In a smart bit of irony, the latest aviation-instrument edition from Bell & Ross – the BR 03-92 HUD – is a mechanical replica of the electronic heads-up display (HUD) in fighter jets, reproducing the green and black screen from the cockpit with sapphire crystal and Super-Luminova.
The BR 03-92 HUD follows on other instrument panel-inspired BR 03 watches, including the BR 01-92 Red Radar of 2011, which was probably the cleverest of the editions, until new HUD.
In its initial years, Bell & Ross (B&R) took the military-instrument aspect of the BR series pretty seriously, and the watches were largely no-nonsense pilot’s watches. But starting a couple of years ago the designs have gotten more lighthearted – from full “lume” to skulls – which conversely makes sense.
The HUD continues with the theme, while managing some self-reflective humour in being a mechanical watch, but manages to capture the cockpit display.
And as is typical for the BR series, the watch is powered by an ordinary movement, but presented in a high-quality case made by B&R’s sister company, G&F Chatelain (and both, in turn, are owned by Chanel), and accompanied by an accessible retail price. In short, it’s a fun, affordable watch that’s well executed.
The HUD-style watch face is achieved with simple but effective construction that creates several layers of glow-in-the-dark green: the sapphire crystal is tinted green with a coating on its underside, with the four brackets to simulate the HUD screen also printed on the underside in Super-Luminova.
The minute and seconds hands are painted in the same tint of Super-Luminova, but with their collets painted matte black to create the impression of floating hands. And just below is the hour hand, which is a full disc painted with green triangle for the hours.
The rest of the watch is standard BR 03-92, which means a 42 mm case in matte black ceramic, along with a Sellita SW300-1 movement inside (which is a clone of the ETA 2892).
Key facts and price
Bell & Ross BR 03-92 HUD
Case diameter: 42 mm
Material: Black ceramic
Crystal: Green-tinted sapphire
Water resistance: 100 m
Movement: BR-CAL.302 (Sellita SW300-1)
Features: Hours, minutes, seconds, and date
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 42 hours
Strap: Black rubber; additional strap in fabric
Limited edition: 999 pieces
Availability: From June 2020
Price: US$3,990; or 5,900 Singapore dollars
To find out more, visit Bellross.com.
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