Military watches: Time discovered
Bell & Ross pays homage to the history of military timepieces by presenting a pocket watch – the PW1 and its wrist watch version – the Vintage WW1.
The brand’s designs have always been influenced by the reinterpretation of military watch design history. “We are delving into the past even more in order to round out our collection,” explains Bell & Ross designer, Bruno Belamich. The challenge? To remain faithful to present day watch-making standards while adapting them to Bell & Ross design principles.
From pocket watch to wrist watch
The re-imagining of those bygone days has resulted in the creation of two types of watch, representing two eras: a fob watch of rare dignity, the PW1 which stands for Pocket Watch 1 and the introduction of a wristwatch christened the Vintage WW1 for Wrist Watch 1. First worn by French soldiers during World War 1, these wristwatches were then tested by pilots in the 1920s before being declared technically reliable in the 1930s. The Vintage WW1 pays tribute to this era and takes its inspiration from the stylistic designs of the “Roaring Twenties”. A true missing “time” link between the pocket watch and the wristwatch of the 1940s, the shapes and functions of the Vin- tage WW1 reflect Bell & Ross’s DNA.
A watch from the past reflecting the present
The Vintage PW1 and Vintage WW1 models stand out as reincarnations of the past that reflect the present. While the models are distinguished by their finishes and movements with complementary functions, they nevertheless share common characteristics:
A quality Swiss movement.
The large fob-watch type diameter.
The grooved crown, inspired by the ones handled by pilots while wearing gloves, is easy to use.
The domed crystal gives the watch a vintage look. Unlike the original, it is made from sapphire, a hard-wearing material, using perfected techniques.
The dial, with its clean design, optimizes legibility, a cha-racteristic of all Bell & Ross watches.
Unique to the VINTAGE WW1 line, the horns replicate original wire handles that were soldered to the case which, when combined with the elegance of the straps, evoke the design of the first wrist watches, yet are ergonomically adapted for the comfort demanded by today’s men.
Classic and elegant models
Their polished steel case, combined with a domed, sunburst dial epitomizes the classic design that is inspired by the past.
The large PW1 fob watch is attached to a long chain. Its immaculate finish and “barleycorn” guilloché caseback enhance its allure. This collector’s item is intended only for true purists who will appreciate its manual winding movement.
The WW1 with its classic design is available in three movements: a version with power reserve indicator (WW1-97), a large date version (WW1-96) and a version with large date and power reserve indicator (WW1 – 90). Each model comes with an alligator strap and steel pin buckle that set off their timeless elegance.
Two new authentic and Military styles
In its authentic Military version, the WW1-92 features a matte grey steel case and a distressed strap. With its black case, the WW1 – 92 Heritage model reinterprets the styles of the past– the sand-colored index markings convey the effects of age and the leather strap acquires a patina over time. Both models have hours and seconds movements.
The hour, minute and second graduations have been separated to promote legibility and prominently display the minutes on the large dial. This arrangement is inspired by the so-called navigation or observation watches used by military pilots to calculate their direction or speed. The fluorescent triangle at 12 o’clock enabled the pilots to instantly get their bearings, even in the dark.
Arrival of a new style
The Vintage WW1 is directly inspired by the measurement tools of professionals from a bygone era and could have been worn by a 1920s pilot. In the 21st century it will be worn by all those who desire a timepiece inspired by military watch history. A masculine icon, this incredibly refined watch paves the way for a new style – military neo-classicism.