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Bell & Ross takes flight with a new pair of Racing Bird watches

The sky's the limit

From its own aircraft, the BR-Bird, to the aviation-inspired watches that take after said flying machine, Bell & Ross is conquering the skies

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).

Bell & Ross BR-Bird

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.

Bell & Ross Racing Bird

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.

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Text: Angelyn Kwek

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