This is the Bell & Ross WW1-90-S, a recent model inspired by WW1-era pocketwatch conversions, where the lugs were loops of wire soldered onto the case. This one has the automatic ETA 2892 base with (I assume) either Soprod or Dubois-Dupraz modules for big date and power reserve. We first covered the Bell & Ross WW1 watch collection here.
The case is gorgeous, mirror polished and very well made indeed.
By the numbers: 45.0mm across, 12.75mm thick at center of crystal, 52.8mm lug to lug. 93g on the strap and a 6.7mm crown. Water resistant to 50m, non-screwdown crown.
Between the all-dial style and high-polish steel case, this Bell & Ross is an attention-getting watch. In direct sunlight you can better see the curved surface of the outer dial as well as the galvanic finish. The dial design interests me: no minute markers, but big 9 and 12 numerals and a small logo. An interesting mix of empty space and purpose.
Nice, long, well-proportioned hands make for excellent legibility. Especially with a dial this wide, you’ll read this at a glance.
The caseback is so well made and polished that my camera focussed on the reflected wispy clouds instead of the metal. I liked the result.
Alligator strap, signed thorn buckle with logo, two strap keepers. Note how the shape of the buckle matches the lugs; nice attention to detail.
On the wrist, it’s… bold. In a very unusual, “I care about design and quality” sort of way.
Nice medium-height profile, goes well with cuffed shirts.
A bit closer. Note the play of light on the upper half of the dial from the dial finish and domed crystal.
With regards to functionality, it’s excellent – the big date is much easier to read (and matches the dial proportions better), the power reserve is always nice to have and the timekeeping is easily chronometer-grade. Smooth winding and setting, of course, and a lovely smooth sweep on the extra-long seconds hand.
At the MSRP of $5,500 the WW1-90 has a lot of competition. I picture it as competing with the Omega Aqua Terra, Rolex Explorer and perhaps some of the IWC flieger line. It’s a lovely, well-made watch, but that’s a lot of money. If you’re shopping in that price range, it’s a choice less ordinary that should serve you well.