Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Bell & Ross Vintage Collection, Third Generation

Since it was founded, Bell & Ross has taken its inspiration from the history of aviation. It has developed Vintage collections that pay tribute to key eras of the great aeronautical adventure. Each series of watches marks a milestone in its chronology. Bring them together, and they summarize the history of aviation. Like the brand’s other collections, these professional instruments have military DNA. They meet a set of specifications and requirements established by the armed forces. Understandably, legibility, functionality and precision are priorities. These watches are also watertight, to ensure they are suitable for aquatic environments.
Bell & Ross Vintage Collection, Third Generation
Three Generations of the Vintage Collection
  • Original Collection: The first generation is characterized by a classic dial, rounded lugs and the absence of a bezel. This ensures a generous and uncluttered dial that improves legibility.
  • 2nd Generation: The second generation was extensively revised in 2007. The case and dial were redesigned to bring coherence to the collection. The objective was to create a clear link with the new BR 01 line, which has been immensely successful since its release in 2005. This second generation features a case with a larger diameter and has a bezel. The shape of the lugs changed and they became more angular. The dial takes its aesthetic codes from the BR 01, including the distinctive sword-shaped hands. The affiliation became crystal clear.
  • 3rd Generation: The design of the third and latest generation has once again evolved with the times. The identity of the dial remains, and the case becomes more sophisticated. The diameter has decreased and the watches are flatter. Finally, the rounded lugs perfectly integrate the strap.
The Vintage family made its début during Bell & Ross’ first years. The watches of this collection boast a round case, the most classical of shapes. They count with a range of complications, such as chronograph, Flyback function, dual time zone, date, and even small second hands. Vintage scrupulously respects the brand’s DNA and largely draws its inspiration from military codes. It is a sort of equivalent to the BR 01, Bell & Ross’ iconic watch, but with a round case.

With this collection Bell & Ross has forged symbolic partnerships and paid tribute to several air force regiments. In 2014, Bell & Ross created a unique edition of the Vintage BR 126 Carbon model, exclusively for a troop of acrobatic skydivers from the Spanish air force (PAPEA), based in Alcantarilla (Murcia).

That same year, three chronographs paying tribute to the air forces that fought in the Second World War were released. The dials of these pilots’ watches feature a colored insignia, like those painted on the wings of the French, British and American fighter planes of the era.

The Vintage Sport Heritage, with its Sixties aesthetic, was inspired by the French Falcon Mystère 20 business jet built by Dassault Aviation. It was launched to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of this successful twin-engine jet, which first took to the skies in 1963.

Vintage: The Third Generation
This new Vintage generation has seen much innovation. A modern touch has been added to this firmly established collection by redesigning the diameter and thickness of the case. Many of its details have been reworked to combine sophistication with optimum functionality. The pushers are now screw-down and a crown protector has been added. The rounded design of the lugs blends more naturally with the new straps.

Vintage BR V1
This version has a 38.5 mm diameter case, which adapts to any wrist. It is paired with an ultra-curved sapphire crystal for a truly retro look, which allows the thickness of the case to be reduced and makes the watch more comfortable to wear. It also makes it stylish and authentic. The interplay of polished and satin finishes gives it refinement and elegance.
The Black Steel features a dial with a pared-down aesthetic: white numerals on a black background. This contrast guarantees excellent legibility. This type of dial is typical of the aviation industry and the Bell & Ross style. This version has opted for discreet elegance and refined finishes.
The design of the hands brings to mind the shape of the needles on aircraft instruments. As a new feature, the counterweight for the second hand is designed to look like a stylized plane profile. This detail will be found on many future Bell & Ross watches.

Vintage BR V2-92 & BR V2-94
This duo features an imposing 41 mm case and it is flatter than the previous generation, just like the BR V1. This collection is available with a new polished and satin-finished steel bracelet, which gives it a contemporary and sporty look.
The BR V2-92 features a mechanism with three hands that displays the hours, minutes and seconds. The bi-directional rotating bezel allows several short periods of time to be measured in a row.

The BR V2-94 is driven by a chronograph caliber. Its gradated bezel is fixed and it has a tachymeter scale. The push buttons and screw-down crown guarantee optimal water-resistance. As an elegant touch of sophistication, this duo is decorated with polished and satin finishes. These two versions are made from resilient 316L steel, offering high resistance to oxidation. Like the BR V1 models, BR V2 versions are also covered with an ultra-curved sapphire crystal, which allows the case thickness to be optimized.
Pared down to the essential, the dials feature iconic white numerals on a black background, ensuring excellent legibility. One of the hands is the outline of a plane. This stylish touch is Bell & Ross’ new graphic signature of and a nod to its military and aeronautical DNA.
The BR V2 is available in two versions. One has a leather strap, the other a steel bracelet. The latter has been reworked: it is now more finely wrought with a larger number of threads for more comfort. It is robust, adapts to any wrist and is equipped with a safety catch to prevent accidental release. The BR V2-92 has a raw leather strap that gives it a natural and authentic style. This material and style hark back to the first wristwatches.

Technical details
Bell & Ross Vintage Collection, Third Generation, BR V1-92 BLACK STEEL
Movement: calibre BR-CAL.302. Automatic mechanical
Functions: hours, minutes, central seconds and date
Case: diameter 38.5 mm. Satin-polished steel
Crystal: ultra-curved sapphire with anti-reflective coating
Water-resistance: 100 metres.
Dial: matt black. Numerals and indices coated in white Superluminova®
Metal skeletonised Superluminova®-filled hour and minute hands
Strap: black calfskin
Buckle: pin. Steel

Bell & Ross Vintage Collection, Third Generation, BR V2-92 BLACK STEEL
Movement: calibre BR-CAL.302. Automatic mechanical
Functions: hours, minutes, central seconds and date
Case: 41 mm in diameter. Satin-polished steel
Rotating steel bezel with anodised black aluminium ring and 60-minute scale
Screw-down crown
Crystal: ultra-curved sapphire with anti-reflective coating
Sapphire case-back
Water-resistance: 100 metres
Dial: matt black. Numerals and indices coated in white Superluminova®
Metal skeletonised Superluminova®-filled hour and minute hands
Strap: satin-polished steel or black calfskin.
Buckle: folding. Satin-polished steel

Bell & Ross Vintage Collection, Third Generation, BR V2-94 BLACK STEEL

Movement: calibre BR-CAL.301. Automatic mechanical
Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds at 3 o'clock. Date. Chronograph: 30-min timer at 9 o'clock, central chronograph seconds
Case: 41 mm in diameter. Satin-polished steel
Steel bezel with anodised black aluminium ring and tachymeter scale
Screw-down crown and push-buttons
Crystal: ultra-curved sapphire with anti-reflective coating
Sapphire case-back
Water-resistance: 100 metres
Dial: matt black. Numerals and indices coated in white Superluminova®
Metal skeletonised Superluminova®-filled hour and minute hands
Strap: satin-polished steel or black calfskin
Buckle: folding. Satin-polished steel

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