Since it’s introduction in 2019, the BR05 has established itself as a bit of a dark horse in the sports luxe sub-genre of watchmaking. It has the kind of rounded yet industrial case and integrated bracelet that would have done Gerald Genta proud. Rather than rely on its relative accessibility to get collectors buying however, Bell & Ross have now decided to up the ante with an eye-catching new version, the BR05 Skeleton Nightlum.
Like Piaget did with the Polo before them, skeletonization is at the heart of the new watch. Bell & Ross has replaced their pared-back, charmingly minimal previous dial with a piece of transparent sapphire to give a full view of the movement underneath. It’s far less ornate than the Piaget version of course, but has a more of a functional, performance feel to things.
The name comes from the interplay between movement and indexes. The BR-CAL.322 has been completely blacked out, while the indexes are covered in a ghostly green Sumer-LumiNova C5, a colour that shows up nicely in the day and brilliantly at night.
The BR05 Nightlum is available on both a bracelet and a rubber strap, but this being a sports elegant timepiece, why you’d ever go for the latter is beyond me. The bracelet is more than comfortable enough and it’s not like this is a serious diver with 100m water resistance.
It’s a striking new look for sure, and one that I’m more of a fan of than I thought I’d be. Most of the time I can’t get on board with skeleton watches that show my wrist through the back, which isn’t really a problem here.
Otherwise, it keeps the same multi-level stainless steel case, the same integrated bracelet and same industrial crown guards that have made the BR05 such a success for the watchmaker. Honestly though, I think I still prefer the blue BR05, but if the Nightlum is anything to go by then I’m happy to see Bell & Ross ready and willing to play with their new formula. Perhaps we’ll even get a Full Lum version next time…
Price & Specs:
Model: Bell & Ross BR05 Skeleton Nightlum
Case/Dial: 40mm diameter, satin-finished and polished steel case, skeleton with smoked sapphire plate dial with black movement
Movement: Calibre BR-CAL.322, automatic, 25 jewels
Water Resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power Reserve: 38h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Strap: Black rubber or satin-finished and polished steel bracelet
Price/Availability: TBC, limited to 500 pieces
More details at Bell & Ross.