Bell & Ross – A History

Since Swiss designers Bruno Belamich and Carlos A.Rosillo first joined forces in 1992, Bell & Ross has operated under one simple maxim: “function shapes form”. The sole ambition of the company was to create watches suited to the extreme conditions of professional use, while acquiescing to the great tradition of Swiss watchmaking.

From its headquarters in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, Bell & Ross continues to uphold these principles, making the brand a top choice for astronauts, pilots, divers and bomb disposal experts the world over.

How did it earn such a reputation among these professionals? Allow me to elaborate: In 1994, Bell & Ross re-issued the famous Space 1, the first automatic chronometer to be worn in space on a mission. Two years later, the French Security Services ordered the Bell & Ross Bomb Disposal Type, which featured an anti-magnetic case, and the reliability and precision required for such a dangerous profession. And in 1997, the Bell & Ross Hydro Challenger became a benchmark for deep sea divers, earning the water resistance record in the Guinness Book of Records for functioning at an incredible 11,000 meters below sea level.

While these watches were created for the extreme needs of extreme professions, their technology and design have strongly influenced the current Bell & Ross range – available for watch enthusiasts who won’t necessarily be travelling into space or an oceanic abyss! There are currently three collections: Aviation, Marine and Vintage. While each is tailored with functions to suit specific needs, they all share three common traits: optimal water resistance, exceptional Swiss mechanical movements and clear visual indicators.

Bell & Ross’ most popular watches are the iconic square-cased BR pieces that make up the Aviation collection. First released in 2005, the BR01 is characterised by a 46mm case, mechanical automatic movement and a design aesthetic modelled on aeronautical instrumentation. The BR03 has a 42mm case that would better suit smaller wrists, while BR-S pieces have a 39mm case and a range of colours and designs for ladies.

The professional diver’s watches of the Marine range, meanwhile, feature decompression valves and faces that are clearly legible in dark conditions. The Chronograph edition is guaranteed water resistant to 500m and the automatic version will keep on ticking at 1,000m.

The Vintage collection, on the other hand, is designed to rekindle the spirit of watches worn by pilots in the 1940s, with a more elegant look than the other ranges. Natural leather straps, satin finish cases and folding buckles are par for the course in this classic collection.

We also offers some of Bell & Ross’ highly collectable limited-edition pieces. The BR01-92 Compass takes inspiration from the compass instrumentation found in an aircraft, and each piece is individually numbered as part of a run of just 500. And the striking BR01-92 Red Radar displays the time in the fashion of a military radar display – a truly unique piece from one of the most exciting luxury watchmaking houses in Switzerland today.

Browse all Bell & Ross watches.