Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Horograph

Angus Davies reviews the non-conformist, square cased Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Horograph.

A full review of the Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Horograph including live pictures, specification and price.

Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Horograph

In general most of us comply with societal norms. However, as I grow older I no longer wish to follow the well worn path of others. Indeed, I seek choices which deviate from the mainstream.

It is probably for this reason that I was drawn to the square-shaped Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Horograph. It shares the same aeronautical instrument aesthetic of other Bell & Ross models, but exudes a welcome air of simplicity to its dial.

Bell & Ross refer to Bauhaus design in its press materials and certainly there is a ‘form follows function’ honesty about the styling of this ‘Swiss Made’ timepiece.

The dial

The hours and minutes are proclaimed with simple, unfussy baton hands and collaborate with easy to read baton indexes. There is no risk of confusion, everything is clear and obvious. Nocturnal legibility is assured, courtesy of the vivid blue luminescent treatment.

Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Horograph

The central sweep seconds hand features a prominent counterweight and a noticeable red tip, elevating ease of interpretation.

Arabic numerals are positioned adjacent each index, aiding read-off. Between 4 and 5 o’clock is a circular date aperture, presenting crisp, white numerals against a black background.

The dial of the Bell & Ross Horograph is eminently clear and the absence of the extraneous aids understanding. I suspect some observers may argue that the dial is comparatively plain, but I would disagree. Bell & Ross has subscribed to the ‘less is more’ school of design and, in my opinion, it has delivered a resoundingly successful composition. This is a truly pleasing design.

The case

While I like several BR01 models with their 46mm diameter cases, I do prefer the smaller BR03 timepieces, appreciating their neater 42mm case dimensions.

The bead blasted steel case has a delightfully muted appearance. It sidesteps the over ebullience of highly polished metal and its restrained aesthetics coalesce with the simple dial design.

My OCD means I appreciate the four perfectly aligned screws bordering the dial. They sit at 45° to the vertical and the slots are delightfully absent of any distress. Indeed, everything is executed to perfection.

Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Horograph

The case-back is solid which is always a tad disappointing for me. I am a self-confessed horological voyeur and appreciate surveying the glorious execution of a sublime naked movement. Sadly, on this occasion, my eyes were left wanting. Nevertheless, while this is an irritation it would do little to distract me from selecting the BR 03-92 Horograph.

A square watch feels different to a round watch, occupying more wrist territory as a result of its shape. Personally, I found the 42mm case accorded a comfortable fit and I appreciated the rather slender profile of the case. 

While the crown is prominent, allowing ease of adjustment and aiding the winding of the mainspring, it is sufficiently neat that it does not impinge on the wrist.

Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Horograph

The broad rubber strap is especially comfortable and the broad pin of the ardillon buckle, together with the rectangular shaped holes in the strap, ensure a secure fit and an absence of strap distortion.

The movement

Bell & Ross are rather tightlipped regarding the movement within the Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Horograph, describing it as ‘Calibre BR-CAL.302. Mechanical automatic’.

No appraisal of the movement was possible owing to the aforementioned solid case-back.

Closing remarks

I admire freethinkers and applaud individuals who choose to walk on virgin snow. Bell & Ross does not subscribe to the mainstream, but embraces original thought and groundbreaking design. I concede its timepieces are not for everyone. However, I am a huge fan of the bold, square-cased watches and like the fresh lines they exhibit.

If most Bell & Ross timepieces seem too avant-garde, then the BR 03-92 Horograph may well be prove an agreeable compromise. It forgoes the unnecessary and delivers the essentials. The aesthetics are clean, crisp and highly functional.

Th BR 03-92 Horograph proffers a simple to read dial and comfortable wrist-feel showing style does not have to prove impractical and free thought does not necessitate compromise.

Further information

Technical specifications

• Model: Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Horograph

Case: Steel; diameter 42mm; sapphire crystal to front and solid caseback; water resistant to 10 ATM (100 metres).

• Functions: Hours; minutes; central sweep seconds; date

• Movement: Calibre BR-CAL.302; Self-winding movement

• Strap: Black rubber strap with bead blasted stainless steel pin buckle

• Price: £2,400 (RRP as at 14.8.2017)

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