Two New Bell & Ross Watches Launched
Bell & Ross added two new models to their VINTAGE BR AÉRONAVALE collection: Chronograph (BR126) and Three-hand small-seconds watch (BR123). Tapping into the colour codes and rich detail of a naval officer’s uniform, the VINTAGE BR AÉRONAVALE honours tradition and military excellence. The brand unashamedly aims to “seduce fans of timepieces rich in both colour and value” with motifs from ceremonial uniform worn by naval officers.
Naval Air Force Officer’s watch
In the cockpit of a Rafale fighter jet, a French naval air force pilot wears a flight suit and the large 43 mm diameter watch reflects the needs of both legibility and ease of handling despite wearing flight gloves. However, his Dress Uniform for ceremonies changes to display military prestige. The blue of the uniform evokes the sea. The gold of the wings, trim and buttons conveys poise, nobility and victory. The blue/gold combination is found on VINTAGE BR AÉRONAVALE models, which feature all the symbols of an Officer and Gentleman.
Both new watches have distinctive gilt skeletonised hour and minute hands that stand out starkly against the navy blue sunray dial. The contrast between the two colours offers excellent legibility and more importantly, look elegant.
The VINTAGE BR AÉRONAVALE Chronograph BR126 is designed for pilots as a time measuring instrument. It has two additional counters with a fancy snailed grooved decoration and a 60-minute graduated bezel (outer ring) in blue anodised aluminium. Should all the timing instruments fail in the cockpit, this is the pilot’s final back-up.
Even if you are not a French Naval Aviator, the suave good looks of either the chronograph or time-only watch are undeniable. The ultra-curved sapphire crystal mimics the classic style of the watch and adds a tactile urge; you want to ‘feel’ this watch like a smooth pebble on a beach. SwissMade, the automatic winding mechanical movements can be inspected through a transparent case-back. hey! You paid for it and might as well enjoy the view…
With your pin-buckle clasp, you get a choice of either a distressed Blue calfskin strap with ecru stitching or shiny Midnight Blue alligator strap. By the way, ‘ecru’ is French for ‘raw’ or ‘unbleached’ colour of light greyish-yellowish brown.
The shiny alligator strap of the VINTAGE BR AERONAVALE evokes classic sophistication, while the distressed satin texture of calfskin with overstitching in contrasting colour, reflects today’s retro trend.
About Bell & Ross
Bell & Ross has always been passionate about military history and values since 1992. They used the tag-line “Land – Sea – Air” from the beginning and soon added “Space” as well. Their main source of inspiration is aviation and aeronautical instruments where time measurement is a cornerstone of navigation. Having collaborations with many branches of military forces, Bell & Ross watches meet the functional and ergonomic criteria required by pilots and all users of professional horological instruments.
In 2015, Bell & Ross commemorated the Second World War with a watch model that honours the memory of the air forces that served in the conflict. Each watch bears the roundel of the respective army on its dial, in tribute to the heroes of yesteryear. The Grand Opening of the Bell & Ross London Boutique had Lt. Randolph Leonard Spencer-Churchill as Guest-of-Honour and French Military Officers in attendance. Randolph Churchill is the great-grandson of former British Prime Minister, the late Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, DL, FRS, RA.
There are other connections to the military and tradition for Bell & Ross founders – Bruno Belamich and Carlos Rosillo – both being inducted as Knights of the Legion of Honour. Incidentally, their surnames BELamich and ROSillo were the inspiration for the brand name ‘Bell & Ross’.
Carlos-A Rosillo, Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, was inducted a Knight of the Legion of Honour in 2012 by General Baptiste, Director of the Army Museum.
Bruno Belamich, Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, was inducted a year after his business partner in 2013.
Carlos Rosillo was interviewed by Bloomberg Markets about military aviation inspired watches and the demand for luxury time pieces.
Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)
Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web magazine. He was former CEO of PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelogue ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.
Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).