Bell & Ross 
BR 03-92 Ceramic Heritage Review

by Chamath Gamage

Founded in 1992 as a university project, Bell & Ross was formed by two friends; Bruno Belamich and Carlos Rosillo. These two young entrepreneurs had a joint vision of creating a watch that embodied the idea of combining functionality and robustness into one timepiece.

When the manufacturing for Bell & Ross watches started, they had to get them made by a third-party manufacturer in Germany by who we know today as SINN. As the first models of Bell & Ross watches were released, they came with the inscription “by SINN” on the dial. SINN’s partnership with Bell & Ross lasted until 2002, when Bell & Ross were able to acquire their own manufacturing plant in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.

After the acquisition of the manufacturing plant is when Bell & Ross wanted to expand their range of watch models and create a timepiece that carried their ideologies while keeping the aesthetics of the watch as simple as possible. To do this, they looked towards the military forces, diving commandos and air-forces to draw inspiration from. 

Bruno Belamich and Carlos Rosillo knew that the military forces and their counterparts used instruments that have easy readability while having toughness to endure the rough situations. This was the inspiration behind the first model the BR – 01 and also the start of their most iconic BR Instrument range, released in 2005. This watch became one of the most recognisable timepieces in the the watch industry and gave the brand the international exposure for them to become well known. 

The design innovation for the dial was found from antique dashboard instruments on military airplanes. The dashboard instruments had a very simple layout; circular dial on a square case. The square case would have four screws on each corner for it to be fitted onto the dashboard. Another standout feature that was utilised by Bell & Ross was the colour contrast on the dashboard instruments. For pilots to be able to have clear and easy readability, the instruments would have colours where the dial (and usually the case) would be black with the numerals and lettering done in a contrasting white, yellow or other bright colours.

These design features were all brought together to create the first BR-01. Very little has changed between the first BR-01 and the BR 03-92 Heritage. The design features and functionality of the watch remains the same while incorporating a different colour palette to give a more modern and vibrant look. The BR 03-92 Heritage comes in a 42mm case that has a matte black ceramic finish. The original BR -01 came in a 45mm case which for everyday wear can be a little on the bulky side. Bell & Ross have modernised the BR 03-92 Heritage by reducing the case size, which makes the watch fit a lot better on the wrist. The BR 03-92 Heritage comes with a black dial with the indexes, numerals, hour and minute hands coated with sand -coloured superluminova. As with the most of the watches in the BR Instrument range, the dial is simple and uses large numerals for the hours markers to ensure easy readability. There is also a date window on the dial, shown between the 4 o’clock and 5 o’clock hour markers.

The case back of the BR 03-92 Heritage has engravings which describe facts such as the use of stainless steel on the case, the watch having a mechanical automatic movement and that its manufactured in Switzerland. The water resistance of 100m is also engraved on the back.  

The movement inside the Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Heritage is the calibre BR-CAL.302 which uses a Sellita SW300-1 movement. This ETA movement provides up-to 40 hours of power reserve. Functions of the movement are the operations of the hour, minute and second hands along with the date change. From the very first BR model (BR 01), Bell & Ross have opted to use ETA movements in their watches. With the military field and everyday use in mind, incorporating ETA movements is an ideal choice as the movements can be easily serviceable and provide exceptional reliability.

The Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Heritage comes with a gold calfskin leather that has hot stamped finish. Over time with wear and use the leather strap may darken in colour, however this will surely not do justice to the overall look of the timepiece.

How does the Bell & Ross 03-92 Ceramic Heritage wear?

The square shaped case with the circular dial brings something different to what we are normally accustomed to. The four screws on either end of the square do give it a nice touch and does make you feel like you’re carrying a mini flight instrument on your wrist. The large bright coloured numerals give the 03-92 Heritage a nice aesthetic look when matched with the contrasting black dial background. At a thickness of approximately 11mm the watch sits on a 7 inch wrist quite comfortably and not too heavy for everyday wear.

The Bell & Ross 03-92 Heritage comes with a nicely packaged box that includes extra accessories for the watch. The box includes a additional synthetic fabric strap with the tools required to switch the straps over. Changing the straps is not a complex process. The Bell & Ross 03-92 doesn’t use a traditional spring bar connected to lugs. Instead, it uses a pin that goes through one lug and a screw which goes onto the opposite lug to connect onto the pin. Once the screw is fastened it will keep the strap in place. The tools provided by Bell & Ross is used to fasten the screw without making the pin turn at the same time. The tools are similar to that of a hex key and screwdriver. The hex key is used to keep the pin in place while the screwdriver tightens the screw.

With the matching gold calfskin leather strap and black buckle along with the extra nylon strap, this watch can be worn for outdoor and casual use quite easily. All these features come together to make the beautiful Bell & Ross 03-92 Heritage stand out from the crowd.

Bell & Ross 03-92 Ceramic Heritage specification

  • Case diameter : 42mm
  • Case material : matte black ceramic
  • Crystal : antireflective sapphire
  • Functions: hours, minutes and seconds. Date.
  • Winding crown: steel screw-down winding crown, with the Tudor rose in relief 
  • Water resistance : 100 meters/ 330 feet
  • Movement : calibre BR-CAL.302. 37 jewels. 28,800 vibrations per hour.
  • Power reserve : approximately 40 hours
  • Bracelet : gold calfskin with a hot stamped finish and black heavy-duty canvas. 

Australian Retail Pricing : $5850.00

World wide Warranty : 2 years

Availability : Available now

Local Authorised Dealers :

  • Brisbane – Hardy Brothers
  • Melbourne – Bell & Ross Boutique
  • Sydney – Hardy Brothers, Wamada Jewellery and Heinemann Tax and Duty Free
  • Perth – Hardy Brothers

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