Earlier this November I’d the rare chance to sit down around the jury from the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie p Genève. For just one day, myself and 22 other far-more-qualified watch enthusiasts carefully examined 71 watches in 14 groups, spanning the whole world of the watchmaking industry in the $3,100 non-complication Tudor Black Bay to some woman’s tourbillion produced by Bovet that sells for more than $200,000. Of all of the watches which i saw, one which really separated itself in my experience was the Bell & Ross BR126 Sport Heritage Chronograph. An entry within the Sport Watch category, The Game Heritage Chronograph didn’t collect an award in the ceremony; however it created a lasting impression on me for holding its very own against the rest of the watches within the running.
Here’s one factor I’ve learned within my years as both a painter along with a watch collector: great design costs exactly the same to create badly design. You just need some heart and soul to really make it truly mean something. Better materials are more expensive; sure, however a pad printer will lay whatever style letter on the dial you know it to. When an affordable (though reliable) Swiss ETA movement is involved, out of the box the situation using the BR126, most watch companies begin with an item of resignation and do not even attempt to behave truly rewarding. Bell & Ross looked beyond the cost point around the Sport Heritage and extremely broke the great design barrier on watches only at that level.
You’ve seen brands like Omega and Panerai test out a man-made patina effect, however the BR126 nails the “aged luminous” check out its hour markers and hands. If you’ve ever stayed looking in a vintage Ocean-Occupant or Submariner, you’ll recognize how convincing this looks. And additionally to adding some historic realism, additionally, it sets a dark tone for that relaxation from the watch when it comes to its color palate: subdued, classic, and awesome.
The BR126’s dial color-way borrows most heavily in the Rolex watch “black/custard/red” combination in the “red” Submariner 1680. No, it will not win any honours for innovation outright, however again, using the best options that come with designs in the past and putting together them in near-perfect harmony isn’t something see every single day. I especially love the domed very, which increases the vintage look by slightly distorting the perimeters from the minute track from various angles. The moderate dial features the contrasting red-colored “100 M” depth rating print, which some purists might find more blasphemous than harmonious, because the watch is really a pilot’s watch in most other respects.
What’s interesting in regards to a watch having a date feature would be that the dial could be cut to show your day from the month anywhere round the number wheel. Here the date aperture is positioned between your 4 and 5 o’clock hour markers, the only real aspect of the design that is not a historic throwback however a rather a jerk to another chronographs within the Bell & Ross line.
The bezel is very classic searching, as well as very clever. Borrowing the ultra-simple minute amounts and hashes from old watches for diving from the 50s and 60s, you’d believe you had been searching in an old plastic bezel place which was stored in pristine condition in the end, every bezel with this particular type face and layout is made from some kind of epoxy or celluloid. Not this watch. Just really thoughtful design on the simple, flat metal ring.
The chronograph buttons are extremely simple “pump” style pushers, that are small, inconspicuous. This really is another among the elements of design that provides the timepiece a really vintage look, and borrows heavily in the early Valjoux 72 actions as seen on early Rolex watch Daytonas. It may also help to help blur the lines from a pilot’s along with a diver’s watch.
The only real dead giveaway around the low cost point may be the finish from the situation. That smooth, slightly over-polished check out the edges and lugs that states “If you would like more, pay more,” is within full effect here. But fortunately individual’s surfaces aren’t really that visible when searching in the watch around the wrist. The prosperity of this watch’s design is based on the connection between your dial, bezel, and pushers.
This really is one watch that may benefit greatly from the strap change, although the provided patterned black rubber strap is a nice efficient way to help keep costs lower without searching like other watches within the low four figures. I’ll be seeing what goes on to the feel of this watch if this will get a NATO style strap tell you its spring bars. Actually, the BR126 is simply one military eco-friendly canvas strap from giving the IWC Pilot’s Watch Top Gun Miramar a run because of its money.
Bell & Ross has ongoing to demonstrate all of the right moves like a awesome, innovative company having a really strong identity. You will find several things more effective than anyone marketing campaign, and that’s the rare combination of top quality and persistence. It had been only dependent on time before they provided a wrist watch that will attract me around that one does. That won’t win a Grand Prix award, however it does win a location on my small wrist, but for the cost, maybe on yours too.