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Baselworld 2019: Zenith
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Baselworld preview: Bell & Ross BR 03-92 BI-COMPASS

by Peter Chong on January 25, 2019

Bell & Ross BR 03-92 BI-COMPASS

Complication / Type of Watch

Square pilot watch

Recommended Retail Price

S$ 5,700


Bell & Ross demonstrates, once again, its remarkable creativity and pioneering mentality, while underlining its functional and utilitarian brand values. From the cockpit to the wrist.

Continuing their exploration of aeronautical navigation instruments, Bell & Ross has since developed other unique and high-tech models such as the BR01 RADAR, BR01 ALTIMETER and the BR01 CLIMB. The result was a collection of watches with innovative displays. True to its philosophy, Bell & Ross introduces a new version inspired by analog instrumentation of aircraft cockpits, where each instrument is a reference point for operations. The BR03-92 BI-COMPASS is the new introduction and recreates the graphic style of these navigation tools as closely as possible, offering an alternative to the traditional approach of telling the time.

The simplicity of the BR03-92 BI-COMPASS’s design encases the complexity of its inner workings. Built on a two-tier basis, the dial divides its main center part with the outer part – where the minute track is featured – through a small “step” equipped with a minute-circle. To enhance legibility, the hour and minute graduations have been separated to promote the minutes on the main dial – as in original instruments – while the hours are displayed in the center. The hour reading is indicated by a green triangle marker which appears in the center through an independent concentric disc which is not graduated.

The technical challenge posed this design is that B&R needed to develop an ultra-light disc to ensure that the power reserve nor the accuracy of the watch was not reduced. Furthermore, the disc needs to be sufficiently resistant so as to not become deformed due to friction. This dual challenge has required the development of specific materials and new techniques. As it rotates, an adjustment to the nearest micron ensures that the disc is constantly parallel. The typography used for the numerals is identical to that on analog aviation counters (Isonorm)

The use of color is important in aviation for the coding of signals, hence the need to set adequate color requirements to ensure that flight crew can recognize information at a glance.

Blue-green: The Munsell green hue indicates the hours and is covered in a photoluminescent coating (Superluminova®) that contrasts with the black of the dial, ensuring they can be easily read both during the day and at night
Off-white: The “coquille d’oeuf” hands and numerals on the dial unveil the minutes and seconds and echoes the legibility principles of professional aeronautical instruments. This color scheme was commonly used on instruments, specifically on US Navy aircrafts.

The anti-glare, black matte ceramic finish of the case is inspired by the color of an instrumentation panel, designed to make the dial easier to read by eliminating glare.

REF. br0392-IDC-CE/srb
Movement: calibre BR-CAL.302. Automatic mechanical. Crystal: sapphire with antireflective coating.
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds and date. Water-resistance: 100 metres.
Case: 42 mm in diameter. Matt black ceramic. Straps: black rubber and ultra-resilient black synthetic fabric.
Dial: matt black. Hands, numerals and indices coated in Superluminova®.
Buckle: pin. Black PVD coated steel.

More info at the Bell & Ross site.

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