Revolutionary in its design, the BR-X1 is the first watch of a new collection from Bell & Ross and the beginning of a whole new chapter in the saga of the brand. An extreme version of the BR-01, whose iconic square shape is directly inspired by aeronautical flight instruments, the BR-X1 is much more than a top-of-the-range contemporary sports watch: it is the “Ultimate Utility Watch”.
FROM ON-BOARD INSTRUMENTATION TO THE BR-X1 TIMEPIECE
Nearly ten years ago, Bell & Ross launched the BR-01, a distinctive, high-performance watch directly inspired by on-board flight instruments. It has become an iconic watch thanks to its square shape, its round dial with perfect legibility, its broad dimensions and the efficiency of its functional design. Since then, the BR-01 has continued to evolve without losing its original identity. As a guiding principle, from vintage pocket watches to the grand complication watches, each Bell & Ross signed model pays homage to a great era in military history. A tribute to the Bell X-1, the first American experimental rocket plane to break the sound barrier (Mach 1, 1224 km/h) in 1947, Bell & Ross is pushing the boundaries of innovation even further in 2014 by launching its fifth-generation watch. Its name’ The BR-X1. Its special features’ A high-end chronograph with a resolutely sporty design and sophisticated haute horlogerie finishes. Inspired by 21st century fighter planes whose futuristic cockpits are made from fine, high-tech materials to optimise their structure, the BR- X1 is an inventive, high-tech watch, which is also masculine, strong and powerful. In one word: contemporary. The BR-X1 is to luxury watch-making what fifth-generation fighter planes are to aviation: a guarantee of ultimate performance.
RESISTANCE, ERGONOMICS, FUNCTIONALITY: THE BR-X1 TRILOGY
As tough as a 4×4, but as light as a drone, the BR-X1 stands out because of the innovative design of its 45-mm case made from grade 5 titanium. The square case of the BR-X1 is covered with a high-tech band made from ceramic and rubber. It is designed as a cover around the edges, acting as a defensive shield that protects it from possible impacts. Its innovative rocker push-buttons are used to activate the chronograph functions; these push-buttons are also made from high-tech ceramic with ergonomically-designed rubber inserts. The objective: to make them as solid and easy to grip as possible. A rubber button grip insert is also built into the case at 9 o’clock, to make it easier to activate the chronograph functions, even when wearing gloves. The BR-X1 features the perfect combination of materials and qualities – titanium, ceramic and rubber— which make it light, virtually scratch-proof and ergonomic. With its sporty appeal and complex design, its case features functional non-indexed screws. The sapphire glass has an anti-glare coating to ensure perfect legibility in all circumstances. Revolutionary and ultra-masculine, the design of this latest generation case, using a combination of materials makes the possibilities endless. It also opens up a vast potential for creativity, mostly in customisation.
HIGH FUNCTIONALITY SUPPORTED BY TECHNOLOGY AND SOPHISTICATION
The chronograph is the complication par excellence in aviation. It can measure short periods of time and has become an essential tool in navigation. It is mainly for these reasons that the chronograph has always enjoyed a special place among the Bell & Ross aviation watch experts. It is only natural that the latest creation from Bell & Ross – the BR-X1 – is not just any chronograph. Its rare skeleton chronograph movement is an exceptional motor combining haute horlogerie finishes and extreme lightness. Structured in the shape of an “X”, its upper bridge (treated with black DLC) reads like a mark of its identity. “X”, is the code name that refers to NASA’s experimental projects, and which gives the watch its name: the BR-X1. As is the tradition at Bell & Ross, the back of the BR-X1 – made from grade 5 titanium – features a small, round opening which reveals the beating heart of the balance. Made from grey-tinted mineral glass and featuring appliqué metal indices with photo-luminescent inserts, the dial forms a clear window through which the exceptional movement can be admired. The sophisticated, Superluminova®-filled hands offer perfect legibility. The central hour and minute hands are read traditionally, while the small seconds hand is positioned at 3 o’clock. The skeleton date dial is positioned at 6 o’clock. The minute timer on the chronograph function is positioned at 9 o’clock; instead of a hand, it features an ultra light aluminium disc resembling the blades of a turbine. Essential for calculating speeds, the tachometer scale appears on the ring; each chronograph function is marked with a subtle touch of red. Made from rubber, the black strap is decorated with a braid, which echoes the woven canvas straps used by astronauts, the modern adventurers in space. Made from steel and featuring a moulded black rubber insert, the buckle is both robust and refined. It is fixed to the strap using a pin and two hex-head screws.
THE BR-X1 – THE ULTIMATE CHRONOGRAPH
The perfect synthesis of Bell & Ross’ expertise in creating professional greatly complex watches, the BR-X1 is an exceptional instrument with an innovative, modern design, which is available as a limited edition of 250 pieces. Set on revolutionising the watchmaking world, its distinctive design – combining a sporty look with high-tech features and haute horlogerie finishes – marks a new chapter in the rich history of Bell & Ross.