Bell & Ross is a brand that stands out for their dedication to a concept, particularly their drive to create aeronautical timepieces inspired by real cockpit instrumentation. A fact that can be seen in the bold, retro aesthetic of their watches – especially when it comes to the vintage range. Another of their concepts is FULL LUM, which aims to make the most legible watches for dark conditions. And now, for the first time, vintage meets FULL LUM in the limited edition VINTAGE BR V2-94 FULL LUM.
The base model for this limited edition is the V2-94 and it has the same 41mm stainless steel case with a fixed bezel and bicompax chronograph layout, the small-seconds at 3 o’clock and 30-minute chronograph timer at 9 o’clock. On the new version, the vintage dial aesthetic is completed by oversize Arabic numerals at 12 and 6 and equally retro-looking rounded bar hour markers everywhere else.
The FULL LUM element of this timepiece means the entire metal dial is coated with Super-LumiNova®, resulting in the dial looking substantially different in the day compared to the night. During the day it has an off-white colouring that leans towards pale green for the base dial and yellow for the indices, hands and subdials, caused by the use of two different types of Super-LumiNova® – C5 and C3 respectively. The difference is made more noticeable by the thick black linework, which enhances the retro vibe.
It’s at night that it really comes to life. Legibility is maintained excellently by the green-glowing lume and the slightly lighter yellow, both of which are far more vivid in the dark, verging on neon. An unexpected twist is the fact that the 30-minute chronograph subdial and the tip of the seconds hand actually glow blue, making them very distinct and adding a cool bit of emphasis to the dial.
However, ‘FULL LUM’ to my mind should mean ‘full’ and unfortunately in the dark the watch loses its date window between 4 and 5 o’clock and the 60-minute timer on the bezel as they aren’t lumed. Honestly, it’s not that big of a deal but in for a penny in for a pound, why not go that extra distance to ensure the functionality of the watch is the exact same day or night?
The movement under all the lume is the BR-CAL 301, the standard for the entire V2-94 line-up, and it’s a solid, automatic calibre with an approximate 40-hour power reserve and water resistance up to a depth of 100m. And also in keeping with the vintage tone of the V2-94s, the new version is presented on a ‘tropic’ rubber strap.
The VINTAGE BR V2-94 FULL LUM is limited to 250 pieces available for £4,100, which puts it at the higher end of prices in the vintage collection but it’s in good company alongside the other limited editions. The FULL LUM concept is primarily about utility and usability so it marries up nicely with a more aesthetically focused collection like the vintage range. It’s cool, just don’t leave it on your bedside table by accident unless you want a nightlight.
Price & Specs:
Model: Bell & Ross BR V2-94 FULL LUM
Case/Dial: 41mm diameter, stainless steel, green Super-LumiNova® C5 metal dial
Movement: In-house BR-CAL 301, automatic, 37 jewels
Water Resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power Reserve: 40h
Functions: Hour, minute, second, date, 30-minute counter and chrono seconds
Strap: Black rubber
Price/Availability: £4,300, limited to 250 pieces
More details at Bell & Ross.