Although Bell & Ross are pretty much synonymous with square cased watches, they didn’t start out that way. In fact, a sizeable proportion of their albeit short history occurred before their first ‘cockpit instrument inspired’ watch came about, starting in 1992 with the Space 1 which was essentially a rebranded Sinn 142. Indeed, many of the early watches were branded “Bell & Ross by Sinn”. Fast forward a few years and Bell & Ross were designing their own watches, though still being produced by Sinn. The Type Demunier was produced for use by the bomb disposal unit of the French Security Services, and bears a passing resemblance in case and bracelet to my own Sinn 809.
It was in 2005 that the huge 46mm BR01 became perhaps the defining look of the brand, with the more reasonably sized BR03 following later (and the 39mm BRS later still). The harsh square form was softened a little for the introduction of the BR05 in 2019, and there are also a whopping 33 different variations of more ‘normal’ round watches currently offered as part of their BR V1, V2 and V3 lines. The BR01 and BR03 remain the classic Bell & Ross look for many – myself included. Having owned my BR0392-AVIA-CA for a few months now I’ve had time to get know it, to live with it and hopefully to summarise the appeal and ownership experience.