2015 Bell & Ross BR 03 RAFALE Is Ceramic Special With Fighter-Jet Tech Transfer

2015 Bell & Ross BR 03 RAFALE Is Ceramic Special With Fighter-Jet Tech TransferWelcome to the latest Bell & Ross showpiece: the BR 03 Rafale.

Revealed at this year’s Basel World convention, this 500-unit run takes the Bell & Ross aesthetic and identity well into the future via all-new style and military technology transfer.

The most striking element of this $6,200 watch is its case, which eschews the typical milled alloys and stainless steel of most watches from this hot French marque. By swapping metal for ceramic, the Rafale promises to be a real featherweight on the wrist.

The big-watch trend takes some time to get used to on your wrist. You learn the special way to slide the 42-mm (and especially the massive 46-mm) cases under shirt cuffs, and how to wear it so movement is minimal and no chafing occurs. Setting hands down softly on tables is also needed to avoid banging it around. By far the biggest adjustment to wearing any large watch, however, is the weight. Though you come to enjoy the feel, the heft can be off-putting to some.Car-Revs-Daily.com Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe Waterspeed 20 Car-Revs-Daily.com Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe Waterspeed 8 Car-Revs-Daily.com Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe Waterspeed 21 Car-Revs-Daily.com Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe Waterspeed 19

All the above concerns also apply to fighter jets. They need airframes and skin to be (much) lighter, quieter, stronger, and radar-absorbing to supercede previous all-star metals: magnesium and titanium.

Honoring the French-made Rafale fourth-gen fighter jet from Dassault Systems, the new BR 03 hopes to keep the size and panache of a big, macho Bell & Ross square style — but drop some of the weight. Added strength and a natural, stealthy matte grey finish are side benefits of the ceramic case on the BR 03 Rafale — which charges kinetically, is dive-rated to 100-meters and features superluminova lettering.

So what exactly is this ‘ceramic’ material? A closely guarded secret — a state secret, even. This ceramic case may or may not be some kind of pressure-treated graphite blend — cooked and super hardened in autoclaves to the point where it makes steel look floppy.

One detail we do not love? Bell & Ross has employed a smaller font for the numerals on the Rafale, which count all the way to 12 versus just having a few jumbo number beacons.2015 Bell & Ross BR03 RAFALE 21 2015 Bell & Ross BR03 RAFALE 7

We hope this ceramic tech comes to more B&R models soon.

But the point is moot — the Rafale is almost sold-out immediately after being revealed. The e-shop shows the watch as unavailable, so your best bet is to seek out a boutique in your part of the world to locate one.

Or, of course, you have the fabulous catalog of ‘standard’ Bell & Ross timepieces. They all project power and masculinity, starting conversations and impressing strangers and friends alike.

When Tag or Tank or Breitling seem like they try too hard …. a B&R Rafale might be the perfect antiserum.


2015 Bell & Ross BR 03 RAFALE


BR 03

Movement : automatic mechanical. Calibre BR-CAL.301.

Functions : hours, minutes, small seconds at 3 o’clock. Date. Elapsed time chronograph: 30-min timer at 9 o’clock, central chronograph seconds. Tachymeter scale on the flange.

Case: 42 mm in diameter. Matt black ceramic.

Dial: matt grey. Superluminova®-filled numerals, indices and hour and minute hands.

Crystal: sapphire with anti-reflective coating.

Water resistance: 100 m.

Strap: black rubber.

Buckle: pin. Black PVD* coated steel.

*PVD: Physical Vapor Deposition




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Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly expanding automotive news magazine. He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank. Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.