Baselworld 2016 is ramping up!
A who’s who of the timepiece world is converging in Basel, Switzerland from mid-March to show their new haute chronos.
Bell & Ross unboxed a trio of adventurous new flavors on their well-loved design theme: the Desert Type.
Intended as vaguely military, vaguely fashion-focused item, the pieces also celebrate an adventurous traveller’s life in general.
A BR03-94 with the classic BR face style is the entry model of the Desert Type collection, and moves up to a full chronograph option of the same 42-MM size.
A smaller 39MM BR03-92 rounds out the range with a slightly lighter and more unisex piece.
Is it a timeless look? Yes and no. The Desert Type hopes to look beyond conflicts in arid, sandy territory — and replace it with the classic old-world glamour of travel to the ‘orient.’ Aka, anywhere South or East of Europe proper….
Bell & Ross is not helping me avoid army talk via its photoshoot styling. They have the watch atop a tan canvas bag just like the soldiers use…..
But there is a catch. Any BR watch will cost about the annual salary of an infantryman. We’re just happy they didn’t name it the ‘Desert Fox.’
Regardless, the BR Desert Type will be a perfect tropical timepiece even in a rainforest, though!
Bell & Ross BR03-94 DESERT TYPE
MILITARY BY NATURE
The BR 03 Desert Type was designed to meet the specifications of air forces operating in warm countries. Therefore, it is sandcoloured, just like the outfits worn by pilots on desert missions. An inherently professional instrument, the BR 03 Desert Type perfectly illustrates the four fundamental principles of Bell & Ross: legibility, functionality, precision and water resistance. Equipped with a chronograph function, this watch was specially designed for air pilots needing a tool to measure short time intervals. Its strap, which is available in beige leather or black ultra-resistant fabric, serves as a reminder of the practical purpose of this camouflage model.
A SOPHISTICATED DESIGN THAT ENHANCES LEGIBILITY
To adhere to the principles of aeronautical design, the case is black and the crystal features an anti-reflective coating. True to its continuous quest for excellence, Bell & Ross opted for ceramic in a black through-coloured shade for the case of its new chronograph. This innovative and high-tech material occupies pride of place in the production of pieces subjected to very high temperatures, acidic conditions, corrosion and erosion. Hypoallergenic and ultra-light, ceramic offers an exceptional feel and quickly adapts to body temperature for ultimate comfort.
The anti-reflective crystal is made of sapphire, a very tough material exhibiting tried-and-tested robustness. The four screws in the corners of the case evoke the aeronautical origins of the BR 01, using the front-mounting system of on board instruments featured in aircraft cockpits. These are functional and secure the bezel to the case, ensuring the watch is water-resistant to a depth of 100 metres.
Just like analogue aviation counters, the shape of the hands and the typography of the numerals guarantee total ease of reading. Meanwhile, the dial’s design is inspired by military techniques of marking for maximum legibility. Formed by two overlapping inserts, the beige upper section is cut away around the numerals and indices, revealing the black photoluminescent coating covering the lower insert. This black and sand-coloured contrast provides optimal reading of the dial during the daytime, as well as equally remarkable legibility at night thanks to its consistent and masterful photoluminescence.
THREE VERSIONS PRESENTING DIFFERENT FEATURES
To meet the requirements of the men working in the field, the new Desert Type is available in three versions, each with its own Swiss movement. On the 42 mm version, the three-hand BR 03-92 and the BR 03-94 chronograph present the large opening generally used for instrument watches. The 39 mm model presents the three-hand BR S for a version suited for smaller wrists, and also for women wishing to stand out from the crowd.
Although originally developed for fighter pilots on field operations, the Desert Type models will also delight lovers of characterful watches, as well as those who enjoy travelling to desert landscapes.
BR03-94 DESERT TYPE
Movement: Calibre BR-CAL.301.
Crystal: sapphire with anti-reflective coating.
Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds at 3 o’clock. Date.
Water resistance: 100 metres.
Short time interval chronograph: 30-min counter at 9 o’clock, central chronograph seconds. Minute track on the flange.
Case: 42 mm diameter. Matt black ceramic. Straps: beige calfskin and ultra-resistant black synthetic fabric.
Dial: beige. Superluminova-filled numerals, indices and HM Buckle: pin. Black PVD* coated steel. hands.
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.