Bell and Ross began a new chapter in its history with the BR-X1 CHRONOGRAPH TOURBILLON SAPPHIRE in 2016. The brand’s first completely transparent watch caused quite a stir by combining prestigious watches complications, technical performance and its signature design codes.
Three new unique pieces, two online exclusives
A skeletonized version of this exceptional BR-X1 is being unveiled at Baselworld, as part of a collection that underscores the bold creativity of Bell & Ross. Of the six new unique pieces created, three examples that marry transparency and color will be presented. Then by embracing sales innovation: two of the watches will be exclusively available online. This marks a real watershed moment in the Haute Horlogerie sector, once again proving Bell & Ross’ avant-garde spirit in e-commerce and the digital.
As iconic as difficult to work with, sapphire is the embodiment of invisibility: a paradox of solidity and visual transparency. Scientists –who call it corundum– know it as the second hardest material on Earth after diamond, almost impossible to scratch. For watchmakers, creating a case from a block of sapphire is a true technical challenge. It requires long and complex machining, grinding and polishing processes and superior expertise. The case of the BR-X1 SKELETON TOURBILLON SAPPHIRE is made from five blocks of sapphire, which are carefully worked on before being assembled with the greatest precision.
Thanks to the transparency of its sapphire case, the BR-X1 CHRONOGRAPH TOURBILLON SAPPHIRE created a magical spectacle in 2016 when its chronograph movement, paired with a flying tourbillon that appears to float weightlessly, was revealed. Last year, Bell & Ross’ design studio pushed the limits even further when it decided to develop an entirely skeletonized tourbillon. The transparency of the sapphire case was complemented by a “lace” effect of the openworked bridges, which laid bare the secrets of the watch’s mechanical heart through an off-centered dial especially designed to reveal it all.
COLORS SUSPENDED INVISIBLY
Now, Bell and Ross has set itself a new challenge: to continue experimenting with extreme transparency while adding color. A number of monochrome movements have been individually produced, intended for the most discerning collectors. A single color has been used for the main plate, bridges, dial, hands and tourbillon cage, thus creating a customized face for each unique piece.