For some people, a two-tone watch can be a complicated thing to pull off. Less understated than steel, more restrained than all-gold, it floats somewhere between utilitarian and flashy.
Then there are the inevitable allusions to 1980s style, two-tone looks having been the preferred wristwatch aesthetic of classic Greed Decade characters such as American Psycho’s Patrick Bateman, whose steel and gold Rolex Datejust 16013 was the perfect accessory for a New York financier-turned-serial-killer.
The new Bell & Ross BR05 Black Steel & Gold, however, proves that bicolor casing can be both classic and contemporary. The model joins the French watchmaker’s “urban-themed” BR05 collection of watches on integrated bracelets (cue the comparisons to 1970s icons like the Patek Philippe Nautilus and the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak).
Combining satin-finished and polished steel and 18k rose gold in a 40 mm case featuring Bell & Ross’ signature blend of squared and rounded edges, the two-tone model is a study in graphic simplicity. The black sunray dial features rose gold applique numerals, indices and skeletonized hour and minute hands.
Unlike the brand’s more explicit “instrument watches,” the BR05 Black Steel & Gold has a subtle but unmistakable flair that will appeal to design snobs and sport watch lovers alike.
“The BR 05 is a modern timepiece,” says Bell & Ross CEO Carlos Rosillo. “After creating timepieces for professional use in the air and on land, we wanted to design time instruments for the urban explorers—the man who works in a suit and rides a bike and appreciates items with a singular design.”
Equipped with an automatic mechanical movement visible through a sapphire crystal caseback, it comes with a choice of two straps: a sporty black rubber strap for $6,500 or the classic two-tone steel and 18-karat rose gold bracelet for $10,900.