Headline / April 2019

Jet Age Watch

Taking an aspect of the classic MA-1 flight jacket from 1958 into their design, the BR 03-92 MA-1 brings a new level of uniqueness and aesthetic into the brand's collection. The redesigned “bomber” jacket was created for jet fighter pilots, replacing older fleece-lined leather. The inner lining of the jacket was bright orange and reversible, allowing downed pilots to aid in visibility for the rescue team.

The 42mm x 42mm scratch-resistant ceramic case (water-resistant to 100 metres) features the brand's signature square design with circular dial but replaces the usual stainless steel or black ceramic by a more relevant material. The timepiece utilized a dark khaki-coloured ceramic which still comes with four exposed screws at each corner. Like the jacket, the khaki calfskin leather strap of the timepiece is not only lined in orange but is also instantly reversible.

The dial of the timepiece sports a bright orange luminescent (Super-LumiNova) base glowing through the hollowed numerals and the dials. The upper dial has a dark khaki matte finish which, combined with the orange underneath, replicates the bomber jacket’s color scheme of moss green and interior orange. The watch is powered by the calibre BR-CAL.302 automatic, which boasts 38 hours of power reserve. The Bell & Ross BR 03-92 MA-1 is a limited edition of 999 pieces.



Interview with Bell & Ross Co-Founder and Creative Director, Bruno Belamich

Bell & Ross has been a brand that put their unique design and functionality of their products as their best selling aspect. The Peak recently spoke to the brand's co-founder and Creative Director, Bruno Belamich at Basel World 2019, to learn how the brand develops its unique style.

How do you decide on the style of the watches in your collection, and what sort of inspirations do you draw when creating a Bell & Ross timepiece?

There are a lot of factors that goes in a design of a B&R piece, we often times take inspiration from an unlikely source like an airplane panel, or a jacket. But we also take account of who are we looking to distribute our watches, and we would often research the market on what they want to see in our product. We also look to the culture of the market and see how we could include the lifestyle of a certain target audience into our design. We understand the need to introduce novel creation to our consumers in order to keep the interest in the brand. As we create a niche chronograph for the market, there is an immediate need to innovate for the next pieces of our collection. But despite the effort we make to the unique design of our timepieces, we also believe in the aesthetic of products. We want to design a watch that would look great in a casual situation, as well as in a suit. Our initial aim in creating the pieces in our collection is to complement the look of our consumers, it is a fashion accessory that also has a function to tell the time. Bell & Ross also aims to distribute the products of our design to a variety of markets, but we have a specific target in mind. The urban youth that occupies the big cities of the world is the audience that we seek to entice with the watches we designed. I aim to complete the look of young urbanites with the watch that is perfect in every situation.

With the trend of vintage fashion items going back into style, and Bell & Ross adapting the trend into the product design, will vintage look be the new focus for the brand?

I think as B&R is a young brand, we had the need to explore the vintage design in order to add variety to our collection. We draw inspiration from a number of sources and also follow the trend of what the people want in a chronograph. But we also maintain our identity as a brand and will not shy away from releasing a piece that is more modern amidst the many vintage watch model that is in the market. We design our watches to be a fun accessory to add to the everyday look. Our biggest inspiration in the design of our products is fashion and technology, which change throughout the years. The artist that conceptualize these timepieces would have to take in the culture of our target market, and also what the consumer wants in a watch.

How do you decide on the design of a chronometer of the brand?

That is a constant balancing act between compromise and creative idealism. Our creative effort would, in general, consume a large amount of time to design a uniquely B&R piece. We try to apply the things that our consumers want with the quality that is synonymous with the brand, at the same time look aesthetically pleasing. It is always a hard task to design a watch that is technically advanced in their functions and looks great on the wrist of every one of our consumers. With every design that I oversee there are qualities that should be a part of the timepiece, one of them being innovation. I constantly need to innovate a new complication, movement, or function with each design, but I also need to keep the piece coherent with the brand. I believe that a good watch is something that tells the wearer its story, and that is what we at Bell & Ross want to have in every piece that we distribute to the customers.