When a colour is also a function – The new Bell and Ros BR03 93 Blue
When this hobby starts, everyone has a complication that becomes our hero, it could be that bezel on a diver or it could be the chronograph function, perhaps a moonphase? For me it was the GMT function, not sure why but when I understood that you could track a second time zone with an extra hand on the dial, my mind was blown, and it went even further when I figured out that the bezel (which is divided by 2 colours) was there not only to look cool, but to indicate that it was day or night. Even if my taste has evolved and I am drawn to another specific type of watches, the GMT one is the one closest to my heart, perhaps is because I was born in another country than England? Or because I work with different time zones? Whatever it is, to me, a GMT watch has the only complication that can give a phone, Casio and Apple Watch a run for its money, yes sure the previous 3 are cheaper in any way but, are they easier to use? Are they are always available?
There is something functional rather than nostalgic about a GMT watch, when you dive, computers are much better and accurate, when you race, digital chronographs can be faster than a mechanical pusher but with the GMT, a simple turn on that bezel, and your mind is miles away. I had the chance to get hands on the new Bell and Ross BR03 93 GMT Blue, at the beginning you might think that this is a colour update, and in some ways, it is, but the blue and grey bezel really gives the functional aspect another level, it becomes more legible, more coherent. Let us take a look.
The satin finished case is what we know and love from Bell and Ross, very symmetrical and at 42mm by 42mm it wears nicely on my 6.25-inch wrist, it has presence but is very thin making it comfortable to wear. The dial is a beautiful sunray royal blue, it shines to perfection and hopefully the pictures can capture it, the GMT hand in red is a nice touch that pops when it should to track that second time zone, it is oversized so it doesn’t get confused with anything else on the dia. At 4:30 we have a round aperture for the date, it looks great as it really blends with the rest of the design, not loud and matching that blue dial nicely, to me a GMT watch needs to have a date, it just makes sense. The numerals have that ‘explorer’ configuration followed by a minute and hour track; all the hands are polished to give maximum legibility. The bidirectional bezel is also new with that grey and blue division, against the dial the colours the blue top blends nicely and together with good grip and solid action, the BR03 93 feels like a true aviation piece. The watch is powered by the BR CAL 303, a robust and ready to work heart, it would give you the reliability needed.
On the wrist
The BR03 93 case is well known by now and it has become one of the best iconic shapes of the watch industry, it looks like no other and there is no mistake that this is a Bell and Ross watch. The case is under 11mm which means that despite its dimensions, it will fit most wrist that wish to wear it. Another part to highlight is the integrated blue leather strap that comes with the watch, despite being new, the strap feels soft and comfortable, I was thinking of all the options I could put the watch on but I know that this is the one that I would, the quality and feel really make the experience of wearing the BR03 93 to perfection, you could easily add a nato or a OEM rubber, but the leather makes the watch look more luxurious and elegant, a delicate tool watch. The lume department is strong as expected, the bright and green superluminova covers all the indices and the triangle on the bezel to make the navigation easier when you need to change time zone, it is dark up there.
What I like about the new Bell and ross BR03 93 is the vibe that it gives, is not as brute as other tool watches out there, it really feels like a dress piece that wants to make a statement, the blue shade is sport on and together with the reliability, it is a piece that reminded me on why I love this complication so much, it’s about refinement in the little details with added functionality. Today, there are plenty GMT varieties in the market to chose from and if you are in the hunt for one, I will urge you to check this offer from Bell and Ross, why? Because all of those out there look very similar and it is not their fault, there are only a few elements that you can constantly change to do a great multizone watch and to me this new BR03 93 is using the Bell and Ross design language perfectly, feels square, feels tactical but not out of place when you put a dinner jacket, that it’s definitely a hard thing to do.
Calibre BR-CAL.303. Automatic mechanical.
Functions Hours, minutes, central seconds, second 24-hour time zone and date. Quick setting of the GMT hand, independently of the hour hand.
Case 42 mm in width. Satin-finished and polished steel. Bi-directional rotating bezel with 24-hour scale and blue and grey two-colour anodized aluminum ring.
Dial Blue sunray. Indices coated in Super-LumiNova®. Metal skeletonised Super-LumiNova®-filled hour and minute hands and 24‑hour hand.
WR 100 metres.
Strap Blue calfskin leather and ultra-resilient black synthetic fabric.
More information www.bellross.com
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