There probably isn't a watch manufacture nearly as robust as Bell & Ross when it comes to collecting machines of speed and performance. Currently, the maison is the proud owner of a motorcycle (the B-rocket), a supercar (the Aéro GT), and a rally racecar (the Bellytanker). Now racking up another for its garage — although 'hangar' would be more appropriate at this point — is a honest-to-goodness airplane, the new BR-Bird.
Not just a token plane to decorate its archives with, this flying machine is a high-speed plane capable of competing in the Reno Air Races in record-breaking style. Only the most extreme speed competition in the aviation world where planes go at it full speed at very low altitudes inside a closed circuit, pilots are required to be daring and dexterous in order to compete. Adding to that, their aircrafts need to have exceptional power, aero dynamism and maneuverability — a checklist thoroughly ticked off by the BR-Bird. Worked on by the Bell & Ross design studio, the maison's first airplane is a brainchild of co-founder and creative director Bruno Belamich, and counts a V12 Rolls Royce Falcon propeller-engine and a body built entirely of graphite, fiberglass, titanium and aluminium among its high-tech specs (which is painted in Bell & Ross livery, of course).
Naturally, this ultramodern aircraft not only stands as a bastion to Bell & Ross' longstanding relationship with the world of flight, it reinforces the maison's love for all things of the winged variety, inspiring the limited edition Racing Bird watches. There's the three-hand BR V1-92 and the chronograph VR V2-94, both of which share aesthetics straight from its jet counterpart. In particular, the colour code works a white dial and blue indices, mirroring the fuselage and the decorative lines delineating the aerodynamic profile of the BR-Bird. And then there are orange-coloured elements, such as indicator arrows and the scale on the 30-minute timer of the chronograph, which is the colour used to highlight the most important information on flight instruments.
Even the typography is the same as the one found in the on-board counters, and the date window for both timepieces displays three days within the aperture — also a direct reference to flight instrumentation. Other traces of the BR-Bird transposed onto the Racing Birds include the silhouette of the plane at the base of the second hand for the BR V1-92 and the second timer for the BR V1-94. This same silhouette can be found on the case back as well. Powered by self-winding mechanical calibres, the Racing Birds are testament to Bell & Ross' boundary-pushing watchmaking approach that combines the technical and stylistic aspects of aeronautics. With their own racing aircraft and two aviation-inspired watches to show for it, aiming for the skies is the new creed to live by.
The Racing Bird watches are available at Bell & Ross boutiques, limited to 999 pieces for each model.