Bell & Ross BR01 Laughing Skull Watches

Melvyn Teillol-Foo

Momento Ridere or Laugh Momento



Bell & Ross have done it again! Revealing their latest “Momento Ridere” watches at COUTURE Show in Las Vegas, USA: the BR01 Laughing Skull.

Bell & Ross BR01 Laughing Skull Watch

Bell & Ross BR01 Laughing Skull

Since 2009, the Bell & Ross Skull family has become an iconic collection and this year’s revelation is a playful set of three limited editions.

Jaw Closed

The new watch features the eponymous powerful skull with exuberant finishes and includes a surprise that will make you laugh:
The mandible moves – when winding – and the skull grins back at you!

Jaw Opened


Watch back

Thus, Bell & Ross ventures into the realm of automata for the first time. It was a European tradition for animated mechanical figures or Jaquemart to strike the hours on a bell at the top of clock towers.


The skull symbol of death was also used to ward off danger for adventurers in dangerous professions. Hence its prominence amongst pirates and buccaneers of old.

More recently, it was also used by military especially special forces and aircraft strike groups.

It is symbolic in more ways than one, making it a powerful statement piece…

Making a Skull Case

BR01 Laughing Skull front

The 46mm case is made from microblasted steel decorated with a ‘Clous de Paris’ pattern where hollowed lines are engraved to intersect and form tiny pyramidal shapes.

Clous de Paris

The skull is an embossed metal applique. The hands are cutlass-shaped as per the family style but here they are skeletonised and painted with luminescent SuperLuminova®.

Manufacture Movement

BR-CAL.206 movement

Bell & Ross developed the BR-CAL.206 movement that it produces itself for the new watch. It is a hand wind movement but when winding the crown, the jaw opens and closes as if laughing with you!

Uniquely, it is a skull-shaped movement that seems to float in the centre of the watch because of the four bone-shaped bridges holding the movement to the case.

Three Levels of Luxury

BR01 Laughing Skull steel watch 500-piece edition

The basic steel BR01 Laughing Skull is a 500-piece limited edition and costs £7,900.


BR01 Laughing Skull Light Diamond watch 99-piece edition

The steel Light Diamond BR01 Laughing Skull is a 99-piece limited edition bezel-set with 104 diamonds (1.032 ct) and costs £13,000.


BR01 Laughing Skull Full Diamond watch 99-piece edition

The steel Full Diamond BR01 Laughing Skull is a 99-piece limited edition case and bezel-set with 394 diamonds (2.891 ct) and costs £22,000.

AlphaLuxe Comment

The BR01 Laughing Skull was created for aficionados of original timepieces.

Its symbolism, in more ways than one, making it an attractive statement piece.

The automaton action and skull-shaped movement puts it in a class of its own.


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Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)

Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine.
He was also CEO of 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 ‘’ 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).

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