and of a higher quality than seen previously. The design has been updated some and it wears more comfortably – a nice little improvement that few will notice but, when pointed out, will appreciate the upgrade right away. For those of you who have older BR01 watches with rubber straps, I recommend going to Bell & Ross and trying to order the new ones (I assume they are compatible).