With influences like the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and Patek Philippe Nautilus, the Bell & Ross BR 05 has sports luxe running through its veins. The collection has recently been expanded with a new complication like the GMT, but now there are two new versions that lean heavily towards the luxe side of the sports luxe scale. One is the BR 05 Skeleton Gold and the other is the BR 05 Diamond.
BR 05 Skeleton Gold
As the name implies, the Skeleton Gold takes the soft curves of the BR 05’s square case and reimagines them in the Midas material and falls into the family of open worked dials to reveal the mechanical heart below. Across the case, movement and bracelet 155g of rose gold has been used, although it’s also available on a black rubber strap if you want to maintain the illusion that this is a sports watch. Be warned, if you go for the full gold it’s £9,000 more, which a 50% increase, ouch.
The movement on display is the BR-CAL.322, which is based on the Sellita SW300-1, an automatic calibre with a 38-hour power reserve. Really you want something with a minimum of 42-hours, especially around this £20,000 price bracket where there are a huge number of excellent watches available.
This version of the BR 05 is very much a watch to show your wealth and status because it’s just not necessary when the steel version is genuinely really nice. But if you do want to show off a gold Bell & Ross, then go for it, this is the one you want. Plus it’s limited to 99 pieces.
Price & Specs
Ref: BR05A-PG-SK-PG/SRB (rubber strap) BR05A-PG-SK-PG/SPG (18K rose gold bracelet) | Case/dial: 40mm diameter, satin-finished and polished 18K rose gold case, skeletonised dial with 18K rose gold plated movement | Water resistance: 100m | Movement: BR-CAL.322 calibre (based on Sellita SW300-1), automatic, 25 jewels | Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz) | Power reserve: 38h | Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds | Strap: Satin-finished and polished 18K rose gold bracelet or black rubber | Price: £19,800 (rubber strap) and £28,800 (18K rose gold bracelet), limited to 99 pieces
BR 05 Diamond
The BR 05 sees the return of a steel case in that classic 40mm square with Royal Oak and Nautilus influences. However, this time it comes coated in 172 diamonds plus 11 diamond hour markers. Diamond watches are typically considered feminine unless you’re an iced up rapper, but the BR 05 actually manages to maintain a fairly masculine profile, especially if you opt for the rubber strap.
You can also choose to have it on a regular steel bracelet or go all out for the version with an additional 218 diamonds embedded into the bracelet links (although I’m not sure that’s worth doubling the price). High jewellery and Bell & Ross seems like an odd combination to me considering B&R’s usual fare is utilitarian style instrument watches with an occasional quirky piece like the BR V2-94 Full Lum thrown in. Yet somehow the BR 05 makes it work and I’d certainly pick this over the Skeleton Gold.
Price & Specs
Ref: BR05A-BL-STFLD/SRB (rubber strap) BR05A-BL-STFLD/SST (plain satin-polished steel bracelet), BR05A-BL-STFLD/SFD (diamond and satin-polished steel) | Case/dial: 40mm diameter, satin-finished and polished stainless steel case steel set with 172 diamonds, black sunray dial with 11 diamond indices | Water resistance: 100m | Movement: BR-CAL.321 calibre (based on Sellita SW300-1), automatic, 25 jewels | Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz) | Power reserve: 38h | Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date | Strap: Black rubber, plain satin-polished steel bracelet or diamond with stainless steel bracelet with centre links set with 218 diamonds | Price: £9,000 (rubber strap), £9,400 (plain satin-polished steel bracelet) and £18,000 (diamond steel bracelet)
More details at Bell & Ross.