French luxury watchmaker Bell & Ross presented its latest diver’s watch at the Baselworld 2017 exhibition. For the first time in brand’s history, the iconic square case design inspired by the gauges in the cockpit of an aircraft, is adopted to a diver’s model.
Actually, Bell & Ross is not a stranger to the diver’s watch concept as the brand created pretty successful timepieces in the past.
It was 1997 when Bell & Ross got the leadership among professional diver watches with its Hydromax model which is designed to combat with the most extreme under water conditions. With its amazing depth rating of 11.100 meters, Hydromax is still considered a serious piece of equipment for divers. It is also possible to see that some innovative and unconventional methods are used to achieve these characteristics. One of the first things that come to mind is its case stuffed with patented oil in order to protect the watch from high pressure and shocks that may occur in deep water.
In 2007, Bell & Ross re-appeared with a new diver watch. Introduced with the reference BR 02, the model offered a waterproof rating of 1000 meters. With its large indices, bright colored minute hand and helium release valve, that pure blood diver watch took its place in the archives of the brand as a milestone.
Bell & Ross introduced its latest diver watch at the Baselworld 2017. We had the opportunity to see the watch in person during our visit to their exhibition booth. Undoubtedly, the iconic square case first used in a diver’s watch by Bell & Ross was the most distinctive feature.
The new model is offered in a satin brushed stainless steel case measuring 42mm in diameter. The case sports a uni-directional bezel with 60 minute scale. A one-way rotating bezel is used for calculating the time spent under water and it is an essential detail for almost every analog diver watch. Nowadays most amateur and professional divers prefer modern dive computers, but many still benefit from analog watches as "back up watches". In the meantime, there is something about the bezel that I would like to mention; I think the adaptation of the square case to a diver’s watch was pretty decent in terms of design. However, I may not say the same for the bezel itself because I think that the bezel does not quite fit the overall integrity of the watch. Maybe over time I can get used to it or B & R can overcome this by updating the bezel on the next model.
The winding crown is rubber coated. Despite providing secure grips with wet hands and/or gloves, the rubber coating is prone to wear due to its soft structure. Considering the frequency of newly introduced models with rubber coating, the brands are probably making the necessary improvements in this respect. The “LOCK” wording on the crown guard and the arrow sign support the “tool watch” look.
The dial is finished in matt black with contrasting white accents and differently colored hands. The hour hand is painted in orange while the minute is finished in white. Thanks to the SuperLuminova used in the hands and indices, the legibility of the dial is perfect in almost any environment.
Bell & Ross BR 03-92 is powered by the Caliber Ref. 302. Sellita SW300-1 based self-winding movement beats at 4Hz and offers a power reserve of 38 hours when fully wound.
Bell & Ross BR 03-92 comes with a Pelikan brand waterproof case. There is a black rubber cord and a water resistant synthetic textile cord inside the box.