Bell & Ross BR03-92 GREY LUM
The Bell & Ross BR03-92 GREY LUM was announced earlier this year, enlarging the firm’s popular LUM collection. Steve Ashby succumbs to this model’s nocturnally vibrant dial and distinctive square case.
The first few months of the year are some of my favourites when it comes to working within the watch industry. It is during this ‘Q1’ period when I get to see various exciting new models, scheduled for release throughout the year ahead.
There are occasions when some brands unveil models which share an uncanny resemblance to competing company’s products. Conversely, there are some manufacturers which shun the notion of lookalikes.
Bell & Ross can always be relied upon to design highly original creations, imbued with the brand’s unique DNA. Each Bell & Ross novelty for 2020 has its own distinctive persona. Indeed, no allegations of plagiarism could ever be directed towards the French brand.
One watch that stood apart from its contemporaries is the new Bell & Ross BR 03-92 GREY LUM. This is the fourth model to join the brand’s expanding LUM collection. The inaugural LUM model, the HOROLUM was launched in 2017 and included a dial that exhibited an extraordinary degree of luminosity, particularly apparent in dim light. The appeal of the vividly luminous dials has seen the luxury marque expand its LUM collection year on year.
The FULL LUM watch, released in 2019, did not limit luminescent treatment merely to the dial. This timepiece was also fitted with a not-so-subtle glow in the dark rubber strap. This specification inevitably polarised opinion. The latest BR03-92 GREY LUM still employs Super-LumiNova on its dial, but is more discreet and less contentious. Of all the planned novelties for 2020, this is certainly one memorable model which has piqued my interest.
As the name might suggest, the watch is supplied with a dark anthracite grey dial. It also features a sunray finish. Like many Bell & Ross watches, Arabic numerals are positioned at the cardinal points, while baton-style indexes denote the intervening hours. The indexes, along with the hour and minute hands, are liberally coated with Super LumiNova C3, conferring impressive night-time readability. With the luminescent treatment ‘charged’ the hands and hour markers will glow for up to 8 hours. Set against the dark grey dial, the overall look proves incredibly dramatic.
Other than a small circular date aperture, located between the 4 and 5 o’clock, the watch lacks any complications. To date, this has been the case for the entire LUM range. By adopting this approach, the dial does not appear overcrowded, augmenting readability. Certainly at this juncture, I see little reason to question Bell & Ross’s sparse dial approach. Indeed, the simplicity of the dial is one of the key attributes of the Bell & Ross BR03-92 GREY LUM and its square-cased brethren.
The Bell & Ross BR03-92 GREY LUM is the first of the LUM series to be fitted with a satin polished stainless steel case. This housing sits harmoniously with the anthracite grey dial. The square case, round dial, along with various flat surfaces and decorative screws, are key elements of the Bell & Ross BR 03 design. These are all in evidence on this latest model.
The case is complemented with a grey-green calf leather strap, complete with a satin polished steel pin buckle. Of course, as with all BR 03 models, a second strap is provided. In this instance, the model is supplied with an additional black synthetic fabric strap.
Bell & Ross is yet to release its own manufacture movement, something I suspect many hardcore B&R fans yearn for. In this instance, the Bell & Ross BR03-92 GREY LUM is powered by a BR-CAL.302 automatic movement, which is based on the Sellita SW300. The balance has a frequency of 28,800 vph (4Hz) and the movement contains 25 jewels. The watch will run autonomously for up to 42 hours when fully wound.
The movement is regarded as highly reliable and, as such, it is used extensively within the watch industry. Bell & Ross’s decision to source a third-party movement has allowed it to offer the BR03-92 GREY LUM for a very competitive asking price of £2,600.
Once again, Bell & Ross has demonstrated its incredible design prowess and boundless creativity. The advent of last year’s BR05 collection illustrated that the French brand is unafraid of taking risks and is proud to be different.
Like many admirers of Bell & Ross, I remain fond of the brand’s iconic square models, each endowed with a contrasting round dial. The new BR03-92 GREY LUM respects the brand’s legacy, upholding the firm’s well-proven design language while embracing a degree of nocturnal luminosity seldom seen elsewhere. Indeed, Bell & Ross’s penchant for creativity and its refusal to follow the actions of others is why I always relish seeing its new models.
- Model: Bell & Ross BR03-92 GREY LUM
- Reference: BR0392-GC3-ST/SCA
- Case: Satin polished stainless steel; diameter 42mm; water resistance 10ATM (100 metres); sapphire crystal to front.
- Functions: Hours; minutes; central sweep seconds; date.
- Movement: BR-CAL.302 automatic movement (based on Sellita SW300); frequency 28,800 vph (4Hz); 25 jewels; power reserve 42 hours
- Strap: Grey-green calfskin leather with satin polished stainless steel pin buckle
- Price: £2,600 including VAT (RRP as at 18.3.2020)