Fly Boy Friday is a series dedicated to the ever popular pilot’s watch. Having previously featured pilot’s watches from Longines and IWC, as well as showcasing some affordable pilot watches, this week we take a look at Bell & Ross’s excellent and varied collection of pilot watches.
The Bell & Ross collection of pilot’s watches is one of the most extensive and varied in all of watch making. With its long standing association with the world of aviation, Bell & Ross is famous for creating watches that resemble the gauges found inside the cockpit of an airplane.
As well as some of its more unconventional aviation inspired timepieces, Bell & Ross has also created pilot style watches that pay tribute to WW1 fighter pilots and WW2 bomber navigators. In 2008 the brand was also asked to produce two limited edition watches for the French Air Force.
Whether you are a professional pilot, flight enthusiast or only ever get as far as playing a flight simulator game on your iPad, with such a large collection of pilot watches, Bell & Ross offer the inevitable cliché of there really being something for everyone, as you’ll see from the varied selection of watches below.
Bell & Ross Vintage WW2 Regulateur
Designed as a tribute to the navigational instruments and timekeepers used during World War 2, the Bell & Ross WW2 Regulateur timepiece features an extra large case that measures 49mm in diameter with an ergonomically designed bi-directional bezel.
The watch displays a large central minutes hands with two sub dials for hours and seconds. This is because the minute hand is the most important indicator for a fighter pilot who needs to make quick and accurate readings during short intervals of time. From $6,000.00
Bell & Ross BR03-94 Chronographe Black and White
The Bell & Ross BR03-94 in black and white is made from stainless steel with a matte black PVD finish. The case measures 42mm in diameter and includes an anti-reflective crystal sapphire. The black and white dial displays hours, minutes and seconds, with a date window between 4 and 5 o’clock.
There is also a two counter chronograph with a 60 second sub dial at 3 o’clock and a slightly larger 30 seconds dial at 9 o’clock. All hands numerals and indexes are covered in a sand coloured luminescent coating. Retail price $5,800.00
Bell & Ross 123 Original
The Bell & Ross 123 Original includes a three hand Swiss ETA 2892 movement and is taken from the brand’s Vintage collection. The case measures 41mm and is made from stainless steel. The beige dial offers excellent readability in what is a really classy and stylish timepiece that will almost certainly appeal to most tastes. From $2,900.00
Bell & Ross BR01 Red Radar
Despite being somewhat unconventional, the BR01 Red Radar watch is an excellent example of what Bell & Ross do best – create completely unique and extraordinary watches from what are essentially fairly basic Swiss ETA movements.
First launched in 2011, the Red Radar watch uses a disc system mounted on top of the movement to display the time. Take a look at this video on how the disc system of the watch works.
Limited to 999 pieces, the BR01 Red Radar retails for around $5,500.00
Bell & Ross BR01 2013 Aviation Collection
Bell & Ross recently extended its Aviation collection with this series of limited edition watches. Pictured from left to right, you’ve got the BR01 Heading Indicator, BR01 Climb and BR01 Airspeed. As with the previous watches in the Aviation collection, their design is inspired by airplane cockpits. Each watch is a limited edition of 999.
The first 99 watches sold are presented in a special collectors box, which is also inspired by an airplane control panel. The collectors set includes the 3 new watches above along with the BR01 Horizon, BR01 Altimeter and BR01 Turn Coordinator.
All three of the new models are made from stainless steel with a PVD coating. The Airspeed and Head Indicator watches are driven by an ETA calibre 2892-2 movement, with the Climb timepiece using an ETA calibre 2897 largely due its power reserve feature. Price: TBC
Bell & Ross Vintage BR126 Falcon
Launched at Baselworld 2013, the Vintage BR126 Falcon is the latest addition to the brand’s Vintage collection. The watch is taken from a new Sports Heritage line of watches and pays tribute to the Dassault Mystere Falcon 20 which was widely considered to be the best business jet of its time.
The BR126 Falcon watch stands out from other Bell & Ross watches as it features an outline of the Falcon aircraft at 6 o’clock. The watch measures 41mm in diameter and includes sand coloured photo-luminescent indexes, numbers and hands. Price TBC.