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Bell & Ross - Vintage : the third generation

Bell & Ross Vintage : the third generation

Vintage style watches are all the rage, but Bell & Ross has been producing them since the origins of the brand.

Bell & Ross’s square-cased models are derived directly from aeroplane cockpit instruments and appeal to the aviation enthusiasts who like the brand. The brand’s vintage-style models have been around from the start, however, and offer a classic watch case with colour combinations to stand the test of time. These models have followed the evolution of military and aviation history, from the pocket watch to the WW1 with its wire loop lugs and the BR 123 and BR 126 models with tapered lugs. The latest models in this collection, presented at Baselworld earlier this year, constitute a third major evolution in the design of these vintage-themed watches and bring with them some discreet yet important improvements.

One would think that once the design for such a classically themed round timepiece has been laid down, there is little room for improvement. But the more particular watch collector knows that even a small change to a dial, a case or a lug can lead to a major change in the overall look of the watch. Bell & Ross’s original vintage collection, for example, did not have a bezel. This changed with the second generation in 2007, which had a bezel with 60-minute markings and a revised dial design with the oversized numerals at 6 and 12 o’clock and the sword-shaped hands, both derived from the BR 01 collection. The lugs also became more angular.

Vintage : the third generation

BR V2-94 © Bell & Ross

The third generation keeps the same legible dial but reduces the case diameter to 38.5mm for the three-hand model (BR V1-92), increasing to 41mm for the models with graduated 60-minute bezel (BR V2-92) and the chronographs (BR V2-94), which offer a tachymeter scale on the bezel and have one of the most significant changes: the addition of a crown protector and the use of screw-in pushers for improved security. For the icing on the cake, look to the central seconds hand on all models, which has a new counterweight design that resembles an aircraft silhouette and thus evokes Bell & Ross’s strong affiliation with the world of aviation (the brand also creates special bespoke collections for air forces and aircraft manufacturers around the world).

BR V2-92

BR V2-92 © Bell & Ross

BR V2-92

BR V2-92 © Bell & Ross

The brand

For Bell & Ross, each detail has a specific meaning and function: functionality is key, and minimalism – dispensing with superfluous ornamental details in favour of essential aspects – is vital.

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