Bell & Ross introduces a new collection today that takes its starting point from the BR05 collection on an integrated bracelet that was launched in 2019. Named the BRX5, it, like the similarly “X” nomenclature-d BRX1, is a little more sporty, more futuristic and more extreme than the non “X” counterpart.
This is obvious when one looks at the design details that make up the watches in the BRX5 collection. Whereas the related BR05 collection was an elegant take on the iconic square shape of the brand, the BRX5 uses the same foundation, but leans in further to the sporty side.
This is especially evident in the multi layer case construction of the watch, with a hollowed out architecture that reminds one of the strong but space saving structures of race cars or bridges. Viewed from the side, one can see the inner steel core part of the case that holds the movement.
This is then sandwiched between the square bezel and the caseback, with a colour-coded gasket (I assume based on dial colour), with everything held in place via four screws that come in through the corners.
At 41mm wide and 12.8mm thick, the watch is well sized for most, having a good presence yet not being burdensome on the wrist.
One of the most noteworthy changes that this new collection introduces as well is its new manufacture movement made by Kenissi that offers several technical advantages over the ETA/ Sellita based movements of previous collections.
For those unfamiliar with Kenissi, it is a company founded and run by Tudor, that provides customizable, high-performance, highly robust movements to outside brands. This bodes well for the BR-CAL. 323 movement in the BRX5 watches, since like the ones found in Tudor watches, it comes with a modern 70 hour power reserve and can be (and is) COSC certified. Noteworthy as well is that this movement is supported by a 5 year warranty for the first time by Bell & Ross, as opposed to the 2 years of the standard warranty.
Because of the customizable nature of the Kenissi made movement, the BRX5 comes with a dial detail that is not really associated with Tudor, save for the North Flag that came out more than 5 years ago. This is the large 3-day power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock and it seems that it will be one of the design signatures of the new collection. Even though it does take up quite a bit of real estate on the dial, in the way that it is designed, it does not affect legibility at all, and its presence does really drive the point home about the power reserve advantage of the new movement over the previous ones. Then, at the 3 o’clock position on the dial is a triple date aperture, which is noteworthy for being inspired by analog flight instruments.
The two dial variations available at launch are in black and ice blue, and either can be bought on a metal bracelet or matching open-worked rubber strap. There is really nothing more to say about the black dial version, since it is the benchmark version that most would gravitate to. Regarding the ice blue version, let’s just say it, you’ll probably hear the word “Tiffany” in your head when you look at it, and that's fine. There’s no harm in brands following prevailing trends and it is indeed a nice colour when you see the watch in person.
Bell & Ross will be following up this announcement with a global launch in the coming weeks and I look forward to having some hands-on time with the watches, and will update this article with live pictures. Look out for it.
Movement: BR-CAL.323. Manufacture. Automatic mechanical. Approximate power reserve of 72 hours.
Functions: hours, minutes and seconds. Date window at 3 o’clock and power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock.
Case: 41 mm in width. 12.80 mm thick. Satin- finished and polished steel. Screw-down crown. Crown guard. Sapphire case-back with oscillating weight.
Dial: sunray black or sunray ice blue. Applique indices filled with Super-LumiNova®. Metal skeletonised Super- LumiNova®-filled hour and minute hands. Black flange with 60-minute scale with white marking
Crystal: sapphire with anti-reflective coating.
Water resistance: 100 metres.
Strap: openworked black or ice blue rubber. or satin- finished and polished steel.
Buckle: folding. Satin-finished and polished steel.