Introducing the Bell & Ross BR05 GMT: pros & cons

Introducing the Bell & Ross BR05 GMT: pros & cons

13 September 2021 | Bell & Ross , Watch Reviews

Introduced nearly two years ago, the BR 05 is Bell & Ross' take on the ubiquitous luxury sports watch and a more mainstream product than the hallmark aviation-inspired instrument wristwatches. Despite being a big and bold BR die-hard fan, I admit you won't expand your brand and business if you exclusively pay attention to military-geared tool watches. The BR 05 was equally a chance and a not-to-be-missed opportunity; also, add the right luxury sports watch to your product portfolio, and you'll end up enlarging your audience and drive those leads to discover your entire offering afterwards.

bell-ross-br05-gmt-2Nonetheless, making it right is all but easy, but I think the thoroughly thought BR05 has a clean design and the right amount of the brand's DNA and family feeling. After revealing the base model, chronograph and skeleton options (my all-time fav, so far), Bell & Ross take the curtain off the new BR05 GMT, quite an unexpected move looking at the current product line-up. You would expect a GMT variant to follow the base version since they usually share the same technical layout. I guess that Bell & Ross kept the new GMT into a drawer during the pandemic; Case in point, introducing a GMT watch when you're not allowed to travel at all makes no sense unless you're opting for style rather than function.

bell-ross-br05-gmtThe base layout is aesthetically enriched with a broad and red-tipped GMT hand and an internal toned-down black and grey 24-hour scale. The red hand thus contrasts the flat, two-tone template and makes the watch stand out. The timepiece comes with everything you're familiar with in a BR05, i.e. a "one-piece" looking case and bracelet, which is brushed throughout except for screws, bezel and case's profile, and crown.

bell-ross-br05-gmt-4Polished are also the integrated bracelet's mid links. Beating inside the 41 mm case (measuring 11 mm in thickness) is the BR-CAL.325 calibre, namely a reworked Sellita base movement equipped with a re-designed winding rotor. I would have gone for something more refined considering the price point and the benchmark (the watch costs 4990 Euros on a bracelet), while I approve it from a reliability and maintenance cost standpoint, although 42 hours of power reserve on a GMT watch is a letdown.

bell-ross-br05-gmt-5The new Bell & Ross BR05 GMT also comes with a rubber strap at 4500 Euros. In summary, the Bell & Ross BR 05 GMT is a stylish and attractive GMT, especially as a full-steel timepiece, and is, no doubt, the most reasonable and usable GMT watch by the brand. Thumbs down for the mechanical package instead; I'm not asking for any in-house movement whatsoever, but an outsourced calibre with far more power reserve and better finish would be more than welcome.

(Photo credit: courtesy Bell & Ross)

Gaetano C @Horbiter®

Instagram - Gaetano Cimmino

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