You have to agree that a watch is a very personal thing. Some prefer a chronograph while others want something that can read the phases of the moon. Then there’s a simple clean face like these Bell & Ross timepieces, which were launched in KL not too long ago.
Brought in by FJ Benjamin and Cortina Watch, the new Bell & Ross collection moves away from the usual four-cornered cases and playful dials that we are familiar with. Called the Vintage WW1 Heure Sautante, the collection features large complications with an original display and clear legibility.
Reading the watch might seem complex at first, seeing that the watch only has one hand. The hour is now read through a large fixed window at the 12 o’clock that displays the hour-digits. This is made possible by replacing the hour hand with a rotating disc on which the digits are printed. The figures jump when the hour changes.
The minute hand is centrally aligned between the hour window and the power reserve indicator at the 6 o’clock. The mechanism triggering the ‘jump’ in the digits requires energy; hence the usefulness of the power reserve indicator.
Blue-steel screws, circular-grained mainplate, oscillating weight and bridges decorated with ‘Côtes de Genève’, which can be viewed through the sapphire crystal caseback, are the shared components of both watches in this collection. What set the two apart are the case and the dial.
In the platinum version, the Vintage WW1 Heure Sautante opens a second window for the power reserve indicator. The dial is finished in opaline grey and silver with its 18k gold hand-applied guilloche decoration. Completing the watch is a pear-shaped blue-steel hand that indicates the minutes.
The pink gold version takes a more traditional approach. The opaline pearl dial is decorated with slim markers, which the pear-shaped blue-steel minute hand sweeps over. The power reserve indicator is open.
In both cases, the watch is 42 mm in diametre and comes with an appropriately coloured narrow alligator strap. The slim strap and fasteners, which resemble wire handles soldered to the case, brings out the vintage look and feel of the collection.