Bell & Ross once again demonstrates its functional and utilitarian values – and its connections to flying – with its latest creation. The BR03-92 Bi-Compass comes directly from the cockpit to the wrist.
Since the year 2005, when the manufacturer first turned a plane’s cockpit into a wristwatch, Bell & Ross has pushed its exploration of aeronautical navigation instruments further and developed other unique and high-tech models such as the BR01 Radar, BR01 Altimeter and the BR01 Climb, to name just a few. True to its philosophy, Bell & Ross introduces a new version inspired by analog instrumentation of aircraft cockpits: the BR03-92 Bi-Compass. With this watch, Bell / Ross recreates the graphic style of these navigation tools as closely as possible, offering an alternative to the traditional approach of telling the time.
The simplicity of the BR03-92 Bi-Compass’s design encases the complexity of its inner workings. Built on a two-tier basis, the dial divides its mai center part with the outer part – where the minute track is featured – through a small step equipped with a minute-circle. To enhance legibility, the hour and minute graduations have been separated to promote the minutes on the main dial – as an original instruments – while the hours are displayed in the center. The hour reading is indicated by a green triangle marker which appears in the center through an independent concentric disc which is not graduated.
The use of color is important in aviation for the coding of signals, hence the need to set adequate color requirements to ensure that flight crew can recognize information at a glance. The Munsell green hue indicates the hours and is covered in a photoluminescent coating that contrasts with the black of the dial, ensuring they can be easily read both during the day and night. the coquille d’oeuf hands and numerals on the dial unveil the minutes and seconds and echoes the legibility principles of professional aeronautical instruments. The color scheme was commonly used on instruments, specifically on US Navy aircrafts.
The technical challenge posed by its design and construction required the best watchmaking expertise: An ultra-light disc needed to be created to ensure that the power reserve nor the accuracy of the watch was not reduced. As it rotates, an adjustment to the nearest micron ensures that the disc is constantly parallel. The typography used for the numerals is identical to that on analog aviation counters.
The anti-glare, black matte ceramic finish of the case is inspired by the color of an instrumentation panel, designed to make the dial easier to read by eliminating glare. Inside is a automatic movement working, the calibre BR-CAL.302.
The BR03-92 Bi-Compass is a limited edition of 999 pieces. The watches are fitted with a strap made from black rubber and synthetic fabric.