Review: the new Bell & Ross BR 05 Artline

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Bell & Ross continues to enhance their popular BR 05 lineup with a new boutique only limited edition – the Artline, featuring a ruled bezel.

Review: Bell & Ross BR 05 Artline

Retail price for the Bell & Ross BR 05 Artline with bracelet is SGD 8,000 inclusive of GST. Limited edition of 250 pieces available in Bell & Ross boutiques and e-boutique.

The novelty is called Artline, a term that sums up its concept well.

“This name indicates that it incorporates an artistic dimension (art) in its design (line). When you look at it, you immediately think of the American style of the Stream-Line””

Bruno Belamich, co-founder of Bell & Ross.

The case, dial and hands

The basic principle of the adaptation of the now classic looking BR 05 line is the concept of the fluted bezel which is based on inspiration from the first transport planes in the 1940s. These planes feature a corrugated aluminium fuselage. Perhaps a familiar use of this pattern is in the aluminium Rimowa luggage, and evokes a belle époque feel of genteelness in the early aero era.

The bezel is a single piece which is machined with ruled gadroons in vertical lines, which reminds us of the corrugated fuselage, as intended. But the gadroon pattern also has a strong industrial feel to it, like the lines of being created as it is run over by a giant cog wheel. This decoration is repeated in the center links of the bracelet.

The case is the now familiar and rather classic looking BR 05 case. This was Bell & Ross’s first foray into the “luxury” steel watch with integrated bracelet space. And has seen a rather good success for the brand.

The watch sports a sunburst ruthenium grey dial which has not been used in a BR 05, but one which evokes a sense of elegance.

The movement

The movement is the standard Bell & Ross BR-CAL.321 automatic movement. This is a workhorse movement used in many BR watches, and has proven to be a reliable and good performer. The base is the SW300-1; made by Sellita per Bell & Ross spec.

The movement is not one to submit for finissage contests, but one which adequately fulfils the engineering requirements of movement finishing. The additional touches of the skeletonized rotor with the BR logo enhances the look from the display caseback.

Concluding thoughts

This is an ornate watch. One which expands the BR 05 design vocabulary in the direction of the 1930s, inspired by the fluid lines of imagery of speed and aerodynamics. It combines an interesting aesthetic of a rather cool elegance of the period, with a strong industrial feel. On the wrist, it feels like any other BR 05 watch, though running one’s fingers on the gadroons of the bezel and center links does have a nice tactile sensation which is oddly satisfying.

Overall, an interesting take at line extension, and one which is quite natural for Bell & Ross. After all, the round within a square imagery of the base BR 05 design is taken from their cockpit instrument series, and the Artline brings us one full circle to the original aviation inspired aesthetic.

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