Deep Thoughts From Bell & Ross

This sophomore effort from French watchmakers Bell & Ross to their Divers Collection is likely to whet a few appetites.

BY Roger Valberg | Jun 26, 2018 | Feature

Here comes a double header for a deeper place! Bell & Ross are rolling out two new Diver pieces after the major success of their BR 03-92 Diver last year. Thus, the Diver is now a collection (one watch does not a collection make, it would seem). Like many others around the world, I was quite taken with the Diver after seeing it at Baselworld 2017. After the exploits with the Hydromax which went down to 11,000m in the Mariana Trench and remerged in working order back in 1997, a new dive watch was quite likely. The Diver, as it was called, had a lot of thought put into it. And it had to as how many dive watches have you seen that are square? 

For this year, two new pieces joins the Diver; the Diver Blue and the Diver Bronze. The new additions are super stylish and one suspects, is made to appeal to a more fashion conscious crowd. That’s not to say that the Diver Blue and Diver Bronze are less functional in any way. But where the Diver was quite serious, even austere, the Blue Diver and Bronze Diver is certainly ‘pretty’. The underlying factor revolves around industry respect. Bell & Ross make beautiful watches but rarely do they create watches made for extreme environments. The Diver though is an ISO 6425 certified watch, which entails not just depth tests but also temperature, magnetic and vibrations tests. 

So you’ll get all this with the Blue and Bronze pieces on the inside. On the outside, the Blue Diver has a blue dial, rubber strap and aluminium insert on the bezel. You get maximum legibility with indices coated in White SuperLuminova and a yellow hour hand. Underwater, the colours vanish one after the other due to the loss of light intensity. The yellow hour hand will therefore fade away to give precedence to the minute hand, which must be visible to ensure the diver’s safety. 

The second new addition to the BR03-92 Diver collection evokes the historical roots of underwater exploration. Its case and bezel are made from bronze, a material used in the past for diving helmets. Although inalterable, bronze can also form a patina with time depending on its environment, gaining a unique shade over the years. Boasting exceptional technical and aesthetic qualities, this model is issued as a limited edition of 999 pieces.

And so, Bell & Ross have done what they do best and made some pieces which are aesthetically pleasing. And perhaps in doing so, make those who have no ambition or penchant for the deep to consider this formidable timepiece for more aesthetic reasons.