Even thought the BR-05 was only introduced in 2019, it has already cemented its place in the “none-round sports steel watch with an integrated bracelet” segment. Given its cockpit-inspired instrument styling, it stands out from the rest and gives a distinct Bell & Ross flavour, perfect for those looking for something a bit more out of the norm.
Yes when the BR-05 was first introduced it was met with criticism, with many citing its likeness to certain other non-round steel sports watches with a little bit more history. However, by doing so you’d be firstly ignoring its squared aviation instrument design cue, which are as Bell and Ross as a red nose on Rudolph.
Secondly, you’d be ignoring the bracelet style taken directly from the Space 1M (a 1994 model that was produced by Sinn, identical to the Sinn 142, featuring a cushion-shaped case with internal rotating bezel, and powered by Lemania 5100), as well as the Type Demineur (a 1996 model, which was ordered for use by the bomb disposal unit of the French Security Services). Whether or not the Space 1M took its bracelet inspiration from another brand is perhaps another story altogether…
The most striking version of the BR-05 from 2019 is possibly the skeletonised version. This was followed up in 2020 with a blue-tinted sapphire crystal dial, a very clever take on the blue dial watch trend. in 2021, we have the BR 05 Skeleton Nightlum, which again utilises the tinted crystal dial, this time in smoked grey, and is again a limited edition of 500 pieces.
The smoked sapphire crystal dial gives the watch a more subdued and sober look, and may even be considered a little dressier. At a glance, you don’t notice the skeletonisation. It’s only when you take a closer look, or a second glance, that this becomes apparent. This treatment also makes the watch more legible, and this is always welcomed.
One of the biggest selling point of the BR-05 is the sizing and wearability compared to its larger, more military/utilitarian siblings. The 40mm case coupled with the thinnish 10.4mm fits most wrists. The bracelet integrates nicely into the case, and wears comfortably on the wrist. Both the case and bracelet features brushed and polished surfaces and the finishing certainly stands up to the most vigorous of scrutineers.
The skeletonised movement (BR-CAL.322) is based on the Sellita SW300, with a personalised rotor, blackened to match the dial. Power reserve of 38 hours.
Bell & Ross BR-05 Skeleton Nightlum Specification:
- Case: 40 mm
- Case Material: Satin-finished and polished steel
- Dial: Skeleton with smoked sapphire plate and black
- Crystal: Sapphire with anti-reflective coating
- Water resistance: 100 meters
- Movement: Calibre BR-CAL.322. Automatic mechanical
- Functions: Hours, minutes and seconds
- Strap: Black rubber or satin-finished and polished steel.