You know what Bell & Ross needed? A good pilot watch. Boy, I’ll say their collection was missing one of those. THANKFULLY the brass over there figured it out and came up with these nice timepieces for flying. Our hearts can rest easily now… phew! In all seriousness, these are additional pilot watches for the brand which prides itself on its pilot and aviation styles timepieces.

What is really interesting is how the WW1-92 watches are part of a collection that look nothing like these two models. Look at a Bell & Ross WW1-97 for example and you won’t recognize the collection as something that would include the WW1-92. You can see a review article of mine on the other WW1 watches here to see what I mean. That all the WW1 (which stands for Wrist Watch 1) collection pieces don’t look the same isn’t per se a problem, but rather an amusing quirk if anything You just sort of need to understand that they are all part of the WW1 collection that Bell & Ross touts as being their homage to the first wrist watches.

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Rather than looking like wrist watch versions of pocket watches (like the other WW1) pieces, these are early aviator style and look like something off the first airplane dashboards. Though the cases of all the WW1 watches are the same. The WW1-92 watches come in 45mm wide steel cases with one being PVD coated. The WW1-92 Military is in polished steel while the WW1-92 Heritage is done in PVD gray (which gives the watch a more aged look). The models have either a white and black dial, or that now familiar aged tan and black with matching strap. Personally I love the combo of that orangey brown and black, on black case and matching orangey brown strap. Always a winning look for me. In this case the WW1-92 Heritage does not quite have a black case as it is dark gray. This modifies that look a bit but still looks very nice.

Even at 45mm wide, Bell & Ross plays tricks to make the watch feel smaller on the wrist. This includes short lugs which are also curved down. With a flat caseback, the watch will be comfy on most wrists, but probably look a bit large on the smallest wrists out there (which does not include my wrist). The case has a domed sapphire crystal and is water resistant to 50 meters. Overall I appreciate the largeness of the case with the dial design. It is also nice how despite the case is large, the strap wideness is not too great. Another interesting point about the lugs is that they actually hide a spring bar for attaching the strap. This vastly increases the ease of replacing the strap in comparison to some other watches that use loop style lugs.

The dial design is all aviator but with Bell & Ross’s typical sense of polish and grace. There have been 1001 ways of doing classic aviation watch dials, and here Bell & Ross chose what I call the “double dial” design. Here there is a dial for the hours within the minute scale dial. This was originally intended to improve legibility by giving the hour hands its own track. I think it works for the most part, but dials such are this aren’t too common. What Bell & Ross also likely wanted to do was avoid too much comparison to IWC as well as offer something unique among their existing collection of aviator styles watches. Whether you agree with it or not, many people judge new pilot style watches against what IWC offers. I think we can agree for the most part that the WW1-92 Military and Heritage models do not look like something available from IWC, and are also visually distinct from what Bell & Ross already offers.

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Inside the watches are Swiss ETA 2892 automatic movements. To keep up with appearances the dials do not include the date. Bell & Ross is wise not to use an exhibition caseback (which they do rather rarely now that I think about it) as the movement is much smaller than the case. Proportionally everything seems to work on the WW1-92 models. My personal favorite is the WW1-92 Heritage as I love the colors and that sexy tan strap. Though the Military model with its polished steel case and more conservative dial might prove a more flexible daily wear.

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