#FirstClassFriday: The Bell & Ross Instrument de Marine collection
Centred by the core principle of reinterpreting on-board instrumentation into contemporary timepieces imbued with elegant classism, Bell & Ross unites history and haute horlogerie once again as they foray into the maritime realm to bring forth a collection inspired by this time-honored trade. Harnessing naval grandeur into a trio of unique wristwatches, the Instrument de Marine makes a clear divergent from the brand's established aviation lineup but is no less stunning or sophisticated.
Fashioned in the likeness of the iconic square silhouette appreciated in Bell & Ross' most futuristically-inclined timepieces, the sleek yet subtly retro lines of the collection reflects the shapes of the first true-to-form marine clock installed in 18th century ships. These antique naval instruments were housed in square wooden cases and its constituent parts are cast from brass — signature elements that have been translated into modernity by the maison's utilisation of bronze, rose gold metals and Indian rosewood to preserve the design's authenticity. Woven into all three models, the BR-01 Instrument de Marine, BR-X1 Skeleton Chronograph and the BR-X1 Tourbillon chronograph, the uncommon usage of bronze ultimately bestows a unique facet to each watch by transforming the casing's patina into a brown or greyish-green hue when exposed to oxidation, and no two resulting colours are alike.
Augmented with technologically advanced Grade 5 titanium for its central components and caseback to impart a lightweight resilience to the collection, the Instrument de Marine captures the essence of maritime exploration in three different functionalities to suit every wayfarer's proclivity.
BR-01 Instrument de Marine
For the purists at heart, the BR-01 edition is the most accurate representation of an old-school marine clock downsized to sit upon the wrist. Its case, bezel and winding crown are made from bronze and elegant finishing touches include a band of rosewood surrounding the white-lacquered dial. Equipped with a calibre BR-CAL.203, this hand-wound mechanical movement also mimics the classic mechanism used during that era.
Limited edition of 500 pieces.
BR-X1 Instrument de Marine Skeleton Chronograph
Powered by an automatic calibre BR-CAL.313 skeleton movement, this interpretation takes a leap into stylish with a sapphire crystal dial that exhibits the intricacy of its core. Tinted a slight gray, the clockwork of parts evoke the colour of the sea during a storm and the bold aesthetic is edged with gilt applique indices that coordinate with the chronograph minute timer at 9 o'clock, fashioned in the outline of a ship's propeller. Plus that golden hue complements the rosewood and bronze casing that encloses the bezel, push-pieces, crown and crown protector.
Limited edition of 99 pieces.
BR-X1 Instrument de Marine Tourbillon Chronograph
The most complex of the trio, the BR-X1 tourbillon takes the high road with its bevy of complications, including a 60-second chronograph counter, a 30-minute chronograph indicator, and a centrepiece gilt tourbillon cage perched prominently at 6 o'clock. Driven by a mechanical calibre BR-CAL.313 movement, this feat of engineering boasts 282 separate parts for the tourbillon alone and is manufactured with a delicate floating cage to compensate for gravitational effects when the watch sits vertically. Unrivalled accuracy made sublimely timeless? Yes please, this is one watch worth its salt in haute horlogerie.
Limited edition of 20 pieces.
The Instrument de Marine collection is available at Bell & Ross boutiques.