REVIEW: Hands On With The Bell & Ross Cyber Ceramic

by Matt Clymo

Part cyberpunk, part stealth fighter, we go hands on with the Bell & Ross Cyber Ceramic to see if this avante guarde piece can handle the urban jungle.

What We Love

  • The faceted design
  • Little details you keep noticing after a longer wear
  • It truly is a stealth watch with little branding

What We Don’t

  • The loud ceramic rotor noise
  • Thickness of the case
  • Legibility of the hands and dial

Overall Rating: 8.625/10

  • Value for money: 8/10
  • Wearability: 9/10
  • Design: 8.5/10
  • Build quality: 9/10

Bell & Ross is one of those under-the-radar brands. Ironic given their penchant for aviation-themed timepieces! So when I was thinking about what watch I’d like to review, and not had the chance to really spend much time with, Bell & Ross came to mind. I haven’t read any hands-on reviews with them in recent times, nor have I really seen any floating around. Originally I was thinking of doing a review of one of their more classic pieces, however, Bell & Ross offered us an alternative. The new Cyber Skeleton in black ceramic.

Introducing the Bell & Ross Cyber Ceramic

Initial Thoughts

I’ve never been into all-black watches. I’ve nothing against them, they’ve just not really appealed to me all that much. However, the Bell & Ross Cyber Skeleton isn’t your everyday all-black piece. It is a statement on your wrist. One that will most probably not get much attention until it does. It’s one of those pieces that isn’t easily recognisable from a distance (hence under the radar) but on closer inspection, you start to see what it is, and for me, having this piece on my wrist for a week or so really got me appreciating the watch for what it is. Plus, the longer I wore it and looked at it, the more I noticed little details and things that I didn’t take much notice of on the first inspection. A nice little surprise package on the wrist.

The other thing that stood out to me was the way it wore and how easily it sat on the wrist for a bigger watch. This essentially comes down to the case design with no lugs, the rubber strap and the lack of weight in the movement due to the skeletonisation. Wearing it around, you almost forgot it was on the wrist…almost!

The Bell & Ross Cyber Ceramic – a nice statement piece!

The Design

This is a black watch, very black and very stealth. The combination of black ceramic for the case, the movement, and even the rotor means there is very little colour on the watch itself. Combine this with the black rubber strap and the apparent lack of branding or writing on the watch just adds to the monochromatic look of this piece. It also add to the mystery of what this piece is too and nothing stands out and hits you in the face and says “BELL & ROSS!” All there is to be seen is the capital BR on the rubber strap and the Bell & Ross logo on the sapphire crystal, which is somewhat hidden with the barrel and barrel bridge behind almost masking it.

The Cyber Ceramic case is milled out of an entire piece of ceramic, with angular looks reminiscent of the B-2 Stealth Bomber. Because Bell & Ross have used a grinding technique to cut the lugs out of the case, it means the strap inserts perfectly and drops away, adding to the comfort (which I’ll talk about later).

The angular case design taking inspiration from stealth bombers

The sapphire crystal on top has also been faceted and in an angular fashion to match the case design. It’s not something you see all that often in a watch unless it’s square or rectangular, and even then, it’s rare. This does give the Cyber Ceramic more depth, and the one small detail I did like was that the faceted edge reflects the Bell & Ross logo, made of polished ceramic under the crystal, and every now and then, would catch the eye as if the logo was etched into the edge all the way around.

The crystal faceting around the edges reflects the logo under the top of the sapphire

The dial, or lack thereof is the standout for me on the Cyber Ceramic. Continuing the ceramic theme, Bell & Ross has taken the calibre BR-CAL.383 movement and completely skeletonised it, and changed most of the movement over to ceramic as well to complete the overall look of the piece. Not only have they skeletonised the dial and movement, they have also faceted it as well, making each bridge angled in and out. This not only creates depth to the watch, but the way the light hits the angles makes it look like it’s been coated in a monochromatic camouflage. To be honest, at first, I thought this was what they had done until I looked a little closer. And once you notice it, you’ll keep coming back again and again admiring it. I’ve not seen this technique in a piece before, so if uniqueness is your thing, then this has it in spades!

The light bounces off the 3D bridges and creates a monochromatic camouflage effect

Looking past the all-black dial and hands, the pops of silver and gold of the barrel, gear train, and escape wheel stand out, breaking up the movement and dial, which I feel only adds to the industrial look of the watch. Again bringing it back to the Stealth Bomber, those small bits of metal you see that break up the black radar-absorbing material used all over it. The other added benefit of this is it gives balance to the dial. The escapement at 6 o’clock balancing out the barrel and spring at 12 o’clock lets you know there are mechanics behind the piece.

The dial has top and bottom balance with the barrel at 12 and balance at 6

Bell & Ross have given the Cyber Ceramic black microblasted hour and minute hands filled with grey Super-LumiNova® to complete the all-black design. This does make reading the time at a glance somewhat harder than a conventional watch, and some contrast on the hands would have made it better. Would this ruin the look though? Potentially. The grey Super-LumiNova® could have been substituted with a white Super-LumiNova® and this would have made time telling a little better without ruining the aesthetics of the watch. However, at night, they do stand out with blue lume so it’s not all that hard to see what time it is.

The blue Super-LumiNova® on the Cyber Ceramic lights up the darkness

How It Wears

I’ll be brutally honest here. When I first opened the box, my first thought was, “This is a big watch!” And to a point, it is. At 42mm in diameter, it’s not small, but by the same token, that size isn’t large either – it’s the same diameter as a Speedmaster on paper. Normally you would have a lug to lug to worry about, but with the Cyber Ceramic, there are no lugs and as a result, measures 43.7mm across the wrist. The case is designed to have the “lugs” machined out of the ceramic case and as a result, the watch sits square on the wrist, and the rubber strap falls down and around the wrist.

Sitting flush to my 17.5cm wrist with no lug overlapping the wrist

This fact means it wears very well and is comfortable. Yes, it does look chunky, but in this instance, this works for it. Plus it would be hard to obtain that level of 3D faceting on the movement along with the faceting on the crystal without having a slightly thicker piece. That being said, the size is negated by the lightness and comfort of the piece, to the point where you don’t even realise it’s on your wrist until you look down.

The side profile on the wrist – thicker than some, but negated by the lightness

The rubber strap I was a little in two minds about. On one hand, it’s sturdy, and robust and looks the part for a watch such as the Cyber Ceramic. It also is super easy to wear and hugs the wrist well. On the other hand, I did feel the strap was, like the watch, a little on the large side. It’s wide and as a result, does take a decent amount of wrist space. But could Bell & Ross have done it differently based on the design? My thoughts are probably not, so it is what it is. It’s not a deal breaker, and you do get used to it after a few days of wearing it.

The steel buckle coated in black PVD with the strap that tapers quite a lot at the bottom which brings balance to how it wears

The big question I had when first unboxing the Cyber Ceramic was, will it be comfortable and will I like it? The short answer is, yes. For some reason, the piece just works on the wrist. It is light, it sits flat on the wrist and doesn’t move a lot and the rubber trap is comfy. All this adds up to a great wearing experience, and one I didn’t think I’d have with this piece. It’s ostentatious but you come to love that about this piece, and whilst it is large, you don’t notice its size as it wears so well.

Super comfortable and wearable with rubber and ceramic

The Movement

I’ve already touched on the movement when talking about the design, but it’s worth going into more detail as it is both the powerhouse for the Cyber Ceramic as well as the dial and completes the whole look of the watch. Bell & Ross has re-designed, or should I say, re-worked their BR-CAL.383 movement in conjunction with movement maker, Concepto, who are responsible for some of the most out-there and complicated movements around.

Bruno Belamich, Creative Director and co-founder of Bell & Ross explains the rationale of how the movement and dial was inspired: “The faceting on the lines is, of course, a nod to the digital arts. When a digital image freezes, it reveals the pixels of which it is made” Whilst he describes this as being pixelated, I like to look at it as camouflaged. As mentioned above, the 3D design means the light hits the movement elements and gives each facet and edge a different shade of black.

Faceting around the dial elements with the balance at 6 o’clock

When you flip the watch over, you can see that Bell & Ross have kept the movement very minimalistic in a sense. The rotor is also made of black ceramic which helps to keep the stealth look going throughout the watch’s movement. The one drawback (depending on if this bothers you or not) is the movement noise. You can hear the movement spinning around consistently and I know from many of the forums, there are people that don’t like this, but on the flip side, there are others that do. I’m still not sure where I sit on this aspect, and my gut reaction is, it depends on the watch. In a nice dress watch, I would be downgrading the score based on this, but in the Cyber Ceramic, it adds to the tactility of the piece and seems to add to its charm. You feel like there is a machine on your wrist, and in this instance with this watch, I like it.

The reverse side of the movement shows the black rotor with the underside of the ceramic skeletonised plates

Final Thoughts

The are watches out there that are never on your radar, that is until someone puts it on your wrist. The Bell & Ross Cyber Ceramic is one of those pieces for me. I would probably not have picked this piece for review, in fact, I did look at the recently released Diver Black & Green Bronze for review, but wasn’t available yet as it had only just been released the week before. (I do however have it in my hot little hands now, so stay tuned for this review next month!) The Cyber Ceramic was sent and it was a surprise packet literally!

A surprise packet on the wrist

At the end of my time with the Cyber Ceramic, I had become quite fond of it. It was a watch that bucks pretty much most trends, and stands out all on its own. Whilst it doesn’t scream “Look at me”, it commands a few looks due to it being like nothing else out there. Frequenting some of my favourite cafes and places in the city, you see lots of Rolex, Omega, Seiko and TAG Heuer pieces on wrists, plus a few other higher brands like AP and Patek, but never Bell & Ross, and never something like the Cyber Ceramic. And for this fact alone, you should consider this.

The Cyber Ceramic isn’t a watch you’ll see very often if at all at your local!

At A$21,300 it’s not all that cheap, but considering what you’re getting with a piece like this, and the fact it’s limited to 500 pieces worldwide, not to mention the craftsmanship in the case and dial, it’s fair value I feel. The comfort makes it an everyday watch – I had no issues wearing it each day going about my usual week and being ceramic, you’re not worrying about getting it scratched. Adding to this, it’s light and as a result, the larger size isn’t an issue either. It hugs the wrist and doesn’t move much on it. The 3D faceting on the dial and movement is lovely to look at, and you find yourself staring at it more than a ‘normal’ watch.

Yes, it does have a few drawbacks, but I feel these are more than offset by all the positive elements of the piece. I’ll finish by saying this: If you’re getting tired of seeing the same type of watches on wrists, and want to stand out from the crowd, then the Bell & Ross Cyber Ceramic is a piece that will let you do this. I guarantee you won’t see another on the wrist sitting down at your local cafe every Saturday morning!

Reference: BR03-CYBER-CE


  • Size: 42mm x 43.7mm
  • Case: Black matte ceramic
  • Movement: Automatic mechanical Calibre BR-CAL.383 with Black skeletonised main plate and bridges. Pivoting on 25 jewels and beating at 28,800 vph / 4Hz.
  • Power reserve: 48hrs
  • Water resistance: 50 bar (50 meters)
  • Crystal: Sapphire with Anti-reflective coating with faceted edges
  • Case back: Ceramic with see-through Sapphire crystal
  • Strap: Black rubber strap with steel pin buckle coated in black PVD

Australian Recommended Retail Pricing: A$21,300

Availability: Limited to 500 pieces. Available now from authorised dealers, Bell & Ross Boutiques or online from

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