As most of you might know, the history of Bell & Ross replica is mostly linked to military watches created for pilots and special forces. The brand’s most emblematic models, the BR 01 and BR 03, have become modern classics thanks to their bold, signature design described as a “circle within a square”. Yet, the brand needed to evolve and offer less segmenting models by adding some pieces with a more urban feel. Hence the creation in 2019 of the BR 05, the brand’s take on the popular sports watch with an integrated bracelet but still with clear B&R design codes. Today, a more masculine automatic chronograph, the black dial fake Bell & Ross BR 05 Chrono, joins the collection.
THE BR 05 COLLECTION EXPLAINED
Founded in 1992 by childhood friends and college students Bruno Belamich and Carlos Rosillo (“Bell” from Belamich and “Ross” from Rosillo), Bell & Ross has, from its earliest days, focused its design on military inspirations and pilot’s watches. In the beginning, the brand partnered with German watch manufacturer Sinn for a decade of production, which says a lot about the robustness and utilitarian look of these watches. Probably the most important date in the brand’s history was 2005 when a clear identity was established with the now-iconic BR 01. Inspired by military aeroplane instruments with square cases for easy installation in dashboards, and four exposed screws in the corners to mount them in place, the watch was a statement. Oversized, instrumental and immediately recognizable.
The design of Bell & Ross copy with stainless steel bracelet was simple yet efficient; a square case, a circular dial and exposed screws in each corner of the case. And this became the brand’s signature, later used in the more compact BR 03 watches. A design that was so strong, that whenever the brand had to expand and develop a new collection, it couldn’t be overlooked…
Why did B&R move beyond this successful range of military/pilot/aviation/officers watches to create the new BR05? Well, as respected as these watches are, we’re still talking about a niche product with a bold design that is rather hard to use on a daily basis. The brand had almost reached a point of stagnation. And this necessary evolution required a contemporary product with an urban feel to meet the current demand… And that’s the luxury sports watch with an integrated bracelet.
Bell & Ross’ answer to this was the BR 05 collection. You can’t blame a brand for producing watches that answer market demand, but you can blame a brand for a lack of authenticity. On this point, B&R managed to blend the codes of the luxury sports watch and its DNA in a pretty cool and faithful way. Based on the concept of a watch with a shaped steel case and integrated bracelet, Bell & Ross clone adds a typical square(ish) bezel with 4 polished screws and a classic round dial, featuring the brands signature markers and numerals. The case is nicely executed, with classic brushed surfaces lightened by polished bevels with a well-proportioned 40mm diameter. To contain the price, the movement inside is an upgraded and specifically decorated Sellita.
Until now, the watch has been launched in multiple 3-hand iterations, from the classic models with closed dial in steel – grey, black and blue dials – worn on a steel bracelet or a rubber strap. Also, some openworked models were added to the range, as well as two-tone and solid gold watches. And it’s now time for the collection to be joined by new complications.
THE BR 05 CHRONO
So here’s the first natural evolution of the cheap copy Bell & Ross BR 05, which is updated with a chronograph movement, a classic style for sports watches with integrated bracelets. Somehow, even if it was not announced a year ago, this new model was expected to surface sooner or later. And a GMT version would certainly be a nice addition too – just passing along the message here.
The addition of a chronograph function often means an added dosage of sportiness for watches, and this BR 05 Chrono is no exception. Not only is the look of the watch busier, bolder and more masculine, but the proportions have changed, although not the overall concept.