Bell & Ross Introduces the BR 01 Cyber Skull Sapphire

Hyper-modern clarity.

A month after the one-of-a-kind, orange-crystal skull wristwatch sold for CHF220,000 at charity auction Only Watch 2021, Bell & Ross (B&R) is unveiling its limited edition counterpart in clear sapphire crystal. With both its case and polygonal skull in clear sapphire crystal, the Cyber Skull Sapphire is powered by a proprietary movement incorporating a simple automaton that drives the skull’s lower jaw as the watch is wound.

Initial thoughts

With its dark orange visage, the Cyber Skull for Only Watch was the most striking lots of the auction, so it’s no surprise that the brand is returning to the idea with a limited run. Granted the Cyber Skull Sapphire lacks the punch of the orange skull, but it is certainly striking with its stying, size, and airy construction. The look is unashamedly modern and very much over the top.

But beyond the aesthetics, the watch also features an interesting movement that was developed from the ground up to form a skull. The base plate is skull-shaped, while the going train was laid out to position the balance right in the middle of the skull’s forehead.

Like almost all watches with sapphire crystal cases, the Cyber Skull Sapphire has a six figure price tag, albeit just into six figures at US$117,000. But the Cyber Skull Sapphire is catered for a specific buyer: one who wants an extravagant, hyper-modern aesthetic – and isn’t too bothered about price. And it accomplishes what it sets out to do well, but that specific buyer is also few in number, which partly explains why it is a limited edition of just ten.

The BR 01 Cyber Skull Sapphire Only Watch 2021

Crystal clear

The Cyber Skull Sapphire is actually the chromatic opposite of the BR 01 Cyber Skull, which is entirely black ceramic (and consequently more affordable). But Cyber Skull Sapphire is slightly smaller at 45 mm in diameter, and the clear case will reduce its visual footprint even further.

Made almost entirely of clear sapphire crystal, the Cyber Skull Sapphire has a sci-fi look thanks to its clean lines and polygonal skull o the dial. The two part case is crystal, as are the polygonal skull and crossbones that overlay the skeletonised movement.

Visible from practically any angle is the BR-CAL.209, a variant of the hand-wind calibre developed for B&R by Concepto, a movement specialist best known for its chronographs and tourbillons.

Constructed to form a skull and cross bones, the movement has a skull-shaped base plate with the going train arrange along one side of the skull, with the balance wheel sitting in the middle of the forehead and the mainspring between the jaws. Winding the watch drives a simple automaton – the skull’s lower jaw opens and closes as the watch is wound.

Key facts and price

Bell & Ross BR 01 Cyber Skull Sapphire

Diameter: 45 mm
Height: Unavailable
Material: Sapphire
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: BR-CAL.209
Functions: Hours and minutes with skull automaton
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Winding: Hand wind
Power reserve: 48 hours

Strap: Translucent rubber

Limited edition: 10 pieces
Availability: From Bell & Ross boutiques and authorised retailers
Estimate: US$117,000; or 160,000 Singapore dollars

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