Even though it was founded in 1992, Bell & Ross cemented its place in the luxury watch industry in 2005, when it introduced the BR 01, a square, aviation-inspired mechanical watch designed to look as if it had been yanked out of a cockpit.
With its chunky case, spare dial design and signature sans-serif typeface—the emphasis always on readability—the BR 01 established the French brand as a serious contender in the world of Swiss watchmaking.
Now, 15 years later, Bell & Ross is embracing its roots as a maker of military instruments with a new take on its iconic old style. Known as the BR 03-92 HUD, the automatic model is named for the Head Up Display, or HUD, the transparent screen that displays mission-critical information to pilots within their line of sight.
The piece ups the ante on legibility thanks to its green-tinted details, including the ring around the sapphire crystal, the four brackets that evoke the corners of the computer-like display, green and black minute and second hands and a green triangle marker that indicates the hours, rendered as rounded Arabic numerals.
To mimic the fluorescence of the HUD digital display, the model is coated—on its hour numerals, indices and triangle—with a generous amount of Super-LumiNova C3, made all the more dramatic by the backdrop, a 42 mm anti-reflective matte black case. The piece comes on a black rubber strap as well as an ultra-resilient black synthetic fabric strap.
Utilitarian, stylish, masculine, the BR 03-92 HUD blends all the hallmarks of Bell & Ross into a 21st-century model and is available for pre-order in a limited edition of 999 pieces. The BR 03-92 HUD retails for $3,990 and will be in stores as of early June.