Bell & Ross Unveils the BR 03-92 Red Radar Ceramic

Putting fans on red alert.

First introduced exactly a decade ago, the BR 01-92 Red Radar was one of the brand’s first wristwatches to reproduce a fighter jet’s instrument display, using a red-tinted sapphire crystal and rotating discs to create a dial resembling a flight radar display. A striking and clever idea, the flight-radar time display was unique even amongst the numerous aviation-instrument watches of Bell & Ross (B&R).

Now B&R is revisiting the concept with the BR 03-92 Red Radar Ceramic, which once again features a radar display but now in the more wearable BR 03 case.

Initial thoughts

On the surface, the new BR 03-92 Red Radar Ceramic isn’t especially novel. The ceramic case is essentially the same used for last year’s BR 03-92 HUD, while the radar display is modelled on the 2011 original.

However, the new Red Radar is a clever rendition of the idea, and a substantial improvement over the earlier version. For one, the case is now 42 mm, making it significantly more wearable than the 46 mm original.

And the original also had a black-coated steel case – which typically shows wear and tear as the coating separates from the metal below – while the new model has a ceramic case also that’s scratch-resistant and generally more durable, meaning it will seem pristine even after years of use (though hard knocks or drops can chip or crack ceramic).

And the new Red Radar has a more practical dial design than its predecessor, which had hands printed to mimic the sweep of a radar scan, which didn’t help legibility. The new model has a more practical display that has a pair of plane icons serving as minute and hour indicators.

Nevertheless, the Red Radar still possesses the fun factor that made the original a success. I’m a fan of the radar aesthetic, as well as the combination of the red dial and black ceramic case – the watch looks unlike anything else on the market.

Priced at US$4,300, the Red Radar Ceramic is a tad more expensive than last year’s BR 03-92 HUD, but remains relatively affordable, considering the case material and novel display. This is one that’s worth the price, and likely one of the coolest watches that B&R has released in recent years.

Red Radar

Instead of conventional hands, the Red Radar Ceramic utilises a pair of rotating discs, each printed with a plane emblem on its underside to indicate the time. The commercial jetliner on the outermost disc indicates the hours, while the jet fighter on the inner disc shows the minutes. The dial also incorporates a seconds hand that sweeps across the dial the way the scanner on a radar would.

The discs and hands sit underneath the tinted sapphire crystal that has the hour and minute scales are printed on its underside, creating the radar display with “floating” hands. Though different in style, the concept that reminds me of the dials found on Ming watches.

Under the hood is the BR-CAL.302, essentially a Sellita SW300 that’s in turn a clone of the ETA 2892. It’s a prosaic movement, but one that is robust and slender. However, it does have a short power reserve of just 38 hours, though that isn’t an inconvenience if the watch is worn daily.

Key facts and price

Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Red Radar Ceramic

Case diameter: 42 mm
Material: Black ceramic
Crystal: Red-tinted sapphire
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: BR-CAL.302 (Sellita SW300)
Features: Hours, minutes, and seconds
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 38 hours

Strap: Black rubber; additional strap in fabric

Limited edition: 999 pieces
Availability: Now at Bell & Ross’ online shop, boutiques, and authorised retailers
Price: US$4,300; or 5,900 Singapore dollars

To find out more, visit


Back to top.

You may also enjoy these.

Scientists Install Weather Station Atop Dormant Volcano (While Wearing a Rolex)

To understand climate change and the water supply.

Amongst the projects to tackle climate change that’s being supported by Rolex was the successful scientific expedition to Tupungato, a dormant volcano that’s one of the highest mountains in Americas that sits on the border of Chile and Argentina. Led by National Geographic and backed by the Chilean government, the expedition team embarked on a 15-day trek up Tupungato in early April to install a weather station just below the summit – 6,505 m above sea level – that’s the highest weather installation in the Southern and Western Hemispheres.

The purpose of the expedition was, of course, not to explore the uncharted; such endeavours had their heyday in the postwar era, with Rolex keeping time for many of them. Instead the watchmaker supports scientists and conservationists on expeditions that aid understanding of climate change and its effects – all of which are part of the Perpetual Planet initative.


National Geographic

A pillar of Perpetual Planet is Rolex’s partnership with National Geographic, the iconic, yellow-bordered magazine of the National Geographic Society. The partnership seeks to understand and address the impact of climate change, through expeditions and field research that harness data taken at crucial locations that are often harsh and inaccessible.

The partnership’s first expedition took place in 2019, when a team travelled up Mount Everest to set up the highest-altitude weather station in the world – 8,430 m above sea level – at platform near the summit that’s been nicknamed “The Balcony”. Capable of monitoring high-altitude wind streams, the system also keeps an eye on the water sources of the Hindu Kush-Himalayas, which supply more than a billion people downstream.

The Everest Expedition was first in a series of expeditions that explored high-mountain water towers – all documented in great detail and spectacular photographs by National Geographic – that now began in the Himalayas and then moved on to the Andes mountain range with the Tupungato expedition. But first, why are water towers worth climbing up to the roof of the world to investigate?

The Everest Expedition of 2019

Rising uncertainties

A stop in Earth’s water cycle, natural water towers collect and store fresh waters on mountaintops and supply water to the people who live at lower elevations in the surrounding regions.

With glaciers and ice caps containing around 70% of the world’s fresh water, half of the world’s population depends on water that flows from mountains. That stands in stark contrast to the fresh water that’s readily available in the form of surface water, like that in lakes and rivers, which is just 1% of the total.

In fact, the water stored in the Hindu-Kush Himalayan mountains eventually reaches some two billion people, or about 20% of the world’s population, providing water for drinking, agricultural, and other crucial activities. But growing populations has increased downstream demand for water, exacerbating geopolitical conflicts as water supplies struggle to keep up.

At the same time, global warming is occurring at a faster pace in high-elevation, mountainous regions than elsewhere. Climate change has changed the natural cycles of the mountains, altering the timing and rate of precipitation of snow as well as melting of glaciers, which has made the water cycle unpredictable. Water towers, in other words, “are in trouble”.

The magnitude of the trouble, however, is not understood in detail as insufficient real-time data is available at such altitudes, hence the necessity of high-altitude weather stations.

Sitting pretty at 6,505 m above sea level – the weather station on Tupungato

Research shows that some of the most vulnerable water towers are in Asia and South America, making the Hindu-Kush Himalayan water tower a sensible first stop for the National Geographic team. With the Mount Everest weather station in place, the team moved on to South America, where they set up a second tracking station on Tupungato, which has been dormant for many millennia.

The explorers

Tupungato is part of the Southern Andes water tower, which supplies fresh water to more than six million people in the area around the Chilean capital Santiago. In addition to demand for water, supply has been constrained by a drought that’s the most serious faced by the region in the last century.

According to Tom Matthews, a climate scientist on the Tupungato expedition who was also part of the Everest team, global warming accelerates the rate of glacier retreats, which means declining fresh water sources over time.

The rising demand for water and declining supply intensified the need for better meteorological data, especially at the the top of the mountain, in order to better predict hydrological activity as well as initiating mitigations.

And improved, real-time data collection was the goal of the National Geographic team that ascended Tupungato. Led by two scientists – Dr Baker Perry, a professor at Appalachian State University who also led the 2019 Everest Expedition; and Dr Gino Casssa, Head of the Glaciology and Snow Unit at the Chilean Ministry of Public Works – the team pulled off the 15-day mission to install a weather station just below the summit on Tupungato.

Dr Perry, with a Rolex Explorer II on his wrist

Working at over 6.5 km above sea level, the team installed a monitoring station of lightweight aluminium secured by a trio of steel cables. The station’s slim construction belies its remarkable resilience – the station is engineered to withstand wind speeds of over 320 km per hour.

The new station complements three monitoring stations at lower altitudes installed in 2019. Collecting environmental data like as temperature, windspeed, and snowfall, the stations will paint a clearer portrait of climate change in the region, which in turn will inform the decision making of local officials in ensuring the population’s access to water.

For more, visit


Back to top.

You may also enjoy these.

Zenith Introduces the Chronomaster Revival Safari

Green is the new black.

In a year where green dials have become a major fad, Zenith is keeping up with the Chronomaster Revival Safari, a chronograph “inspired by the great outdoors” according to the brand.

Pairing a matte khaki-green dial with faux-aged “lume” and an El Primero A384 in blasted titanium, the Chronomaster Revival Safari is one of the more unusual El Primero remakes to date, despite its fashionable colour.

Initial thoughts

If the Chronomaster Revival Safari looks familiar, that’s because it’s essentially the Chronomaster Revival Shadow in green. The Shadow was one of my favourite recent watches from Zenith, so that’s a good thing.

In fact, the microblasted titanium case suits the safari theme better than the monochromatic Shadow. Lightweight and non-reflective, titanium makes sense for a watch that’s meant to be for the great outdoors.

However, “faux-patina” on the hands and indices is a tad affected, especially considering the Safari is not a vintage remake, but rather a modern design conceived to capitalise on green dials being in vogue.

With a price tag of US$9,000, the new Chronomaster Revival Safari costs about 10% more than the Shadow and the A385 on a bracelet, making it less of a value proposition compared to the rest of the Revival lineup. Nevertheless, it’s still a fair buy relative to the rest of the market. And given the current popularity of green-dial watches, the Safari will prove to be a commercial success.

Jungle ready

The green dial has a matte, granular texture that reinforces the safari-themed livery. Unlike the Shadow, the Safari is more functional, having a seconds track on the outer perimeter of the dial, which means that it’s capable of recording elapsed time.

And it also has the date found on the standard A384. While I’m usually not a fan of date windows, the date here is discreet with a green wheel that blends into the dial.

Beating inside is the El Primero 400, a gently upgraded version of the original launched in 1969. Like the original, the El Primero 400 beats at a high frequency of 36,000 beats per hour, and is equipped with both a column wheel and a lateral clutch.

Key facts and price

Zenith Chronomaster Revival “Safari”
Ref. 97.T384.400.57.C856

Diameter: 37 mm
Height: 12.6 mm
Material: Titanium
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 50 m

Movement: El Primero 400
Functions: Time, date and chronograph
Frequency: 36,000 beats per hour (5 Hz)
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 50 hours

Strap: Leather with pin buckle

Limited edition: No, regular collection
Availability: At Zenith boutiques and online shop
Price: US$9,000

For more, visit


Back to top.

You may also enjoy these.

Svend Andersen Marks 40 Years with the Jumping Hours Platinum

Guilloche gold.

Andersen Genève turned 40 in 2020 – making the brand one of the longest-established independent watchmakers in Switzerland. The brand is, in fact, a pioneer in the field. Founder Svend Andersen, an octogenarian who was born in Denmark but moved to Switzerland in 1963, set up the AHCI in 1985 alongside Vincent Calabrese.

Andersen Genève is best known for inventive and novel complications, often built as a module to be added onto a base movement, such as the secular perpetual calendar that needs no adjustment even after centuries – but on an ETA base calibre. Many of the brand’s creations are hand-made, bespoke timepieces built to the client’s specifications.

The brand commemorated its 40th anniversary with four models that encapsulate its historical specialties, a diamond-set, Louis Cattier-style world time, a collaboration with Konstantin Chaykin that combines the Russian watchmaker’s Joker display with an automaton on the back, and a jumping hours.

The final watch in the anniversary quartet is the first in platinum, the Jumping Hours 40th Anniversary with a 21k-gold dial engine turned by hand.

Initial thoughts

The Jumping Hours is charming in both design and construction, but for the fact that it is the brainchild of a pioneer independent watchmaker.

Save for the case material, the new Jumping Hours is identical to its rose gold predecessor, so it’s not particularly novel. But the guilloche blue dial works exceptionally well with the white-metal case, making it the coolest iteration to date. And it will certainly be weightier than the gold model, which will give it an appealing tangible heft.

The unusual time display stands out instantly. Having neither hour or minute hands, the dial has a window at twelve showing the hours, while the sub-dial at six indicates the minutes. That leaves the rest of the dial an expansive landscape that showcases the hand-executed guilloche on a solid-gold disc.

The artisanal quality of the dial is unmistakable, while the mechanics are equally fine. That said, the design feels slightly off balance because the indicators for the hours and minutes are disparate in size and located at the edges of the dial. At the same time, the baton-shaped minute pointer is chunky, leaving it out of place against the refined dial decoration.

Priced at the equivalent of US$46,000, the Jumping Hours in platinum is a good value, considering the materials, craft, and complication. And also keeping in mind the generally high prices of independent watchmaking today (resulting from the faddish popularity of the genre).

Traditional and refined

Having worked at Patek Philippe on high complications for about a decade in the early 1970s before striking out on his own, Mr Andersen’s style very much echoes the late 20th century, classical-watchmaking aesthetic.

For instance, the lugs on the Jumping Hours are delicately shaped, slightly flared where they meet the case, while the bezel is convex and double-stepped.

The most intricate, and expensive, component of the watch is the dial, which is engine-turned the old fashioned way, with a hand-operated, straight-line engine. The engine turning engraves an intricate, almost hypnotic losange magique pattern.

Intriguingly, the crisp, light blue dial is actually solid 21k gold. It’s a proprietary alloy known as “BlueGold” that’s made up of gold mixed with iron. The alloy is heat treated in an oven to create the blue finish, which is essentially an oxide layer.

Consistent with Andersen’s approach to watchmaking, the Jumping Hours relies on a widely available, but refined base movement, the compact Frederic Piguet cal. 1150, with the jumping hours module made in-house and then added on top.

Although the cal. 1150 is an off-the-shelf movement, it has been dressed up by Andersen. All parts have been attended to, so the bridges, for instance, have polished countersinks and bevels along their edges.

Made in-house by Andersen Geneve, the rotor is 18k gold and decorated with a barleycorn guilloche that’s engine turned by hand just like the dial. And the movement is framed by a BlueGold ring that’s engraved by hand.

Key Facts and Price

Andersen Genève Jumping Hours 40th Anniversary

Diameter: 38 mm
Height: 9.22 mm
Material: Platinum
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: Frederic Piguet cal. 1150 with jumping hours module
Functions: Jumping hours and minutes
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 60 hours

Strap: Alligator with platinum pin buckle

Limited edition: 40 pieces

Availability: Direct from Andersen Genève
Price: CHF41,600 excluding taxes

For more, visit


Back to top.

You may also enjoy these.

Welcome to the new Watches By SJX.

Subscribe to get the latest articles and reviews delivered to your inbox.