Bell & Ross once again look to cockpit instruments for inspiration for the firm’s latest BR 01 timepieces, as they have so in the past with the BR 01 Compass and BR 01 RADAR. This time, it is the air navigation instruments that are given particular attention and are aptly named BR 01 Horizon, BR 01 Altimeter and the BR 01 Turn Coordinator.
The BR 01 Horizon is modeled after the attitude indicator, an instrument that monitors the aircraft’s position in relation to the horizon in all weather conditions. The BR 01 Horizon features a two-colour background that denotes the sky and ground, and is separated by a white horizon line on the 3 o’clock to 9 o’clock axis.
The raised index dial provides two functions – to provide legibility of the hour markers and to conceal the attachment of the hands’ attachment. Legibility is further enhanced with the application of white photo-luminescent coating on the hands and indices.
The BR 01 Altimeter draws influence from the altimeter, an instrument that calculates the aircraft’s altitude based on atmospheric pressure. The instrument determines altitude based on a reference point, example the ground, the sea (altitude measurement) or an isobaric surface.
As such, the timepiece mirrors the aircraft instrument right down to the typeface used as well as the three hands. This Bell & Ross features a window at 3 o’clock that displays the date; it displays the atmospheric pressure in the airplane.
The last piece in the collection is reminiscent of the turn coordinator, which indicates flight symmetry. The instrument is a gyroscope used to visualise the rate of turn (roll) of the aircraft while a bearing in a curved tubed indicates the aircraft’s sideslip.
The BR 01 Turn Coordinator takes design cues that allows for the creation of an innovative display of time. The dial comprises two independent concentric discs, one to indicate 12 hours and the other to indicate 60 minutes. A white vertical marker indicates time, which is read from top to bottom.
This timepiece poses many challenges in its creation. For starters, each disc had to be made lightweight to maintain power reserve and accuracy of the watch. Each disc also needed to be sufficiently resistant so it does not deform and risk friction. To maintain accuracy, adjustments were made to the nearest micron, ensuring the discs are constantly parallel as they rotate.
All timepieces in this new BR 01 collection feature anti-glare matte black case for better legibility. The collection has a limited run of 999 pieces for each line.