The Bell & Ross brand already as a long history of being inspired by aviation, with a large range of designs that are clearly influenced in design by the look of flight instruments and the golden age of aviation.
Now, in short, Bell & Ross has designed its own plane that in turn inspired two new watches. The brand say that the high-speed plane is capable of competing in the Reno Air Races that, created in 1924, is an event that brings together aircrafts flying at full speed and at very low altitude, on a closed circuit delineated by 10-meter-high pylons.
The BR-Bird, brainchild of Bruno Belamich, Bell & Ross’s co-founder and creative director, fits the bill. An ultramodern single-seat, propeller-engine aircraft, built entirely of high-tech material (graphite, fiberglass, titanium and aluminum alloy), the BR-Bird is powered by a V12 Rolls Royce Falcon developed on a Merlin base (names that have legendary status in aviation, particularly thanks to the legendary English Spitfire).
This type of thing isn’t entirely new for Bell & Ross. In 2014 they came up with the B-Rocket, a motorcycle with a name paying tribute to the prototypes of the 1950s designed to break the land speed records on two or four wheels.
The watches share those aesthetics, particularly the color code: The dial is white, like the fuselage of the plane. The numerals, bezel, chronograph counter and strap are blue, like the empennage. Decorative elements tracing the aerodynamic lines of the BR-Bird.
The central second hand, details on the dial and lining of the leather strap are orange, like the color highlighting the most important information on the flight instruments. The timer is grey, reminiscent of the chequered flag used in speed competitions, like the Bell & Ross logo on the wings and flanks of the aircraft.
On the dial, the numerals use the same typography as the on-board counters, and the date window shows three numerals. It’s a direct reference to flight instrumentation. The final touch is the silhouette of the aircraft on the case back and at the base of the second hand (on the three-hand version) and the second timer (on the chronograph version). Both versions are powered by a self-winding mechanical movement.
Bell & Ross Racing Bird has a limited edition run of 999 pieces