Well hello there Bell & Ross! I see you have a little new card up your sleeve this year. I didn’t really think you’d get too many buyers for your exorbitantly expensive uber-tourbillon watch with unnecessary features like a “trust indicator.” I trust you enough already… You really just wanted to do a design study and get people excited about future designs. Now you’ve taken the new fanged case design, updated number fonts,more moderns hands, and presented us with something new. It is even in titanium to make that 46mm case feel down right light on your wrist. While the dimensions stay more or less the same, the overall look of the case is much more detailed and sophisticated than previous generation BR01 watches.
The new Bell & Ross BR01-94 Pro Titanium takes the Bell & Ross Instrument icon and extends it even further. They have played around with the more modern look for a while now, but I really think they have it with this one. Although the case is square, there is a octagon of angles around the dial. The acute lines are softened by the round face, but again retain an industrial and techy look in the angular hands, hour indexes and numerals. While the original Bell & Ross BR01 enjoyed a vintage look, the Pro Titanium goes full futuristic with this model. Enough however to not make it look gimmicky with a fleeting look. I feel as though it is a modern classic in the making. The material used is a grade 2 titanium with a satin finish, size is the standard BR01 dimensions of 46mm wide.
Inside you have the same ETA 2892-2 movement with a Dubois-Dupraz chronograph module. Bell & Ross made good use of the black colored date disc, which looks infinitely more classy than a white disc would look in this application. While the dial is technically flat, efforts are made to add some three dimensional qualities. The chronograph dials are inset a tad, which the number indicators are applied with so much luminant, they actually visibly pop up from the dial. Two screws at the top and bottom of the dial are functionally unnecessary, but add a nice industrial feel alluding to a quality of “function first” that Bell & Ross is know for.
Titanium is not known for its ability to be polished. You can get a dull sheen on it at best. As such, expect the BR01 Pro Titanium to be a sober looking model. Previous steel Bell & Ross watches enjoyed a high polish, but I expect a gold (and perhaps steel) version of this watch if it becomes a success. The dial and the case share the same color which actually helps the watch appear smaller, which is OK when it is this large. The standard tapered rubber strap is important in allowing the case to appear more comfortable on your wrist.
When it comes down to it, Bell & Ross is a very conservative designer. Which is not typical at all for the French. In essence, the BR01 Pro Titanium is a conservative and simple watch, but you’d not know it from a mere glance. This is an asset to the watch market, because it will help this watch have a lasting aesthetic, and that is most important when considering the engineering of an icon. Think of it as Bell & Ross always thinking ahead, even though the brand is young. The BR01-94 Pro Titanium chronograph will be cost about 8,000 Euros (retail, not street price) when it is released soon. I don’t even want to think what that means in dollars right now. Judging actual prices and the minor discounts involved, I think you’ll find with watch for about $8,000 – $9,500 soon.
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