INTRODUCING: Bell & Ross BR 01 Cyber Skull Bronze
A rockin’ timepiece that will become as unique as its wearer over time.
The skull motif is more than a mere watchmaking trend for Bell & Ross. Starting off in 2009 as a tribute to WWII parachutists, who adopted the universal emblem of death as a talisman to intimidate their enemies and ward off misfortunes, its Skull collection has become a signature for the brand. But, military affiliations aside, the watches also inevitably exude a rocker vibe, as the skull is a symbol of rebellion for rock and punk music. Judging by the marketing images of the new BR 01 Cyber Skull Bronze, there is little question that the watch is aiming squarely for the wrists of rock stars or watch lovers who are fans of the genre.
The latest iteration of the Cyber Skull series that was introduced in 2020, the Cyber Skull Bronze inherits the modern aesthetics of its predecessors. Instead of sticking with the ‘circle within a square’ design concept that had served the collection well for decades, Bell & Ross opted for a new case shape with sleek angles that can be deemed as an homage to origami or, more in line with its aeronautical roots, the angular fuselage of a stealth aircraft. In addition, the crossbones that used to extend to the corners of the 46mm case to frame the four exposed, functional screws are now tucked neatly under the facetted crystal, leaving the sleek profile of the watch uninterrupted.
The BR 01 Cyber Skull Bronze may not be as stealthy as the 2020 original in matte black ceramic or as flashy as 2021’s version with a full sapphire crystal case, but it is a winner in our books by virtue of its CuSn8 bronze case. Satin-finished and polished, and thanks to the characteristics of the metal, the 46mm case will develop a patina over time with oxidation and skin contact, making every Cyber Skull Bronze a unique piece. The brand has also thoughtfully made the caseback and the pin buckle of the rubber strap in an aluminium bronze alloy (CuAI7Si2) instead, which is better tolerated by one’s skin.
Driving the timepiece is the manufacture, hand-wound BR-CAL.210 movement, which is an updated version of the original’s BR-CAL.208, with more open-worked bridges and wheels for the barrel visible from the back. Beating at 4Hz with a power reserve of 50 hours, the calibre is practically invisible from the front, save for a few interesting technical components, as its plates and bridges follow the shape of the skull and crossbones. Showing off the balance at 12 o’clock, the rose gold-plated brass skull head also features the ‘Laughing Skull’ mechanism – its lower jaw moves up and down when the watch is being wound, as if sneering at the face of death.
Retailing at S$16,700, the BR 01 Cyber Skull Bronze is limited to 500 pieces and is now available for pre-order, with deliveries scheduled for the end of February. Considering that past versions of the Cyber Skull have been snapped up, those interested better move fast.
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