“I’m getting major Top Gun vibes from this bad boy…”
Seriously, could you blame me though? I doubt there’s another brand that does the whole aviation theme as well as Bell & Ross. In the run-up to Baselworld 2019, the Paris-based company has unveiled its latest model, the BR 03-92 BI-COMPASS. Limited to just 999 pieces, the watch is a “reimagination” of some sort of the brand’s trademark squared-off pieces (BR 01/03). Models that, frankly, have captivated the market since its inception.
Including yours truly.
See, back when my biggest worry was whether or not I should say hi to my crush at school after chatting with her online the night before, I was captivated by the BR 01 collection. Like most kids my age, anything that stood out was cool by default. It was infatuation at first sight when I saw a giant BR 01 plastered on a billboard, no questions asked. How cool would it be to have a square watch to wear to school?!
Especially one that had such a masculine, tool-like persona to it, right? Being a teenager, toxic masculinity was the name of the game, regrettably. I bet that if I had one on my wrist all those years ago, my crush would talk to me first. So, I went home and asked my Mum for one.
She’s still laughing today.
“So get one today and make your crush regret her decisions, bruh!”
Sure, why not. Just join the queue to be one of the 999 potential customers and get the Bell & Ross BR 03-92 BI-COMPASS by April 2019 because that’s when deliveries begin. Easy peasy lemon sque-
For starters, I don’t have RM16,000 underneath my mattress. Heck, I don’t even have that much in my fixed deposit account.
I know that’s a lot of money but it is a pretty tasty-looking watch, if you ask me. The pops of Munsell green and off-white stand out against the matte black dial and ensures excellent legibility. As expected, a generous helping of Super-LumiNova is applied to the indices, hour and minute markers and hands. Lume is also applied on that little triangle that replaces the hour hand.
“Eh, what trian- OH! DAYUUUM!”
Yes, I’ll admit that while quickly glancing through the pictures, I missed that as well. So, since we’re on the topic of the dial, let’s break it down. The overarching design cue of the dial is that of a radio compass. Specifically, one pluck from the cockpit of planes from a bygone era.
Besides the use of two colour schemes to boost legibility to a certain degree, B&R has played around with “sectors” on the dial, including a “stepped” minute track on the rehaut between said “sectors”. The outermost ring houses the Bell & Ross logo along with the minute markers – which combines both baton and Arabic numerals in an off-white shade.
The inner ring, on the other hand, houses the date window at 4 o’clock and the hour markers in a similar layout. Only this time round, the batons and numbers are decked out in Munsell green. Here’s where things get more interesting too. On the same plane (hehe!), a green triangle marker sits on an independent concentric disc. As the hours go by, the disc, along with the triangle, makes its way around in a circle.
That effectively makes this watch a two-hander – seconds and minutes hands. Also, here’s a bit of extra trivia for you. The typography employed here is known as ‘Isonorm’ and is the exact same composition used on analog aviation counters.
“What about the movement inside? Tech specs?”
The Bell & Ross BR 03-92 BI-COMPASS is powered by the BR-CAL.302 calibre. Based on the Sellita SW300-1, the 25-jeweled movement beats at 4 Hz and has a power reserve of 42 hours. Water resistance? That’s rated at 100 metres.
Aside from that, the matte black, bead-blasted ceramic case measures 42 mm while a sapphire crystal while a sapphire crystal with AR coating completes the ensemble. Turning it around reveals a solid, engraved caseback. Last but not least, the watch comes equipped with two straps – a black rubber unit and an “ultra-resilient” black synthetic fabric strap. A black, PVD-coated steel pin buckle is found at the end of either strap choices.
To recap again, the Bell & Ross BR 03-92 BI-COMPASS is limited to 999 pieces worldwide and retails for RM16,000. The watch will be featured as part of the company’s Baselworld 2019 lineup before deliveries begin in April 2019.