Watchmaking meets military history
Bell & Ross has always been passionate about military history and values. To go even further in its quest for excellence, Bell & Ross has made aviation, especially aeronautical instruments, a main source of inspiration.
- Left: Pilot wearing a BR 126 Falcon - Right: New BR 126 Chronograph by Bell & Ross
- In 1963, a new jet, the Falcon, soared into aeronautical legend and revolutionized business flying. To celebrate the aircraft’s 50th anniversary, and commemorate a period of creativity and innovation, Bell & Ross designed two “Falcon” limited series with the same high standards as the professional instruments for military use.
Many of its present collections pay tribute to the timekeepers that the military have used throughout history on land, sea or in the air, including First World War pocket watches, Second World War flight instruments with special functions and 1960s instrument panels. Sharing the army’s values of performance and excellence, Bell & Ross regularly supports elite units by designing watches that perform particular functions or celebrate special occasions.
Absolute precision to fit the extreme
Some professions require absolute precision. When success depends on perfect timing and when every second counts, having a watch capable of meeting the highest and most rigorous standards, becomes absolutely imperative.
- A rafale pilot wearing a BR 03 by Bell & Ross
Reliability, performance and resistance are essential for these special timekeeping instruments. Military watches are the finest examples of the successful combination of readability and functionality.
The armed forces have always been the most demanding users of watches. They are the ones who, during the First World War, urged watchmakers to take watches out of their pockets and put them on their wrists, redefining them as a tool to help them accomplish their mission. During the Second World War they started asking for specific parts and complications with special functions, such as oversized crowns, notched bezels and the flyback device. The armed forces’ requirements and specific demands pushed manufacturers to go even further regarding reliability, accuracy and functionality.
Each parameter - case diameter, special functions, water-resistance, day and night readability, luminous indexes, oversized numerals, precision, autonomy, shock and temperature resistance, anti-magnetic cases, rotating bezels - becomes a key factor when a military institution chooses a watch.
Special watches for special units
The professional instruments that Bell & Ross has designed for the Special Forces prove its ability to meet very specific needs. For example, the anti-magnetic case of the Type Démineur makes it safe to wear during mine-clearing operations.
- A pilot wearing a BR 01-94 by Bell & Ross
The Pilot Type Aéronavale, with its chronometer and notched bidirectional rotating bezel graduated for 60 minutes, is ideal for fighter pilots in flight. The luminous indexes and oversized numerals of the BR 03-92 GIGN, BR 01 RAID and BR 03 TORNADO echo the need for day and night readability, expressed by the GIGN, France’s Special Weapons and Tactics Force. With its multifunction movement, the BR 03 Type Aviation fulfills the requirements of French fighter pilots.
Source: Bell & Ross