The Bell & Ross BR 05 Gets A GMT Hand

Bell & Ross are back with another update to the BR 05 – their take on the integrated bracelet stainless steel sports watch. It was only 2 years ago that Bell & Ross launched the BR 05 to mixed reactions, although it seems much longer. The watch is now an integral and indispensable part of the brand’s catalogue and image. Zach’s in-depth review of the BR 05 back in late 2019, which you can read here, is well worth a read. A year into its lifespan, the BR 05 line gained a new chronograph variant which also beefed up the case from 40mm to 42mm – and you can read Blake’s hands-on of that watch here. Now it’s my turn to take a look at a new watch in the BR 05 line. I didn’t necessarily see it coming, but a GMT is the other complication that makes the most sense in a sports watch (especially one with a strong aviation identity).


This watch may look and feel very similar to the ‘standard’ BR 05, but there are a few subtle changes and that’s what I want to focus on here. Firstly, the dial is busier – and not just by the inclusion of a large red-tipped GMT hand. The dial features the same combination of applied, lume-filled batons Arabic numerals for the hour markers with minute markers between, but squeezed in around the perimeter is the 24-hour scale against which GMT time is read. The inclusion of this chapter ring is a necessity from a practical point of view, but also makes the dial appear tighter and more utilitarian.

The lower half of the GMT chapter ring is finished in stainless steel representing ‘daytime hours’, with the upper half black to match the dial. The is as subtle a demarcation between night and day as I have seen on a GMT reference ring, and I’m left wondering if perhaps it’s even too subtle. The large expanse of brushed stainless steel that surrounds the dial is at risk of overwhelming the small amount that sits beneath the crystal.

With the watch in hand you’d be forgiven for thinking the case is the same as that used in the same 40mm diameter, but there are some very minor proportional changes. Inside the watch is the BR-CAL.325 movement which is based on the Sellita SW-330. This is from the same family of automatic movements as found in the stock BR 05, but with GMT complication added. Assuming the differences between Bell & Ross’ BR-CAL.321 and BR-CAL.325 are the same as those between Sellita’s SW-300 and SW-330 calibers then this means an extra half millimetre in thickness. Despite this slight increase (to just over 11mm in total) the case still feels svelte, with the height spread across several surfaces and angles each impeccably finished in alternating layers of polished and brushed steel.

 As well as being a smidge thicker the case diameter is also very slightly larger, measuring 41mm across the square case excluding crown guards. The other dimensions, such as the length from lug to lug and the bracelet width and taper appear to be unchanged. All in all, this wears as close to the original BR 05 as the inclusion of a GMT movement will allow while keeping the proportions broadly consistent.

 A GMT option is a great expansion to the BR05 lineup. The additional hand and chapter ring markers are added so discreetly that I’m now left looking at the time and date only model and thinking it is a little bare, and the case changes are by and large imperceptible. The Bell & Ross BR 05 GMT is available now, starting at £4,100 ($4,900) on rubber strap, or £4,500 ($5,400) on the integrated steel bracelet. Bell & Ross

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Brad stumbled into the watch world in 2011 and has been falling down the rabbit hole ever since. Based in London, Brad's interests lie in anything that ticks, sweeps or hums and is slightly off the beaten track.