One of the biggest surprises and crowd pleasing timepieces found at this year’s Baselworld 2019 was the new “Bell & Ross Bellytanker Bronze”, which integrates their “Vintage Collection”. For starters this watch doesn’t even come with the brands iconic “circle in square” design, highly recognizable among horology enthusiasts. Instead they went a more traditional route, with a very appealing color scheme.
Back in 2017 we wrote about the “Bell & Ross V1-92 Bellytanker” (Ref#: BRV192-BT-ST/SCA) and the “Bell & Ross V1-94 Bellytanker” (Ref#: BRV294-BT-ST/SST), which you can learn more about here.
Even when Bell & Ross venture into familiar terrain for horology brands, such as the motorsports tend to be. They still manage to be uniquely innovative by shedding a light on lesser known historic events and vehicles in this category. On top of that they manage to tie it all back to aviation, since the “Bellytanker” is a vehicle actually built from a fighter plane fuel tank.
The 41mm case made out of bronze with a sapphire exhibition case back. Engraved to the crystal is the silhouette of a Bellytanker, accompanied by the inscriptions: “BELLYTANKER”, “Born to Run” and “LIMITED EDITION”. The steel screw-on circumference we find on this flip-side is embossed with some technical details, as well as the unique limited edition number for each of these individual timepieces.
Mounted to the case is a bronze bezel with scale and anodized aluminium insert and a white printed tachymeter scale. The choice of aluminium instead of ceramic does render the bezel a bit more fragile, but nonetheless with a minimum of proper care all should stay intact.
It comes equipped with two push-pieces to activate the chronograph functions with a screw-down crown in-between them. The pushers are also screw-in, which reinforces their water-resistance being able to reach up to 100 meters (300 feet). All topped by an ultra-curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating.
Time is exhibited on a black dial with metal applique hour index markers and the Arabic numerals: 6 and 12. There are two sub-dials: a sub-seconds at the 3 o’clock position and a 30-minute counter at the 9 o’clock position. This Bi-Compax chronograph function has been nicely adorned with gold tone sub-dials, which provide a prominent contrast to the overall black background; further enhanced by the gold-toned outer minute-scale.
The central metal applique hour, minutes’ hands and hour index markers have all been fitted with a luminescent coating, for an enhanced legibility. Opting for using a red font to inscribe “100 M” on the lower-half of the dial provides a subtle, but welcomed touch of color that give the watch a more sporty-look. There is also a date aperture between the 4 and 5 o’clock positions, which
Bell & Ross Bellytanker Bronze
The “Bell & Ross Bellytanker Bronze” (Ref#: BRV294-BC-BR/SCA) is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement, caliber BR-CAL.301 with 37 jewels and 28,800 vph. It is based on the ETA 2894-2 caliber and comes equipped with a date function. Power reserve on this watch can last up to 42 hours, when fully wound.
Mounted to the watch is a brown calfskin strap, secured to the wrist by a satin-polished CuAI7Si2 bronze folding-clasp. This is a limited edition of only 999 manufactured pieces. These watches should become available at the end of April 2019m, but for more up to date information visit the official Bell & Ross website here.
MSRP: $4,990.00 USD
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