After a spate of horological gymnastics, where the brand stretched its technical and creative muscles with a series of heavy hitters such as the Hyperstellar, AeroGT and the impossibly stunning Sapphire Tourbillon, Bell & Ross kick-starts the pre-Baselworld announcements with a pair of palate cleansers: the BR 03-92 Horograph and the BR 03-92 Horolum, two dignified, back-to-basics watches that amplify the brand’s aeronautical core values of supreme functionality and visibility.
The smart and uncluttered dial of the Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Horograph (from the Latin “Hora” for hour and “Graph” for graphics) was meant to recall the clocks in airport terminals. Bound up in its design are the dynamics of modernism, or what the brand refers to as Bauhaus ethos — one of the most influential design movements of the 20th century that transformed art and architecture in fundamental ways. With a black-and-white contrast, the baton-shaped hands and indices are coated with C3 Super-LumiNova for greater nighttime legibility. It also features a circular date window at four o’clock and a red-tipped center seconds hand. Its signature 42mm “circle in a square” shaped steel case is micro-blasted with a matte finish.
The case’s frosty gray-tone texture is derived from high-pressure spraying of tiny glass beads onto the surface of the metal to roughen it, giving it a high purity tone of gray and a uniform, matte appearance that is highly anti-reflective. It is powered by the Sellita-based self-winding BR-CAL.302 and is optioned on a black rubber or black synthetic fabric strap with bead-blasted steel pin buckle.
The BR 03-92 Horolum (from the Latin lumen, meaning light), on the other hand, takes its cues from the lighting used to illuminate airport runways with a dial featuring Super-LumiNova coating, along with the hands that glow in the same intense green. With a traditional 12-3-6-9-sandwich dial construction, the luminescence shines through the cutouts for maximum nighttime legibility. The dial is made of micro-blasted brass-rhodium with the same aesthetic as the bead-blasted steel case. With an identical finish, these two elements make up a homogeneous block of the same color, allowing the beige luminous paint, which will emit a brilliant glow at night, to be legible at all times. The result is a watch that is straightforward and charming in its tool-like aesthetic imperative. It is outfitted with the same movement and arrives in a limited edition of 500.
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Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Horograph & BR 03-92 Horolum
• Movement: BR-CAL.302 self-winding movement; hours, minutes, seconds, date
• Case: 42mm diameter; bead-blasted steel case
• Strap: Black rubber and ultra-resistant black synthetic fabric; gray-green calfskin and ultra-resistant black synthetic fabric