Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver
The Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver upholds the reputation this company has for making divers’ watches of great repute. Moreover, given its impressive specification, this new square watch is offered at a very agreeable price.
This detailed review of the Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver includes live images, specification details and pricing.
Bell & Ross is indelibly linked to aviation. Its square watches resemble cockpit instruments and have been used by Fleet Air Arm pilots. However, because of the brand’s strong ties with aviation, it is very easy to overlook the watch manufacturer’s reputation for crafting divers’ watches.
The Hydromax 11 100 M, a former model in the Bell & Ross catalogue, once held a world record for its ‘resistance at a pressure of 1,110 bars’. This quartz watch contained Hydroil®, a transparent fluorinated oil which helped deliver the impressive water resistance as well as making the dial more legible underwater.
Bell & Ross recently unveiled a new diver’s watch, the BR 03-92 Diver. This watch, whilst lacking the deep water credentials of the Hydromax 11 100M, remains a very capable diving tool. Moreover, the BR 03-92 Diver contains a mechanical self-winding movement, making it a tad more charming than the Hydromax 11 100M.
With a Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver affixed to my arm, I chose to explore its profound talents.
The black dial provides the perfect backdrop for maximum contrast. Each applied hour marker is lined with super-legible luminescent fill. A flange, marked with a graduated scale, encircles the dialscape making the read-off of minutes and seconds a matter of child’s play.
In line with the pre-requisites of divers’ watches, the hour hand is lined with orange luminescent treatment, while the minute hand contains white luminescent inlay. The use of two colours aids identification underwater, especially in dim light conditions.
Residing between 4 and 5 o’clock is a circular date aperture. The date is presented in white text on a black background. The repeated use of black and white augments ease of read off.
A central sweep seconds hand provides a visual indication that the watch is fully functional, proving a useful safety feature when diving. The seconds hand features a luminescent circular disc along its form, assisting the wearer in reading the seconds.
A prerequisite for a good diver’s watch is excellent readability, a quality that this watch delivers in abundance. Indeed, the judicious use of colour and, in particular, the contrast of the hues chosen in this case makes this a spectacularly lucid dial.
The 42mm case is presented in ‘satin-polished steel’. The beveled edges between the horizontal and vertical surfaces, together with the case-back, are highly polished. The soupçon of polished metal confers a charming juxtaposition with the satin-polished steel and provides an indication that this timepiece is not merely a utilitarian tool, but also a stylish watch perfectly at ease on terra firma when paired with casual attire.
The scale of the watch ensures a pleasant wrist feel. The convex case-back nestles comfortably into the wrist. The case-back is thicker than the BR 03-92 Steel, measuring 2.80mm instead of 1.80mm. This increased depth also applies to the sapphire crystal which is 2.85mm, compared with 1.50mm on the classic steel BR 03-92.
A unidirectional bezel shows that this is a true diver’s watch. The anti-clockwise motion of the bezel has a positive action, with a distinct click manifest with every one-minute turn. The specification of the bezel, together with the watch meeting other criteria, has led to the watch attaining ISO 6425. If the bezel is inadvertently nudged, the indicated dive-time is reduced, obviously proving safer than accidentally extending the dive time.
The case is antimagnetic to ISO 764 and shock resistant to ISO 1413. The subaquatic credentials of this diver’s watch are very impressive, providing peace of mind when exploring treacherous seas.
Water resistance is of vital importance with a diver’s watch, hence the crown ‘of the Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver is equipped with a guard that guarantees complete protection against impacts and optimal water resistance’.
My press loan watch was supplied on a textured black rubber strap paired with a steel pin buckle. The watch is also available on a black synthetic fabric strap intended for wear over a diver’s suit.
The Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver is equipped with the BR-CAL 302 self-winding movement.
Owing to the solid case-back no critique of the movement finishing can be provided.
The Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver is a good looking watch. In addition, should the owner of the BR 03-92 Diver choose to explore oceans deep, then it is also capable of delivering an impressive performance with a maximum water resistance of 300 metres and compliance with ISO 6425.
The case construction is of high quality; I especially like the highly polished screws in each corner of the case and the way they contrast with the adjacent satin-polished steel surfaces.
Despite the watch being square, in fact the first square diver’s watch from Bell & Ross, it proves very comfortable and the agreeable wrist-feel matches that of a conventional round watch case.
Where the Bell & Ross excels is that it delivers an impressive specification for a very modest sum, £2,800.00 (RRP as at 30.5.2017). This represents incredible value, making it a very competitive package.
Bell & Ross has returned to its roots and, in so doing, has delivered a very impressive timepiece whose appeal is most profound.
- Model: Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver
- Case: Stainless steel; diameter 42mm; water resistant to 30 bar (300 metres); sapphire crystal to front and solid caseback.
- Functions: Hours; minutes; central sweep seconds; date.
- Movement: Calibre BR-CAL.302; self-winding movement
- Strap: Woven black rubber with steel pin buckle
- Price: £2,800.00 (RRP as at 30.5.2017)