November 17, 2022
Machine Meets Architecture with the Bell & Ross BR-X5 Black Steel
in partnership with

The moment we opened the package from Bell & Ross containing their all-new BR-X5 Black Steel, we knew exactly what this story should be about. It was clear their reputation for creating gauge-inspired timekeepers was on full display. This watch looks and feels like something pulled right out of the instrument cluster of some fast moving machine. A glance at the midcase revealed a striking, almost flying buttress-like structure. The new BR-X5 is essentially all about two distinct elements at play—it is machine meets architecture on your wrist.

As a gauge-like device, the BR-X5 in “Black Steel” simply begs to be seen right alongside other instruments and dials. Fortunately for us, our coworker recently took delivery of a Triumph Bonneville Street Twin. Also in both black and steel, this cafe racer was the perfect complementarity vehicle to pair with this particular timepiece. And upon seeing the architecturally-inspired multi-component case, our photographer simply said, “I know just the spot.”

We selected a few key items to round out our look of black on black on black. We found an ideal helmet called the Gringo S by Biltwell, with Alpinestars Mustang V2 riding gloves. Finally, we added The Moto Jacket by Taylor Stitch, a stunning premium full-grain leather piece also made specifically for fast moving machines. Now that our kit was complete, it was time to explore this watch in the environment that it was meant for.

The arches cut out of massive slabs of geometric concrete at our location perfectly echoed the design language of Bell & Ross. Known for their “round within the square” approach to watches, the BR-X5 is their most modern rendition of this particular style. But this doesn’t just make this watch special on the outside, it’s what’s on the inside that makes this one standout.

When we finally managed to pause on staring at the distinctive case shape for a moment and continued to turn the watch over, we were confronted with a sapphire display caseback exposing their new manufacture movement. Designed by the legendary Swiss specialists at Kenissi in compliance with specifications defined by the Bell & Ross team, the new BR-CAL.323 manufacture calibre is COSC certified. It beats at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz) and has an impressive 70 hour power reserve.

Within this distinctly urban and almost industrial setting, the BR-X5 easily finds its grip. Whether it’s hunched over the handlebars of a vehicle, or peeking out from between a couple layers of leather—Bell & Ross has found a new iteration on their classic look that feels both modern and timeless all at once.

They even take the instrument cluster motif to another level by adding additional readouts to the dial. The BR-CAL.323 boasts a series of functions including a large-aperture date window positioned at 3 o’clock powered by a rapid date correction complication. There’s also a circular power indicator conveniently located at 9 o’clock to track those generous 70 hours of reserve.

It’s clear to us that the new BR-X5 has a distinctive vibe. It is machine meets architecture incarnate. The spoked racing wheel cutouts on its winding rotor on the back make this fact all the more clear. So if you like taking fast machines through stark urban environments, while sporting a black-on-black ensemble, then the new Bell & Ross BR-X5 Black Steel is most certainly up your alley. 

Click here to learn more about the Bell & Ross BR-X5 Black Steel

in partnership with
November 17, 2022