Only Watch 2019: Bell & Ross BR 05 Skeleton Gold BlueWritten by Leong Wong
A special Bell & Ross goes under the hammer for a good cause.
The BR 05 Skeleton Gold Blue is a one-off created for Only Watch, the biennial auction of 50 unique creations by the world’s leading watchmakers that will take place in Geneva on November 9. Almost all proceeds will go directly to research projects on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a genetic disorder characterised by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness.
This particular model belongs to the eagerly awaited BR 05 family that was launched late last month. Overall, the collection has the same fundamental DNA shared by every Bell & Ross timepiece—legibility, functionality, reliability and precision—yet shows a distinct personality.
For starters, Bell & Ross has a new muse: the urban warrior and his surroundings—which is a clear departure from the brand’s usual rugged military/aviation bias. As a result, the BR 05, with its integrated case and bracelet, has an altogether sleeker profile to reflect this source of inspiration.
Co-Founder and Creative Director of Bell & Ross, Bruno Belamich, says he set out to design a watch that retains the essence of the brand identity, but with a fresh, neo-retro twist. “This integration of case and bracelet is not only in line with the brand’s visual identity, it also brings another dimension to the watch: the first link forms part of the case,” he notes. “This type of design harks back to the 1970s, and when transposed to Bell & Ross, it creates a result with a graphic style which is both striking and modern.”
A clever play of geometric shapes and textures softens the BR 05’s masculine edge. The satin-finished 40mm angular case has polished bevels and prominent curves with a bezel that is bolted down by four screws. The arc of the case, meanwhile, ensures all the components are perfectly aligned so that the watch sits comfortably on any wrist.
In the instance of the BR 05 Skeleton Gold Blue, the natural warmth of the 18K rose gold case contrasts beautifully with the Aegean blue dial and matching rubber strap. This aquatic impression is further enhanced by the sapphire crystal that protects the dial. It also allows the contrasting hands and hour indexes—in 18K rose gold and coated with Super-LumiNova—to really pop.
The engine beneath is a skeletonised version of the new automatic calibre wound by a 360° oscillating weight that was developed by Sellita for the BR 05 range. It is visible through the sapphire caseback topped with Bell & Ross’ signature ampersand and encircled by the words ‘Piece Unique’ and ‘Only Watch’ to indicate the timepiece’s special status.
Editor, CROWN Malaysia
A familiar face in Malaysia's horological publishing scene, Leong has been involved in lifestyle journalism since the mid-1990s. Besides watches, he takes a keen interest in cars and men's fashion.