Inside the Bell & Ross BR01 Burning Skull is a base Swiss automatic movement. One of the little things I dislike about the watch is that because the axis point of the hour and minute hands is above the center of the dial, the movement is placed a bit higher than normal. This in turn causes the crown to be placed a bit higher, ruining its typical position directly in the center on the side of the case. Honestly, it isn’t a big deal, but it would have been nice for Bell & Ross to implement some type of gearing system that would allow for the crown to be in its normal spot. Then again, systems like that sound complicated (well, they would have to be), and Bell & Ross likely doesn’t have that technology sitting around. Moreover, it might actually significantly raise the price, and if there is anything watch brands don’t want today it is reasons to price already pricey watches even higher.


To put things into context, the other recent limited edition BR01 Skull watch was a lot like the 2009 original, but in a bronze case. Bell & Ross showed us versions of it with increasingly “patina-ed” cases all the way to one watch covered in greenish blue oxidation. Apparently, you can buy models like that too. Is it just me or do heavily oxidized bronze watches feel like a metal version of wearing moldy bread? I’m not dissing you if you like it, but I’m sharing with you that the allure has yet to strike me. I do get the appeal of a little patina on a bronze watch giving off the faux sense that you’ve been wearing it for 75 years, but you lose me when it looks like you’ve been wearing it for 75 years underwater.

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In addition to the brown alligator strap, Bell & Ross includes a black canvas strap with each of the limited edition Bell & Ross BR01-92 Burning Skull watches. They might want to consider including an eye patch as well (OK, I just went a tad bit too far with the pirate jokes). Pirates are no laughing matter these days, and a watch like this is strictly about regular guys with an inordinate appreciation of permanent body art as well as the human skeletal system (oh, and high-end watches). There have to be at least a few hundred people around like that, right?


My appreciation for the effort that Bell & Ross incorporated into the watch is real, and I support keeping a selling thing going. Bell & Ross have become masters of really fully exploring the themes they create, and it is nice to see that years after the original BR01 Skull watch, the designers there are thinking of new ways to render this clearly popular (for some people) look. If I have an occasion for skull-theme regalia in the future, this is the timepiece I would probably opt to have on my wrist. Price for the limited edition of 500 pieces Bell & Ross BR01 Burning Skull is $7,700.

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