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20th Anniversary
Bell & Ross - Carlos Rosillo & Bruno Belamich

Bell & Ross Carlos Rosillo & Bruno Belamich

Co-founders**

“We are all about the logo and shape,” says Carlos Rosillo, CEO and one of the founding partners of the ampersand-logoed French watch brand Bell & Ross. Bruno Belamich, the creative part of the French duo as well as co-founder, nods and agrees with his lifelong friend and business partner.

Bell & Ross is a young brand. Founded by two childhood pals who met when they were 16 years old and discovered a mutual fascination for movies like The Right Stuff and military history.

“We were not the best designers, nor were we the best engineers. But we turned out to be very good at creating a well-balanced design language,” Rosillo says about the early days of the company, while emphasising that he and Belamich have always worked according to four basic principles: legibility, functionality, precision and reliability.

Carlos Rosillo & Bruno Belamich

Carlos Rosillo & Bruno Belamich © Bell & Ross

Being partially owned by the powerful Wertheimer brothers (of Chanel) gives Bell & Ross access to movements and watchcases in a partnership that Rosillo praises in glowing terms: “They are our best advisors and even after 20 years of ‘marriage’, we are still very much in love with each other.”

It was, however, not until 2005 that Bell & Ross took a radical design turn and created a square-shaped watch that is today perceived as a modern icon, and a successful result of the brand’s “function shapes form” philosophy.

The BR 01 is inspired by aircraft clocks and cockpit instruments and, with its distinct circle-in-a-square design, Bell & Ross took the market by storm.

Having created a celebrated design like the BR 01, Bell & Ross has made its mark on modern watchmaking history. Based on this original aesthetic, the French watch company with its distinctive logo and case shape expanded its range in 2017 with the successful world-first square dive watch, the BR 03; followed in 2019 by the less military and more urban-inspired BR 05. Both these models underline the importance of consistent design rules and have in turn become modern icons.

*Written by Kristian Hagen

*On the occasion of GMT Magazine and WorldTempus' 20th anniversary, we have embarked on the ambitious project of summarising the last 20 years in watchmaking in The Millennium Watch Book, a big, beautifully laid out coffee table book. This article is an extract. The Millennium Watch Book is available on www.the-watch-book.com, in French and English, with a 10% discount if you use the following code: WT2021.

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