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Bell & Ross PW1 & WW1 Argentium

by Michael Weare
12 October, 2012
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About the author

Michael Weare has been a professional writer for 30 years, writing about Japanese technology, German and Italian cars, British tailoring and Swiss watches. Michael manages the editorial content of Click Tempus and will be keeping the magazine fresh and informative with regular features, as well as bringing great writers to the magazine. Email: michael@clicktempus.com

Bell & Ross PW1 & WWI Argentium

This article was written and contributed by Jonathan Fairfield, a journalist and English teacher based in Thailand

Bell & Ross – PW1 & WW1 Argentium

Bell & Ross PW1 & WWI Argentium

French watchmakers Bell & Ross are bringing the past very much to the present by paying a heartfelt tribute to two of its most revered creations. New versions of the PW1 (a pocket watch) and the Vintage WW1 , which is said to have been the first wristwatch worn during the First World War, are to be given a 21st century upgrade.

A one-time pioneer for creating timepieces used in the military field, today Bell & Ross watches are worn by men facing all kinds of extreme situations from a wide range of different professions, including astronauts, divers, bomb disposal experts and race car drivers.

Whilst reissuing classic timepieces by giving them a bit of a facelift is nothing new, it is fair to say that not every watchmaker can lay claim to doing so without losing any of the watch’s original characteristics or style. However, that’s exactly what Bell & Ross have managed to achieve with their latest models – the PW1 and the WW1.

Made from Argentium, a type of silver that is resistant to oxidization and more than capable of withstanding the sort of tarnishing that is often found on other metals of this kind, the PW1 and the WW1 are as durable as they are alluring. The use of Argentium also eliminates the need for plating, which helps to make this already stylish timepiece even more appealing.

PW1 Répétition Minutes Argentium

Bell & Ross Repetition Argentium
The PW1 Répétition Minutes Argentium (to give it its full title) is Bell & Ross’s reinterpretation of the classic pocket watch, complete with a silver case and chain, anti-reflective domed sapphire, sunburst dial and manual winding mechanism. Arguably the most notable feature of the PW1 is that the hours and minutes are indicated musically upon request, with a low pitched chime sounding every hour. This is then followed by a series of double low pitched and then a high pitched chime, which sound for every five minutes that elapse thereafter. These chimes are activated by pressing the small button found on the left hand side of the case. Measuring 49mm in diameter, the back of the ‘barleycorn guilloché’ case also opens to reveal the watches mechanism and inner workings. Water resistant to 30 metres, the Dubois Dépraz movement has a running time of approximately 56 hours. Owners of the PW1 could be forgiven for thinking they’d stepped back in time with this timepiece!

Vintage WW1 Argentium

Bell & Ross WWI Argentium

The wristwatch version of the PW1, the WW1 manages to retain all the characteristics of some of the earliest wristwatches. In what can be described as two subtle shades of grey, the WW1 is available in either a silver or Ruthenium finish. Whilst both versions are refined and stylish, they still manage to maintain a vintage look. One thing that stands out on the Ruthenium version is the darker grey color of the strap, which helps to provide a really nice contrast with the silver color of the case. However, the opposite is also true when you look at the silver version as the matching color of the case and strap work well together. With ETA 7001 mechanical movement, the WW1 has hours and minutes, as well as a small second hand function. Water resistant to 30 meters, the case of the Argentium version measures 41mm in diameter. The watch is finished with a grey alligator strap, which is fastened with a pin buckle.

You certainly don’t have to be a member of the armed forces or a military aficionado to enjoy any of these stylish, yet subtle timepieces. And it’s not unfair to say that Bell & Ross have succeeded in bringing First World War wristwatches back in vogue.

Michael Weare | Website

Michael Weare has been a professional writer for 30 years, writing about Japanese technology, German and Italian cars, British tailoring and Swiss watches. Michael manages the editorial content of Click Tempus and will be keeping the magazine fresh and informative with regular features, as well as bringing great writers to the magazine. Email: michael@clicktempus.com

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