Bell & Ross, everyone’s favorite big square watch company, is making waves with their new Instrument De Marine series, a decidedly nautical set of watches including a standard three-hander that Captain Cook would strip off the body of a dead privateer and a tourbillon that would go great with an alternative-Victorian-history-sci-fi submarine.
The BR 01 is the simplest of the group with blued hands reminiscent of older Breguets. The BRX 1 comes in a standard and tourbillon model and features a chronograph.
I’m a sucker for B&R so I’ll forgive the brass and glass steampunkery of these watches. The massive square watch goes far better with B&R’s initial aviation theme but, thanks to the dial choice and colors, I’ll allow this departure from the norm. They are unequivocally beautiful pieces.
Of the BR 01 the company writes:
￼A faithful rendering of a ship’s clock as a wristwatch, this model is similar to the iconic BR 01 in its execution. The BR 01 Marine Instrument has a stylish, subtly retro design. This watch has a case, bezel and winding crown made from bronze. Only the case-back features more contemporary titanium. In a final touch, an elegant band of rosewood encircles the dial of the watch.
The BR-X1 is similarly hot-blooded:
￼Bold and stylish, this chronograph is equipped with an automatic skeleton movement. This ultra-sophisticated mechanism can be admired through the sapphire crystal dial, which has a slight grey tint like the sea on a stormy day. It is paired with a minute track featuring Roman numerals and gilt applique indices, covered in SuperLuminova. The skeleton theme is continued with the gilt hands. The sophisticated case is a symphony of titanium, rosewood and bronze. It encloses the bezel, push-pieces, crown and crown protector.
The automatic caliber provides a chronograph function, small seconds at 3 o’clock and skeleton date at 6 o’clock. The chronograph minute timer sits at 9 o’clock. Stripped of hands, it takes the form of an aluminum disc with a design clearly evoking a ship’s propeller.
So set sail on the Seven Seas and prepare to drop a few grand on the entry level pieces and a lot on the tourbillon. Bluebeard would have wanted it that way.