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  1. #1
    Airman Basic
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    43

    BR @ BASELWORLD 2012 - MY REPORT!

    Well I have to be mad to try and do BASELWORLD in one day, but I've done it and as it's the weekend tomorrow I didn't want to spend time writing and uploading photos, so here's a very big long report...!

    With only a couple of hours (at the most) to spare and knowing that I may not even get on the stand... As I was aware Bell&Ross are really busy with proper journalists and salespeople, my expectation was to just take some snaps on the outside and hope I see someone I know.





    What's this Commando 03... mmm we've talked about this before!

    I was in luck however as Carlos was at the entrance and he immediately recognised me and welcomed me in!



    Inside it was busy! and the layout had changed a bit partly due to this being positioned in the corner...



    Another familiar face appeared - that of Michel the MD of Bell&Ross UK - and after a bit of negotiation, he made time to see me and show me the watches....

    As I was on a very tight timescale, I got snapping really quickly so first up were

    BR01 Cockpit Instruments


    From the Dashboard to the wrist - this collection of three looks mighty impressive - showing different navigation types based on actual aircraft instrumentation... very Bell&Ross!

    The BR01 horizon was first on..



    Having never seen this before- first impression are that it's a very nicely layered instrument watch - the grey is subtle and gives the watch a lift (perhaps a grey strap would work well?) but without any numerals, it feels quite minimal and I'll be honest it was the least favourite of the three... but probably the most 'original' in terms of design and I can actually see why they used this as the 'pre-release' as it's very much a 'statement' piece for the brand.

    Next up the BR01 altimeter...








    Yep, very legible and very complete, I gather this will go down well with you guys - it is 100% Bell&Ross DNA the big date works well and the overall piece looks impressive but it doesn't have the 'novelty' factor of the first watch and perhaps the likes of the RADAR or AIRBORNE… In a sense, I novelty for the fans!

    Finally this one!



    .. When I tried this on last month, it was the favourite over the Altimeter, however I think they're both equal in terms of design and function now. It takes the 'compass' design as seen a couple of years ago and moves it on. What it lacks is the nice layering of the Horizon.

    What will obviously disappoint 01' fans is the fact that these three represent the only output of 01s this year.

    All in all, these three are superb Bell&Ross 'cockpit' instruments and we all have our favourites however as a set they work the best… (so buy them all :-))

    Next up are the ever popular 03s, and this collection is what could be described as a 'best of BR01' but in a smaller size.

    So for the BR03s, first up we have...

    Ceramic 03-92


    I'm sorry but I'm not really getting this watch. It's lacking something - but I can't put my finger on it! The 01 ceramic has more 'oomph' whereas this just doesn't do it for me! (Sorry!)

    Moving quickly onto:

    Commando 03-92




    Right that's MUCH MUCH better. WOW this has been a long time coming, like three years I think since the original COMMANDO line was first released and I really thought Bell&Ross had given up on it, instead favouring the Phantom (As seen in the 03-94 2 years ago). In my opinion, commando is far far superior than the Phantom. Okay it's not got the 'kudos' of the Phantom, but what it has in terms of dial design, colour and strap choice certainly makes up for it! Well done Bell&ross! But wait, it doesn't stop there...

    Commando 03-94




    Community Ambassador, you are spoiling us! Yep when you thought the 03-92 commando was good, along comes the '94. It fits…peferctly and it looks bloody BR-illiant!

    Now as far as I'm aware, there are no more 03's yep - no 03 compass or Airborne 'sob' but lets face it, the collection so far is pretty impressive!

    Onto Le Vintages…

    So, released two years ago, the 123 and 126 vintages redesigned the older watches (Maybe we call it pre ohone)… Lets face it the vintage collection is pretty complete, minus say a phantom range there's something for everyone. When I saw this one however it felt a little lost, a little odd but actually I quite like it!

    BR VINTAGE 126 (WITH FIXED BEZEL)




    Picture this, if Omega got Bell&Ross to design a watch in the 1960s, I'd think it would look like the above! It's a miss mash of styles - Yes the Bezel is fixed and it contains the polished case of an officer, yet the dials of an Original compete with officer hands - well I won't go on as the man next to me on the plane probably thinks I'm some kind of nuthead … Like it or not, what this watch does is (Like the 03-88) the BEZEL gives the case a big of 'heft'… So yes I like!!

    Vintage bracelets
    Bell&Ross have added bracelets to their vintage line also, so both the 126 and 124 owners can enjoy the new steel bracelets - these are a combination of brushed and polished rivets… Nice if you like that sort of thing!

    Looks great on the ….

    BR Vintage 126 Officer Black



    However I'll let you make your own mind up about the

    BR vintage 123



    That isn't it for the vintage range - there are a couple more collections coming, but I'll move on quickly to...

    WW1 'Mono Pusher'
    This is my SECOND favourite model of the line up this year. It is basically a CHRONO WW1 (so thicker case) but instead of 2 'pushers' and a crown - it's all integrated into one single pusher (Hence the title 'Mono Pusher…' It has heritage elements (markers) but not entirely a heritage…the strap is more a mid tan (lovely quality) The overall impression is impressive even if the name of the watch said in french sounds like 'moano pussy'

    Black








    In addition the the black version there is nice elegant cream model - more elegant and 'dressy' I think - but I prefer the black one!

    Cream




    If you're still with me, then WELL DONE for making it this far!.. This is really the only reason I wanted to come to Bell&Ross this year, yep the WW2 BOMBER!

    Before I being, the reference - an actual WW2 Bomber instrument - this is massive and strap is designed for the pilots leg….

    WW2 Bomber
    reference




    Then … boom we the bomb is dropped! I will be honest and proudly admit, that i think this is quite possible the BEST WATCH Bell&Ross have produced SINCE the BR01!


    bomber








    I know people read the press release and see the specifications… 49mm you're thinking huge monster on your wrist…… well here it is on my (pretty small 6.5 inch wrists)...


    wristshots






    And to back that up Michel tried it on as well...

    Michel






    In all honesty, I actually think the WW1 wears bigger than this beast - the lugs just disappear when you fit this on your wrist - perfectly round and it just looks fab….

    If Bell&Ross never produced another watch I wouldn't care, in my mind, this is just amazing and really don't take my word for it, try it on. I like the quirky way of telling time the gun barrel finish looks superb and no they didn't pay me to say this!

    Phew … what a day hope you enjoyed this review as much as I did trying on the watches… Many thanks to Michel again and of course for the entire Bell&Ross team for putting up with me!

    Piers
    Last edited by PIERS (UK); 03-10-2012 at 07:31. Reason: edited images

  2. #2
    Technical Sergeant six13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    764
    Thank you for posting, very informative and quality photos.

    Really liking the look of that grey PVD on the sand blasted steel and judging by your photos it seems to change colour in different lighting conditions. I thought that a 49mm case would be an absolute monster and one may only be able to wear it around the leg or over a sleeve as originally designed but you seem to pull it off remarkably well even more so if you have just a 6.5 inch wrist.

    I was thinking if the grey PVD should wear or chip as a result of a knock it would probably be far less noticeable that the black carbon PVD on non-sand blasted steel such as the 01’s.

    Are there any new entries to the 02 this year that you may have seen?

  3. #3
    Airman Basic
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    43
    Thanks for the reply six13! Yes the WW2 Bomber is totally wearable and if you are in anyway interested in this watch then I would suggest trying it on as the 'specifications' put you off but the wrist does not!

    Yep I would agree, the the PVD may chip / scratch however this would only add to the character of the watch.

    There were no 02s and no more 01s as far as I'm aware - there are a few more watches which I didn't cover which I'm sure SImon C will when he goes on Monday.

  4. #4
    Senior Master Sergeant
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    1,096
    FANTASTIC REPORT AND PICTURES, Piers, as always.

    Great to have your perspective of the show, stand and the B&R watches.
    Simon C
    ...follow me on 'twitter' & instagram @SimonCudd,

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