France-based luxury watchmaker Bell & Ross has gathered great appreciation with the new models introduced under Baselworld 2018 novelties. The brand has even built its own plane for the famous Reno Air Race being held in Nevada-USA since 1924. Here we have the Bell & Ross Racing Bird BRV2-94 model from the collection exclusively designed to commemorate this occasion.
The cult brand has showed up with their in-house designed racing car at the Baselworld 2016 exhibition. And for the Baselworld 2018, Bell & Ross raised the bar and created their own aircraft to participate at the Reno Air Race along with a pair of new models designed for the occasion.
The Reno Air Races organization, held for the first time in 1924, hosts many different crews and planes. The event, which hosts many exciting moments with airplanes attempting to reach top speeds while flying at an altitude as low as 10m, was of course not missed by Bell & Ross, who carries the aviation concept in their DNA.
Before I start my review, there is one thing I would like to point out; while I often remain distant to white dial watches, the Racing Bird Collection is among the Top 5 most successful timepieces I’ve seen so far. Let me add that both two models are limited to a span of 999 units each.
The new model is offered in a stainless steel case measuring 41mm in diameter. The case, which we are familiar with other BRV series models, is equipped with anti-glare treated scratch resistant sapphire crystals on both sides. Thanks to the screw-in winding crown and chronograph pushers, the case is water resistant to 100 meters. There is a tachymeter bezel on the front side which is finished in matching blue tone of the concept.
As I mentioned before, Bell & Ross Racing Bird BRV2-94 has one of the most beautiful white dials I’ve ever seen. Thanks to the blue and orange accents, the dial offers a vivid and sporty look. The dial is designed with Bi-Compax chronograph lay-out. Large Arabic numerals that are finished in blue are accompanied by baton sword style hands. Triple date display is located at 3 o’clock. The radar screen looking sub-dial at 9 and plane figure tipped central second hand are the details that present the brand’s aviation inspired DNA.
The new model is powered by the Caliber BR-CAL 301, which we know from different product groups of brand. Based on the veteran Caliber ETA 2894-2, the self-winding movement beats at 4Hz (28.800vph) and offers 42 hours of power reserve when fully wound. The movement is decorated within Bell & Ross standards and can be enjoyed through the sapphire crystal display caseback adorned with Limited Edition text and a plane figure.
Bell & Ross Racing Bird BRV2-94 is available with a stainless steel bracelet (like the version I have here) or blue calf strap. My personal preference is the metal bracelet version because I think that the blue leather strap makes the watch more colorful than it should be and narrows its use area. The version with metal bracelet, however, offers a user-friendly profile with its versatile structure and practicality.
As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, I like this new collection a lot. I highly recommend the Bell & Ross Racing Bird BRV2-94 for all watch lovers who like white-dial Bi-Compax chronograph models. The Bi-Compax chronograph lay-out, by its very nature, mostly provides a retro look. And with the addition of a white finish dial, it is inevitable that you encounter a very classic timepiece. I think the Bell & Ross Racing Bird BRV2-94 is a very successful model that can go out of this cliché. If you are interested, I strongly recommend you to see it in person.
Finally, for users who do not prefer chronograph models let me remind you that there is also a three-hand version (Ref. Racing Bird BRV1-92) in the collection.