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INTRODUCING: Bell & Ross BR 03 Cyber Ceramic Limited Edition

The Bell & Ross BR 03 Cyber Ceramic.

Bell & Ross’ latest all-black watch takes inspiration from urban architecture and stealth aircraft design.

The all-black luxury watches have come a long way since their emergence in the 1980s, with IWC and Porsche Design being the first to offer PVD-coated cases and bracelets to the industry. Today, all-black watches come in varying high-tech treatments and materials. These innovations reflect the change in design influence of the all-black watch, from the modern product design movement to the military-specced survivor watch and, more recently, the tone-on-tone artistic style inspired by the works of artists such as Pierre Soulages.

Bruno Belamich, the creative lead behind Bell & Ross and the ‘Bell’ of the duo, has tapped on some of these aspects to create a brand new rugged and modern all-black watch for this year. The aviation-inspired watch brand has always looked for new ways to express the style of different avionics in its timepieces. The new BR 03 Cyber looks towards the future of aviation as well as milestones of the past, bringing together the recognisable design of the BR 03 with the faceted angles of the Cyber series. According to Belamich, the faceted 3D designs used “question our relationship to speed, sound, and light with their workings”

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The Bell & Ross BR 03 Cyber Ceramic.
The Bell & Ross BR 03 Cyber Ceramic.

It’s easier to see a different aspect of the BR 03 Cyber in a highly recognised aeroplane from the past that continues to inspire designs and designers today – the Lockheed SR-71 ‘Blackbird’ stealth plane – and, more recently, Northrop Grumman’s B-21 Raider stealth bomber or B-2 Spirit. The angular designs of these planes are purposeful to achieve a stealthy presence by reflecting waves off the faceted fuselages to avoid radar detection. The watch’s dial and movement construction details follow late Modern Architectural Design along with a minimalist, industrial attitude. The self-winding BR-CAL.383 calibre looks good as a skeletonised movement, and Bell & Ross has used a ceramic case in a matte black finish to enhance its discreet yet spectacular look.

Cyber News 

A closeup look at the dial of the Bell & Ross BR 03 Cyber Ceramic.
A close-up look at the dial of the Bell & Ross BR 03 Cyber Ceramic.

One key difference between the new watch and the standard BR 03 models is that the lugs are gone in the Cyber Ceramic. Instead, the rubber strap is directly integrated into the watch case, creating a better fit for wrists of all sizes and a more seamless design, especially with the faceted angles of the case flowing into the strap. The ceramic case is matte black, achieved by grinding the facets of the case with diamond powder, and the indexes and logo on the watch have a similar finish. The design of this watch is based on the Cyber model with its skeleton head and escapement brain.

On the wrist, the Bell & Ross BR 03 Cyber Ceramic looks slick and fits well on most wrist sizes thanks to its integrated strap.
On the wrist, the Bell & Ross BR 03 Cyber Ceramic looks slick and fits well on most wrist sizes thanks to its integrated strap.

In the case of this watch, the mainspring barrel and centre wheel are what looks like the skull in the Skulls and Crossbones, and the crossbones are the exoskeletal frame that holds it all together. The barrel cover itself is also skeletonised in the style of a turbine engine, another detail that references aviation. Sapphire crystals on both sides of the watch maximise light exposure and give the watch breathability. 

Limited to 500 pieces and retailing at $18,800, the Bell & Ross BR 03 Cyber Ceramic is the B-21 rendition of the brand’s standard issue BR 03 offering. If this is the future of Bell & Ross’ watch designs, there’s plenty to be excited about this year.

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Editor

Darren has been writing about, and admiring the craft of watchmaking for over a dozen years. He considers himself lucky to live in a golden age of horology, and firmly believes that the most difficult watches to design are the simplest and the most intriguing to discover.