You'll be forgiven if you initially perceive the Bell & Ross Burning Skull as a piratical icon — what with the Jolly Roger fronting the timepiece — but in actuality, this distinct wristwatch is a celebration of military symbolism and the intricate art of tattooing. The third edition in a new generation of timepieces the French maison is turning out, this remarkable version not only pays homage to the legendary parachutists from the 82nd and 101st American regiments during World War II but it also takes the troops' skull insignia up another notch with a unique depiction.

Bell & Ross Burning Skull

Etched within a square frame, the talismanic skull and crossbones symbol cast in steel against a black background serves as an intimidating yet brazen visual, accompanied by stylised flames along the sides. This provocative dial is further embellished with a pair of hour and minute hands that take after military motifs, namely a dagger and a sword. Finished in a matte appearance to contrast the muted polish of the timepiece, the Burning Skull cuts an impressive façade — one that's not unlike a tattoo masterpiece inked by the most experienced of craftsmen. In fact, these artistic strokes extend to the caseback of the watch, with visible inscriptions etched upon the micro-blasted steel exterior surrounded by a corona of vivid, mythical fires.

Bell & Ross Burning Skull

Covered in the striking flames even on the sides, this meticulously hand-carved workmanship encases a calibre BR-CAL.302, an automatic mechanical movement that is water resistant up to 100 metres. Coated in black Superluminova on the dial for the utmost graphic intensity, the exceptional fiery defiance of the Bell & Ross Burning Skull dares all who meet its gaze to challenge haute horlogerie convention.

Bell & Ross Burning Skull

The 500-piece limited edition Burning Skull is available at the Bell & Ross boutique.