Though best known for its square, aviation-instrument watches, Bell & Ross actually offers a varied lineup of conventional, round watches that nonetheless remain military inspired, such as the BR V2-94. The brand now gives its vintage-inspired chronograph a fully luminescent makeover to create the BR V2-94 Full Lum.
Bell & Ross implemented the fully-luminescent dial on BR 03-92 Full Lum (which even had a luminous strap), so the dial treatment is not novel. However, it’s a first for one of the brand’s round watches. If you are a fan of the “Full Lum” concept but dislike large square watches, then the “lumed-out” BR V2-94 is right up your alley.
And while its full-luminous dial is undoubtedly the watch’s biggest selling point, it isn’t a gimmick that appears merely after sundown. The BR V2-94 is eye-catching even in daylight. The luminous dial is a pale, mint green that’s akin to that in the new Breitling Premier Heritage Chronograph in steel.
Furthermore, the BR V2-94 is perhaps the best-looking round watch in Bell & Ross’ current catalogue, good enough that I almost pulled the trigger on the BR V2-94 Bellytanker Bronze a while back. The BR V2-94 is a design that successfully fuses the brand’s military-issue heritage with a contemporary look.
My only knock is the lack of luminous paint on the bezel as well as the date, which feel like odd exceptions for a “Full Lum” watch. The non-luminous date leaves a dark spot on the glowing dial.
Priced at US$5,100, the BR V2-94 Full Lum costs roughly 10% more than the standard model. Given that the watch is limited to 250 pieces, the premium is justified for a relatively uncommon and intriguing chronograph – I can imagine the watch being a conversation starter.
However, unless you’re attracted to the full-lume dial, there are a handful of better value propositions (that are admittedly less fun in terms of design), such as the newly-launched Tudor Black Bay Chrono “Panda”, which has a technically superior movement.
The dial of the BR V2-94 Full Lum is covered in green Super-Luminova C5, while the indices, numerals and hands are painted with yellow Super-Luminova C3, giving a slight but obvious distinction in colour between the two. But in the dark, both glow a fluorescent green, except for the chronograph sub-dial.
The 30-minute register glows in an icy blue, creating a sharp contrast to the green-glowing dial. It’s a smart detail that creates easily recognisable differentiation between the totaliser on the left and the running seconds on the right.
Aside from its luminescent dial, the watch retains most attributes of the standard BR V2-94, such as the screw-down pushers, the domed sapphire crystal, bi-directional bezel, and wearable proportions at just 41 mm wide and 13.55 mm thick.
The BR V2-94 Full Lum is powered by the BR-CAL.301, which is essentially an ETA 2892 with a Dubois-Depraz chronograph module on top.
Key facts and price
Bell & Ross BR V2-94 Full Lum
Diameter: 41 mm
Height: 13.55 mm
Water resistance: 100 m
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, and chronograph
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 42 hours
Limited edition: 250 pieces
Availability: Now at Bell & Ross’ online shop, boutiques, and authorised retailers
Price: US$5,100; or 7000 Singapore dollars
For more, visit bellross.com.
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