Bell & Ross has released three new Desert Type watches ahead of this year’s Baselworld
Bell & Ross’ military and aviation theme has this time landed in sunnier climes with the new BR 03-92 Desert Type and BR 03-94 Desert Type, as well as a smaller, more unisex watch, the BR S Desert Type.
A 42mm three-hander, 42mm chronograph and a 39mm small seconds make up the trio, each with a sand-coloured dial and beige leather strap designed to blend in with the uniforms worn by pilots on desert missions.
The BR 03-94 chronograph has a small seconds sub-dial positioned at 3 o’clock, with central chronograph seconds and a 30-minute sub-dial at 9 o’clock. On all three models, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it date window sits between 4 and 5 o’clock; thankfully, the background colour of the date wheel has been matched to the sandy khaki of the dial.
A minute track runs around the flange, and inside is the calibre BR-CAL.301, previously used in the very similar, all-black Aviation BR 03 automatic chronograph.
Bell & Ross opted for a quartz movement for the 39mm BR S Desert Type (below), a BR-CAL.102, which has the same small seconds dial as the chronograph positioned at 6 o’clock.
It’s a more unisex model, with a smooth rather than spikily-textured crown.
The BR 03-92, meanwhile, has an automatic BR-CAL.302 inside and, unlike the other two, central seconds.
The black ceramic cases were picked for its resistance to acidic conditions, high temperatures, corrosion and erosion.
All three watches uses a sandwich dial construction: if you look closely at the numerals and hour markers: each one is actually cut out of the beige upper layer of the dial, straight down the black photoluminescent layer below. It’s a military marking technique that means the contrast is easy to read in the daytime, whilst also allowing legibility at night.
What’s more, it adds a pleasing depth to each dial – all-beige can’t help but look a little, well, beige, and printed or applied numerals would just be a bit flat.
Each model is water-resistant to 100m and can also be purchased on a utilitarian black fabric strap.