By Jovan Krstevski
For Baselworld 2017, Bell & Ross revisits its origins which is no other than the iconic Bell & Ross BR03–92 Diver, the brand’s very first square dive watch. It looked great at that time and it still looks great now, what can I say… if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. We all that Bell & Ross watches have aviation and military inspirations however they do have other interesting fields of expertise which is of course diving and sports.
In 1997 the HYDROMAX® appeared, it was a mighty diver’s watch that can resist 11,100 meters of water pressure. They did it ingeniously by filling the entire case with oil, who would have thought of that. This design is not only fantastic but very innovative. On the backflip note, though, the watch was fitted with a quartz movement, seemed like too great not to have an automatic movement.
The chronograph buttons are very simple “pump” style pushers, which are small and unobtrusive. This is just another among the design elements that gives the watch a very vintage look, and borrows heavily from the early Valjoux 72 moves as seen on early Rolex Daytonas. The single dead giveaway on the very low price point is that the finish of the instance. The achievement of this watch’s design lies in the association between the dial, bezel, and pushers.This is 1 watch that may benefit greatly from a strap shift, although the provided patterned black rubber strap is a fairly efficient way to keep costs down without even appearing like other watches at the low four figures. I’ll be seeing exactly what happens to the look of the watch when it gets a NATO style strap run through its spring pubs. In fact, the BR126 is merely one military green canvas strap away from giving the IWC Pilot’s Watch Top Gun Miramar a run for its money.Bell & Ross has continued to flaunt all of the right moves as a cool, innovative business with a really powerful individuality. There are some things stronger than any 1 advertising campaign, and that’s the rare blend of high caliber and patience. It was only a matter of time until they left a watch that would appeal to me as much as this one does. That might not win you a Grand Prix award, but it does win a place on my own wrist, and also for the price, maybe on yours too.
Indeed Bell & Ross have so much experience in watchmaking so for Baselworld 2017, the proud brand introduces a new professional diving equipment, the BR03–92 Diver which is their first square diving watch with a water resistance of 300 meters. This is a professional diver’s watch because it passes the stringent measures of international standard ISO 6425 regarding diving watches, this is a proper tool for professional divers but no one’s telling you not to have one for Pete’s sake. Bell & Ross pretty much goes beyond the requirements since ISO 6425 states that a diver’s watch should have at least 100 meters of water resistance, a 60-minute calibrated uni-directional rotating bezel that is protected from accidental rotation or incorrect setting and of course legibility at 25 cm in the dark. These requirements are all lifesaving when it comes to proper diving.
So what do we really have here? The square case of the Bell & Ross BR03–92 Diver is designed to withstand extreme pressure. Its reinforced case also gets complemented by a very thick 2.80 mm caseback. It also sports soft iron cage that increases its magnetic field resistance thereby improving its accuracy. Its sapphire crystal is also incredibly thick at 2.85 mm. Since it has an antireflective coating, its legibility even underwater where light is scarce is still very good.
Moreover, the iconic square case of the BR collection also features a unidirectional rotating bezel with a classic 60-minute diving scale. This bezel is then screwed down to offer more water resistance for the case. The crown also sports a guard that effectively protects against impacts specially during the dive.
As for the dial, oh it’s lovely and hyper clear. For the new Bell & Ross BR03–92 Diver, though, there are no more pilot indexes but large luminous and legible plots applied directly on the dial marking the hours precisely. Their designs varies for unique identification during the dive like rounded rectangles for the quarter hours and dots for the regular hours. The same differentiation can be said for the hands which are orange coloring for the hours hand and white for the minutes hand coated in Superluminova. As I’ve said, the black dial is simply superb and very much fun to look at.
Finally, powering the watch is an automatic Swiss movement with 4Hz frequency that translates to about 38 hours of power reserve. The watch also has a very discreet date feature between the 4 and 5 hours, really neat and I did miss it at first glance.
The price point of the BR03–92 Diver as of this writing is € 3.300 Euro. It comes in a water-resistant PELICAN® box which is a neat packaging gimmick. The watch is available in either woven black rubber strap with a steel pin buckle or in an ultra-resilient black synthetic fabric strap. They’re all easy to adjust over a diving suit but the last one is easier thanks to its Velcro closure system. For more info, please visit bellross.com