Bell & Ross Introduces the Bead-Blasted BR 05 Horolum

The latest version of the Bell & Ross BR 05 is a sequel of sorts to a fan favorite release from 2017, the BR 03-92 Horolum. That watch took the brand’s familiar square case and bead-blasted it to match the gray dial, giving it a striking monochromatic look, accented by C5 Super-LumiNova on the hands and hour markers. C5 is the strongest flavor of Super-LumiNova currently available, and the combination of high intensity luminescence with a novel, tactical finish made the Horolum stand out in the Bell & Ross catalog. Now, they’ve taken the same approach with their entry in the integrated bracelet sports watch genre, and you could make an argument that it’s an even clearer representation of what the BR 05 was meant to be from the start. 


Let’s start with the BR 05 itself. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Zach’s review of the first incarnation of that watch from March of last year. You’ll get a great sense of the design goals and how the watch wears, and of course you’ll see what the original BR 05 looks like. According to Bell & Ross, the BR 05 is meant to capture something related to “urban life,” which always seemed like a vague idea to me. But I have to admit that looking at the press photos of the new BR 05 Horolum and reading a bit about how the brand is positioning it as a watch inspired by contemporary architecture, I can begin to see what they’re getting at. There’s a minimalist undercurrent to the BR 05 Horolum that was missing from the debut variants of this watch, which featured contrasting polished and brushed case finishing, typical of many watches sitting in this genre. The aggressively matte finish on the case and bracelet could almost be classified as brutalist, recalling cement. Is it the Boston City Hall of watches? It seems a lot closer to that aesthetic than earlier examples of the BR 05. 

A key element of the Horolum’s design is the relationship between the case and dial. The dial is made from the same bead-blasted steel material as the case and bracelet, which lends a certain coherence to the watch. Contrast this with the glossiness and subtle textures of previous BR 05 dials, and you start to see design that is actually a fairly radical departure from what came before it. The dial layout has also been simplified, with simple baton hour markers taking the place of the large Arabic numerals at the cardinal positions that Bell & Ross typically uses, even on the BR 03 Horolum from 2017. The bright green lume appears to provide enough contrast with the pale gray dial even in daylight for a dial that is adhere’s the brand’s strict standards of legibility. 

The case of the BR 05 Horolum measures 40mm across and is water resistant to 100 meters (it has a screw down crown, protected by squared off guards on the 3:00 case flank). You can choose to mount it to a rubber strap, but the integrated stainless steel bracelet that perfectly matches the finish of the case seems like the obvious way to go here. The watch runs on the BR-CAL.321 automatic movement, which is a modified Sellita SW300. 

The BR 05 Horolum is a limited edition of 250 pieces, with a retail price of $5,400. Bell & Ross

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.