February 18, 2008
by Ariel Adams
Sometimes I can’t help but express my fondness for a watch. Those particular models that stay with you in your mind. Maybe you had your eye on it a while back. It’s not that you lost interest, but perhaps other watches came and went in the meantime. And after all is said and done, those reliable watches are always there to make you happy. Before the Bell & Ross BR-01 instrument was a different flavor of Bell & Ross. A more innocent time when Bell & Ross was still finding itself.
The Bell & Ross Geneva 123 is a classic watch. Not by any chronological measure, but rather by the timeless way it seems to go with anything, anywhere. You could blow up the size of the watch and put it on a wall or building and it would be perfectly at home. Legibility is perfect, the sharp hands confidently expressing the time. Black hands on the pristine white face, or polished steel glistening against the serene black, the watch stands out with it sense of being perpetually “in the now.”
Balance is an important concept in design. Perfect symmetry provides the best type of balance as it is the most aesthetically pleasing. The Geneva 123 cleverly incorporates the subsidiary seconds and the date window in one vertical upside down “8” shape. While most watch designs neglect this area, Bell & Ross wisely chose to make the date window round. A simple but highly effective solution for maintaining balance in an otherwise round watch, the alternative of course being a square date window that would detract from the balance. The exception to the circular theme are the broad angular hands which are contrasted in order to stand out for a higher degree of legibility. This is thoughtful design, and easily appreciated when you can recognize its effect on how easy the Bell & Ross Geneva 123 is to live with.
The Geneva series comes in several flavors, even in solid 18k gold. There is also a chronograph version available as the Bell & Ross Geneva 126. Starting in the low $2000 range, the Bell & Ross Geneva series is priced competitively between Swiss and German watch designs. Fit and finish is highly respectabl, and of particular interest is the steel bracelet that is particularly well engineered. For a perpetually satisfying watch suitable for any occasion, formal or otherwise, the Bell & Ross Geneva 123 should be serious considered.
See Bell & Ross watches on eBay here.