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Freezing but ready for summer – The BR-X5 Ice Blue Steel

We are in the middle of winter season and here I am trying new colours, new case shapes and new watches that could match the upcoming summer vibe and somehow, I discovered that pale bright colours work well in cold weather and rubber straps are always welcome. I have been reviewing/owning many Bell and Ross watches and one of questions I always get is: ‘’ do you know when they are going to start doing their own in-house movements?’’, for the record I do not find third party movements a burden, they are easy to service, reliable and keep the cost down, but unfortunately at this particular time, they do not provide that luxury feeling. There is an intangible feeling about having something different and not generic from a shelf, the watch industry is a luxury one, watches are not something that we need, they are items that we want, this means that any little benefit that we add to them, gives us more value, without getting too philosophical, an in-house calibre like the new BR-CAL.323 gives Bell and Ross that new fund desirability that I was asked for. Going back to the watch, I’ve spent a good amount of time with this icy blue BR-X5, the combination of improvements and the attention to detail really made understand why this is the perfect next step for the brand, let’s begin.

The specification

What I like about the new BR-X5 is that it is the familiar 41mm case we know, but here is where the similarities end. We start with the dial, a sunray light blue that brings a great look and doesn’t feel out of place, then we have the dial layout, a power reserve at 9’o clock and a date window at 3, both well executed including concentric details and sharp numerals/fonts, I can really imagine the time that is put on each ne of these dials, every hand is crafted to perfection, all the numerals and markers are applied, surprisingly the contrast is very good, legible keeping the aviation heritage alive.

From the back we can see the new caliber 323, I also like the fact that Bell and Ross are very transparent about their partnership with Kenissi, we have seen many people outsourcing movements but keeping those partnerships in secret, the new movement is not just a way of creating the luxury feel we talked about, there are many befits to this new machine, a bigger power reserve (70 hours), more accuracy as the movement is now COSC certified and full balance bridge which will give you a shock resistant package, it also looks good, very handsome.

On the wrist

The watch is thin at 12.8 mm and together with fantastic blue rubber strap the BR-X5 wears very well, it can be an everyday piece, the short lug to lug also helps with wearability on my 6.25-inch wrist. The BR-X5 can also look dressier with the metal bracelet, the integrated look really changes the personality of the watch, more chic. Legibility is also outstanding, even if there is a lot going on inside the dial, everything is easy to read, nothing distracts you from the ease of use, the outer track breaks the monotony and creates depth on the dial. The SuperLuminova glows nicely and matches the blue dial, it really looks good, and I am hoping that the macros show how nice these hands look in the dark, it is an eye candy.


I really enjoy the fact that one of my favorite brands are making strides to offer a very compelling offer, very accurate and packing great technology, this BR-X5 is not a simple watch for Bell and Ross, it is a piece that represents how the brand will be in the next few years, the design language, the colors and also the accuracy. Everything on this new BR-X5 feels sharper, more mature, I cannot wait to see what’s coming next for the brand, in the meantime I am glad that I have ammunition when watch enthusiasts keep asking me about a new caliber.

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