Launching the “BR-X1” model ushered in a new chapter for the “Bell & Ross” brand. It was a high-tech chronograph that gave off a sporty look. Now, for 2017 the brand has made it so visible, you can practically see thru it.Radigraphie-Sapphire-05.jpg

The scientific name for sapphire is “corundum”, which is the second hardest material on earth, second only to diamonds and considered a material almost impossible to scratch. So, the process required to cut a watch case from a single block of sapphire is extremely difficult and time consuming.


Image courtesy of: Bell & Ross

This “BR-X1” model line was originally introduced in 2015, featuring the exquisite new haute horlogerie version equipped with a chronograph tourbillon. At the time this watch managed to perfectly combine the extremely robust esthetic codes of the brand and its aeronautical inspired design with these technical refinements.

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The 45mm case is made out of nine blocks of sapphire: middle piece, back, top, crystal and four bumpers, assembled with screws. Bearing a transparent caseback and an overall polished finish to the case. In terms of design, it maintains the standard Bell & Ross circle in a square, which evokes the dashboard controls of an airplane cockpit. Features a screw assembly titanium crown with an incorporated pusher for the chronograph functions and four visible screws, for each of its corners.


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Time is exhibited on a sapphire base open-worked dial, with rhodium-plated applique index hour markers. Also includes metallized under the crystal, with circular satin finishes: a sub-seconds dial between the 1 and 3 o’clock markers; a 30-minute counter between the 9 and 11 o’clock markers; and a tourbillon between the 5 and 7 o’clock markers featuring a “&” logogram. The flying tourbillon cage is seeable from everywhere: top, side or back. Thanks to the use of this transparent material.


Image courtesy of: Bell & Ross

The “Bell & Ross” logo has been engraved on the sapphire crystal, in a gray tone, near the 4 o’clock position. Its faceted skeleton hour and minute hands have been filled with a superluminova coating, for an enhanced legibility. Plus there is a power reserve between the 8 and 9 o’clock markers, with a rhodium-plated circular satin-finished applique. These skeleton metal applique indices are also filled with white superluminova.


Image courtesy of: Bell & Ross

Bell & Ross BR-X1 Tourbillon Sapphire

This “Bell & Ross BR-X1 Tourbillon Sapphire” (Ref#: BRX1-SKTB-SAPHIR) is powered by a hand-wound mechanical movement, caliber BR-CAL.285, with 282 components and 21,600 vph. Power reserve on this timepiece can last up to 100 hour, when fully wound; while water-resistance can reach up to 30 meters (98 feet). Mounted to the watch is a bi-material strap combining translucent rubber and metallic Kevlar weaving, secured to the wrist by a polished stainless-steel pin buckle. This is a limited edition of only 5 manufactured pieces. For more up to date information visit the official Bell & Ross website here.


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Written by Mauro Az