One of my favourite Bell & Ross launches recently was last year’s BR 03-92 Radiocompass. It’s one of the purest expressions of what Bell & Ross do in that it takes a genuine cockpit instrument and reimagines it at a timepiece. That’s what they’ve been doing for over a decade since 2010. Now, they’re expanding on the concept with the new Bell & Ross BR 03 Gyrocompass.
As the name implies, this watch takes the gyrocompass instrument from a plane’s cockpit and converts it into a watch. A gyrocompass is the device that tells a pilot where their plane is positioned in the air, allowing for precise navigation when used in conjunction with a radiocompass. The BR 03 Gyrocompass recreates this aesthetic by having the cardinal directions marked and then using an hour hand shaped like a plane, with the nose acting as the indicator. The minutes hand then has a large triangle and the seconds hand is a thin baton.
It’s a really fun design and extremely striking with the plane in bright yellow over a matte black dial. It looks surprisingly minimalist thanks to the positioning of the hour and minute scale on the flange. The use of bright colours and bold shapes over a black base low key reminds me of the designs of Alain Silberstein. If it wasn’t executed with such precision and care it could almost look childish but I think it just about avoids that.
As for the case, it’s not actually based on the BR 03-92 Radiocompass despite their similarities. Instead, it’s based on the new BR 03 41mm collection and has the same case as the Black Matte edition. A rounded square design in black ceramic measuring 41mm in diameter.
Another similarity to the revamped BR 03 collection is the movement, which is the updated BR-CAL.302. The big headline is that it has a 54-hour power reserve up from 38-hours, a much needed quality of life improvement. It’s really good to see that update make its way to special editions like the Gyrocompass and hopefully it will become standard across every collection.
In terms of pricing and availability for the Bell & Ross BR 03 Gyrocompass, it’s limited to 999 pieces and priced at £3,990. That’s slightly more than the standard ceramic BR 03 but that’s to be expected of a limited edition with a custom hand. While the BR 03 Gyroscope is interesting, it makes me more excited to see what Bell & Ross have in store for the future. I’d love to see a higher spec Full Lum.
Price & Specs:
- Model: Bell & Ross BR 03 Gyrocompass
- Ref: BR03A-CPS-CE/SRB
- Case/dial: 41mm diameter x 10.60mm thickness, matte black ceramic case, black dial with yellow fighter plane silhouette
- Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
- Movement: Bell & Ross calibre BR-CAL.302, automatic, 25 jewels
- Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
- Power reserve: 38h
- Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, compass
- Strap: Black rubber
- Price/availability: £3,990, limited to 999 pieces