Aviation has always been at the core of the Bell & Ross brand ethos. From its very earliest pilot watches onward, the marque has always turned its eye towards flight, and nowhere is this inspiration more literal than in the cockpit instrument-themed BR 03 series. For the latest interpretation in the series, Bell & Ross has taken aim at one of the centerpieces of the modern fighter jet — the heads-up display, or HUD — and created the aggressive, modern limited-edition Bell & Ross BR 03-92 HUD. This timepiece draws from some of the best elements of previous BR 03-92 models, combining them with a vibrant new colorway and a trick crystal to create something that would feel right at home in the cockpit of an F-22 Raptor.
The case of the Bell & Ross BR 03-92 HUD should be familiar to fans of the brand, as the 42mm black ceramic square is unchanged from the core BR 03-92 line. The large cockpit instrument shape, with its four distinctive screws at the corners, fits well with the overall modern military theme of the watch and remains an instantly recognizable Bell & Ross element. With 100 meters of water resistance, this one should be up to the task of general sports watch duties, as well. What really sets the case of the BR 03-92 HUD apart from its stablemates, however, is the unique sapphire crystal. While other watches have certainly had tinted crystals before, such as the famous green Rolex Milgauss, the tinting here is far more vibrant and concentrated than most. This leaves the dial below with the greenish glow of a modern aircraft HUD, turning an analog dial display into something that gives a convincing impression of a digital projection. Add to this the four corners of the “targeting reticle” in glowing green lume printed on the underside of the crystal, and you have a crystal like nothing else in the Bell & Ross catalog.
Like the case, the dial of the BR 03-92 HUD feels familiar to the Bell & Ross faithful. This same dial layout, with its large Arabic numerals, wide outer minutes track, and printed central disk in lieu of an hour hand appeared in a nearly identical form in 2019’s BR 03-92 Bi-Compass. What gives the BR 03-92 HUD a dramatically different feel, however, is the use of color. While the green of the crystal already casts the matte black dial with a dull green tone, the monochrome neon green of the dial elements sells the illusion of these hands and indices as projected computer elements on a glass screen, rather than physical pieces.
Bell & Ross powers the BR 03-92 HUD with the BR-CAL.302 automatic movement. This Sellita-based powerplant is slightly modified from its use in most applications to accommodate the central hour disk in place of a traditional hour hand but is otherwise identical to most other models in the BR 03-92 line. This movement offers a 38-hour power reserve and a 28,800 bph beat rate.
The Bell & Ross BR 03-92 HUD is offered on a choice of two separate straps. First up is the ubiquitous black Bell & Ross signed black rubber strap, flowing nicely into the short lugs here for a semi-integrated look. For those looking for a more aggressive style, Bell & Ross also offers the watch with a Velcro-fitted black synthetic fabric strap. With everything else about the watch drawing inspiration from a modern fighter cockpit, this durable fabric feels like the right choice, looking like an element from a flight suit.
Bell & Ross will only produce 999 examples of the BR 03-92 HUD. This limited-edition piece is expected to reach authorized dealers in early June 2020 and will retail for an MSRP of $3,990. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.