Bell & Ross has introduced a new watch in their ongoing series of square cased, instrument inspired aviation watches, and this one is in a colorway that will look familiar to fans of a certain classic sports watch. The BR 03-93 GMT features a multi-colored “Coke” bezel, not at all unlike the Rolex GMT it’s very clearly inspired by. Where this watch differs from that Rolex is obvious, of course, and that’s in the square case, which is territory that if Bell & Ross hasn’t come to own since the brand’s start in the 90s, they’re at least many years into an occupation.
It’s somewhat hard to believe given the emphasis Bell & Ross has placed on aviation throughout their history, but this watch is their first in the square format with a bidirectional rotating bezel. The red and black 24 hour scale is the design highlight of this watch and what sets it apart from other watches in the BR 03 line, and while their other square watches typically include a circular bezel of some kind, the pop of color and additional functionality here give this watch shape and purpose, and imbue with a kind of idiosyncratic charm that watches built on this platform don’t have. The inspiration for those prior watches tends to be aircraft instrumentation, but here it’s very much another watch, so it makes sense that the BR 03-93 leaves a substantially different impression.
GMT functionality is carried out in the traditional way, with an arrow tipped 24 hour hand pointing to the 24 hour scale on the watch’s bezel. The dial is black with a sunray pattern, and dominated by large Arabic numerals in the cardinal positions. There’s a date window at 4:30, but as is typical with Bell & Ross it’s well executed in that it’s frankly very small and tough to see. It’s understandable if a 4:30 date window just isn’t your cup of tea, but there’s no denying that Bell & Ross can make it practically invisible like no other brand.
The case is 42mm across and has a combination of satin finishing and polished elements. There are plenty of small details that would seem to elevate and refine the watch, including the knurled crown and the polished bevel running around the case’s outermost edge. Bell & Ross’s square watches often have a vibe that is purely “tool” but the combination of the finishing that they’ve applied to this GMT along with the addition of the red and black bezel give the watch a slightly more sophisticated feel.
The BR 03-93 runs on the BR-CAL.303, a modified ETA 2893-2. The watch has 100 meters of water resistance, a sapphire crystal, and can be purchased on a leather or fabric strap which appears to have a Velcro attachment. The retail price on the BR 03-93 GMT is $4,200. Bell & Ross