Bell & Ross Joins the Green Party

The Parisian brand launches a twist on the steel sports watch trend.

"They work as well with a wetsuit as they do with a dinner suit," announced the headline on a 1976 advert.

Underneath, the copy continued: "We're introducing a watch that looks absolutely majestic whether you're joining hands across a dinner table, or a coral reef."

The model was Patek Philippe's Nautilus, a watch that, along with Audemars Piguet's Royal Oak, needed as much advertising help as it could. Both models were attempting to reposition steel as a precious metal.

The steel sports watch has almost become a genre in itself, like dive or pilot's watches. You no longer have to pay Patek-prices to get one. Tag Heuer, Tissot, Breitling, and others all have a spin on the idea in their books.

One of the more unusual twists comes from the Bell & Ross, the playful French brand with a thing for square cases and designs taken from aircraft cockpit instruments. Its BR 05 came out in 2019, and ticked off all the elements of a steel sports watch: integrated steel bracelet with a tapered profile, relatively thin case, simple time-and-date display, combination of satin-finished surfaces with polished accents.

Since then Bell & Ross has had fun with the idea, launching chronograph versions, glow-in-the-dark versions, vibrant blue versions, and skeletonized versions, where you could see the watch's inner workings.

Photo by COURTESY.

Its latest is the BR 05 Skeleton Green. As its name strongly suggests, it combines a skeletonized movement with a green-tinted crystal-green—dialed watches having been something of a trend over the last 18 months.

The 40mm case is entirely made of steel, alternating between polished and satin finishes, as per the above.

Alternatively, it's available on a green rubber strap, for anyone who really wants to max out the green theme.

Photo by COURTESY.

Bell & Ross says its new watch is "aimed at the contemporary urban explorer, sensitive to both technique and beauty".

Which is a 2022 version of saying: it'll work as well with a wetsuit as it will with a dinner suit.

FromEsquire UK

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