n elite unit of the French Air and Space Force, the Patrouille de France has established itself for 70 years as one of the most prominent aerobatic display teams. Founded in 1953, the Patrouille de France has built its reputation on the excellence of its pilots chosen from among the best fighter pilots, and the panache of its developments, appreciated at all latitudes.
A symbol of the performance of French armed forces, the Patrouille de France is also an ambassador of French style throughout the world. Each flight is a feat, both on a purely technical level and in its artistic dimension. A long-standing success which has been renewed for 70 years thanks to the meticulous preparation and the precision of the execution. Based on a precious heritage, these notions are particularly inspiring for the present times. The same applies for Bell & Ross, which is dedicating a limited edition of its BR 03 instrument watch to this exceptional anniversary.
“By becoming a partner of the Patrouille de France, Bell & Ross associates itself with the values of this prestigious unit of the French Air and Space Force, and also becomes an ambassador of French military aeronautical excellence. The BR 03-92 Patrouille de france 70th Anniversary seals this date with a unique timepiece, which is the result of a rich and prestigious history between the House of Bell & Ross and military aviation”, underlines Carlos Rosillo, President and co-founder of Bell & Ross.
The Patrouille de France and Bell & Ross are two institutions which now have a common history. The link is much stronger than a simple association of two names. Just as aerobatics presupposes a perfect symbiosis between the team members, since 2021, the two trajectories have intersected and sometimes even merge. Over time, a real partnership has been forged between these two entities, each of which is a benchmark in their area of expertise, thanks to shared values.
“Since 2021, the French Air and Space Force and Bell & Ross have forged a partnership of trust built around the Patrouille de France brand and strong common values. Self-transcendence, constant innovation, rigour, precision and a spirit of cohesion bring life to the teams of the ‘Grande Dame’ and those of Bell & Ross on a daily basis. And what’s more, it is the demand for excellence and the desire to raise the prestige of French wings to the highest level that brings us together and gives meaning to our association. The French Air and Space Force is proud to celebrate alongside Bell & Ross the 70TH anniversary of the Patrouille de France with this latest watchmaking achievement, the fruit of our shared passion”, says Colonel Malard, Director of SIRPA Air and Space.
For the tribute to be fitting, a few challenges had to be overcome. “The silhouettes of the 5 aircraft that have flown since the creation of the Patrouille de France in 1953 are engraved on the back of the watch. It was somewhat complicated for the artistic department to ensure that the 5 aircraft ‘fit’ on the caseback”, specifies Bruno Belamich, Creative Director and co-founder of Bell & Ross. Mission accomplished.
The human dimension is essential in any aerial performance. In an aircraft, flight instruments are designed to serve the pilot. Guided by this philosophy, Bell & Ross has always been keen to develop its professional timepieces in direct contact with their users. A guideline that influences the technical characteristics and adds a real meaningful touch to the watches.
“Pilots are always consulted for the creation of watches: the primary goal of the House is to meet the needs of these men and provide them with a tool to serve their mission. For example, the BR 03 TYPE A Patrouille de France was created at the request of the pilots; the watch is equipped with a quartz movement providing a dual analogue and digital display”, recalls Bruno Belamich. The BR 03-92 Patrouille de france 70th Anniversary is no exception: inspired by pilots, it was designed with pilots.
If the BR 03-92 Patrouille de france 70th Anniversary is intended to celebrate the anniversary of the Patrouille de France, it is nonetheless a professional instrument. As proof, it adopts the fuselage of the BR 03, that is to say an ultra-light square-shaped case (42 x 42 mm) in high-tech ceramic, treated here with a black coating accentuating the contrasts. Both technical and contemporary, water-resistant to 100 metres, it protects the automatic mechanical movement calibre, BR-CAL 302, which indicates the hours, minutes, seconds and date.
For the dial of this exclusive anniversary limited edition of 999 pieces, Bell & Ross has chosen a particularly luminous shade of blue, evoking the colour of the Alpha Jet of the Patrouille de France. The insignia of this elite display team and the specific logo of its 70th anniversary appear at the heart of this dial subtly circled in the colours of the French flag.