New: Bell & Ross revamps the BR 03 Diver (hands-on commentary)

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Releasing five new references, Bell & Ross revamps their successful BR 03 Diver series with three novelties in steel and two in ceramic cases.

Press Release with hands-on commentary in italics and live photographs.

New: Bell & Ross revamps the BR 03 Diver (hands-on commentary)

The Bell & Ross BR 03 Diver steel models (Ref. BR03A-D-BL-ST/SRB – BR03A-D-BLU-ST/SRB – BR03A-D-WH-ST/SRB) retail at SGD 5,596.33 while the Black ceramic model (Ref. BR03A-D-BL-CE/SRB) retails at SGD 6,330.28 and the Black ceramic with full lume dial (Ref. BR03A-D-LM-CE/SRB) retails at SGD 6,880.73. Prices are inclusive of GST.

Hands-on Commentary and live photographs

The BR 03 Diver collection is a highly successful series. We have covered the model extensively since the release in 2017:

For this year, the maison reverts the nomenclature to just BR 03, and five new models are released. Three in steel with the option of either a black, blue or white dial (we did not receive a sample of the white version), and two in ceramic case with either a black or a full lume dial.

What remains the same is the operational certification of the watch for diving, passing ISO 6425. We note that this certification is made more difficult to achieve as the case of the BR 03 is a square instead of the structurally stronger round shape. But Bell & Ross have achieved this feat since 2017.

The ceramic model with black dial.

What is also new is the redesigned dial, with the markers remaining somewhat similar to the old models, though Bell & Ross tells us that they tinkered with the aesthetics. The hour hand receive the biggest change, and looks completely different from the earlier models. It is now arrow tipped with full lume insert instead of a lozenge perched on the hand with lume insert.

What is new is the bezel for the steel models now features ceramic inserts, replacing the aluminium inserts used in the earlier steel models. The bezels remain ceramic on the ceramic cased models, as have always been since it was first introduced in 2019.

What is new also is the full lume dial on the ceramic model. The black case, black bezel provides a nice contrast to the dial, which appears baby blue in good light and full blast lume in the dark.

The dimensions remain the same, with the 42mm square base being retained. Wear comfort is good, as it wears smaller than the dimension may suggest, but there is no denying that this is a substantial watch on the wrist, and those with tiny wrists may need to try the watch on hand to see if they find it comfortable. For me, it is very comfortable on my 7.5 inch flat wrist.

And the movement is evolved to deliver 54 hours of power reserve instead of 38. This is achieved using the same Caliber BR-CAL.302, but now revised for higher power reserve and now carries the designation BR-CAL.302-1.

Release details

In 2024, Bell & Ross is pushing the limits of functionality even further with its new BR 03 DIVER diving watch range. The five new models combine technical and aesthetic improvements for optimum performance. Perfected components, such as a ceramic insert and an improved movement, guarantee increased durability and a power reserve extended to 54 hours. Aesthetics have also been enhanced, with new typography and redesigned hands for optimal legibility, even in the most extreme conditions. With a new adaptable strap, Bell & Ross ensures a perfect fit for all wrists. With its new BR 03 DIVER divers, Bell & Ross is raising the standards of performance and legibility, offering divers an unparalleled underwater experience.


The Hydromax from Bell & Ross defined a new standard in diver’s watches. Launched in 1997, it established a world record for water tightness, with perfect resistance to a depth of 11,100 meters. This feat was made possible thanks to a major technical innovation: the case was filled with a patented, transparent, fluorinated oil.

Ten years later, in 2007, a second diver’s watch appeared in the Bell & Ross collection; the BR 02 series offered an instrument watch specifically designed for the underwater world. This series of watches is recognizable by its barrel-shaped case. On the technical front, they feature a helium decompression valve and an ultra-resistant curved sapphire face: essential features for saturation diving.

With the arrival of the BR 03-92 Diver into the core of our professional instrument watch series in 2017, the company translated the features of the instrument panel in fighter aircraft into watch-making technology. Contained in a case combining “a circle within a square” Bell & Ross took a new, daring stance: diving watches do not have to be round.

Since 2018 Bell & Ross have added a new, noteworthy feature to the model by sculpting the 42 x 42 mm square case in bronze, the iconic material of the marine world. Recognized since ancient times for its unique robustness, this alloy has enthralled watch and clock collectors and enthusiasts, captivating them with its distinctive color and its tendency for patination.


Is it not said that we reach the age of reason at the age of seven? For the BR 03 Diver, which celebrates its seventh birthday in 2024, this juncture marks the maturity which comes with experience. Adopted both by professional mariners and by those who love the nautical world, the BR 03 Diver series became a stylistic milestone for diver’s watches. With three new features for the core model in steel, as well as a new model in matte black ceramics and a new Full Lum version, the upgrades for the BR 03 Diver range are a natural, logical development for these models. Understated, but far-reaching, these technical and design developments are justified, and not merely tinkering with the aesthetics. On the one hand, Bell & Ross has perfected several components to improve the technical features of its Diver family: a ceramic insert for greater resistance and durability, and a new evolution of the movement to increase the power reserve to 54 hours. A number of aesthetic improvements have also been made to the Diver collection: new typography for improved legibility, new hands for better visibility during the day and underwater, and a new strap that fits more wrists.


All the instrument watches in the Bell & Ross BR 03 series are designed as quality tools for professional divers. “Providing professionals with the quality of tools needed for their tasks, and pushing boundaries to their furthest extent has always been part of our brand’s DNA,” affirms Carlos Rosillo, President and co-founder of Bell & Ross. To respond to the legitimate expectations of regulars in the aquatic environment, the new BR 03 DIVER watches comply with the international ISO 6425 standard, which states, “a watch must stand submersion in water to a depth of at least 100 meters and must have a time monitoring system.” Underwater, watch markings must remain visible from 25 cm in the dark.

Moreover, the watch must be operationally tested underwater, at a depth of 30 cm (+/- 2 cm) for 50 hours, at temperatures between 18°C and 25°C. At the end of this period, the mechanisms must still function correctly. Watches are also tested to prove that they are not sensitive to thermal shock, that they resist overpressure in water, and that condensation does not form under certain conditions. The strength of the winding crown is also tested.

Perfectly compliant with each of these demanding product specifications, fitted with BR-CAL.302-1 automatic winding, beating at a frequency of 28,800 alternations per hour (4 Hz), and a guaranteed 54-hour power reserve, all the new BR 03 DIVER watches are water-tight to 300 meters.


Designing instrument watches, reinterpreting the dials, counters, and control panels of an aircraft cockpit with our operational rigor is the hallmark of Bell & Ross. The intrinsic link between the independent watch manufacturer and the world of aeronautics is well established. Effective high performance is a mainstay of the aviation industry. Particularly in relation to the many technical and physical constraints connected with flying at altitude. The exploration of the ocean floor is no less challenging. In both cases, it is the aim of Bell & Ross to support professionals in their environments, to the best of their ability. “For 30 years now, our company has been equipping outstanding pilots and divers, whose tasks and lives depend on their instruments and machines. Bell & Ross is, by definition, the supplier of explorers and elite units, for whom each watch is designed to comply with precise product specifications, according to the environment in which it is intended to be used,” explains Carlos Rosillo, President and co-founder of Bell & Ross. These qualities also attract demanding city dwellers, in search of a timepiece for everyday use, with exemplary style and reliable performance.


Its design and tried and tested reliability make the Bell & Ross BR 03 Diver Steel indispensable to divers. Below the surface of the sea, in a world that is inhospitable to human beings, a watch is a tool for survival. Unless time control is perfect, both descending and re-ascending are particularly dangerous. The diver must have absolute confidence in his watch. The BR 03 Diver Steel collection, with its 42 x 42 mm case in polished, satin-finished steel, is fully compliant. It is available in three options: black, white, and blue. For each, the unidirectional swing bezel with a graduated 60-minutes scale is now enhanced by a ceramic insert in a color matching the dial. In another noteworthy upgrade, the hands and the indices have been redesigned for greater readability, and the ultra-resistant rubber or synthetic canvas watch strap has been redesigned for a discreet appearance and comfort.


The matte black ceramics immediately set the tone, evoking the technical features and clean lines of stealth vessels or explorers’ equipment. In 2019 Bell & Ross regularly offered special editions in this compelling material. This year, the BR 03 Diver Black Matte Ceramic has been discreetly redesigned to provide significant improvements in readability and power.

The two-part construction of the bezel is a distinctive feature of the BR 03 Diver Black Matte Ceramic. The bezel itself and its insert are both ceramics, the insert benefits from the same improvements to resistance and readability as the models in steel. Enthusiasts will also immediately notice the enlarged type on the graduated scale. Like the new BR 03 Diver in steel, the new BR 03 Diver Black Matte Ceramic benefits from the improved design of the hands, the enlarged indices, and the new rubber strap.


Thanks to a dial covered entirely in Super-LumiNova®, the FULL LUM readability in the darkness of the deep sea has been significantly improved. This is an essential feature for a diver’s watch. Since its launch in 2020, the Bell & Ross BR 03 Diver Full Lum Ceramic has made its mark with its powerful aesthetics and radiance. Its dial is now covered with pale blue Super-LumiNova® (emitting blue light), the indices and the arrow-shaped, skeletonized hour and minute hands are coated in white Super-LumiNova® (emitting green light). It is worth noting that the new BR 03 Diver Full Lum Ceramic is no longer a limited edition but is now an integral member of the permanent BR 03 Diver range.


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