Bell & Ross BR 03-92, BR 03-94 e BR S Desert Type - The iconic BR gets a sandwich dial and a cleaner style
Three versions, three movements and a single complication. Bell & Ross keep on producing new versions of their BR, in this case the reference is called BR03 and, once again, it is a ceramic-made timepiece, a special material that is now a constant presence in the brand’s catalogue. Talking about Desert Type watches, Bell & Ross have already released this kind of timepiece, it is the BR 03-92 Desert Type featuring a stainless steel case and a superficial PVD-coating that was crafted on a limited-series basis of 250 samples only.
The manufacturer has launched a new collection that still bears the name Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Desert Type for the three-hands, Bell & Ross BR 03-94 Desert Type for the chrono, Bell & Ross BR S Desert Type (quartz), that includes three models whose name and diameter, at least on paper, are the same as the original’s (but the quartz one, at 39mm) but whose characteristics and features are quite different. The case is made of black matted ceramic and the brand has opted in favour of a full de-cluttering of the dial’s style by completely re-editing the geometry of the hands. The central minutes hand now features a different edge with an extra balancing wheel of the “lollipop”-type style while the dial is no longer sporting any feedthrough screws that were decorating the dial of the original timepiece instead.
A cleaner style also brings with it an interesting novelty that is also an absolute first for the BR collection, I guess; the so-called “sandwich dial”. For those who are new to the world of watch-making, the “sandwich dial” is a particular type of dial that consists of two different layers one on top of each other. The higher layer is coupled with a lower layer that has been filled with luminescent material and that gives the whole dial a brand new personality and touch. In the previous editions, the indexes had been applied and filled with SuperLuminova material (like, for instance, on the 10th Anniversary timepiece.)
The main difference can be easily spotted on the chrono version, the Bell & Ross BR 03-94 Desert Type, where, leaving aside the choice of the chronographic scale, the style is generally much more sober and less clashing than with the previous editions. If I were to compare the chrono version with the first BR chrono that comes to my mind (a Rafale, for instance) that is still considered by Bell & Ross’s fans as one of the most coveted BR watches ever released, the new Bell & Ross BR 03-94 Desert Type is less sport-like and easier to wear while still preserving its typical camouflage military style.
Even if you are not among the fans of this brand and of the BR collection, with the release of the Bell & Ross BR 03-92 and BR 03-94 Desert Type, the manufacturer has created one of the best and classiest collections since the appearing of the first model on the market. The timepiece retails at 3,400 euro while the chrono version retails at 4,990 euro, the automatic movement derives from an ETA base. The three-hand Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Desert Type has become a classic among military sport-like watches and it is a very well-built item sporting a ceramic-made case and an extremely linear style that suits a generous wrist and those who like a square-shaped case with four on-view screws.
Gaetano C @Horbiter