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Winning formula

Audrey Simon
Audrey Simon • 4 min read
Winning formula
Bell & Ross marks a new season with timepieces that are inspired by the Renault F1 Team.
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Bell & Ross marks a new season with timepieces that are inspired by the Renault F1 Team.

SINGAPORE (April 22): Four years ago, French-Swiss watchmaker Bell & Ross and the Renault F1 Team came together to conquer time with their respective machines. This year, the two companies have strengthened this bond with the appointment of Renault’s F1 drivers Nico Hülkenberg (main image, left) from Germany and Daniel Ricciardo (right) from Australia as the brand’s spokesmen.

Performance, dedication, technical expertise and teamwork are just some of the values that the two companies share. The engineers and designers at Renault F1 Team and Bell & Ross have one aim in mind when designing their respective machines — to seek velocity through mechanical accuracy and collaborative innovation. They share the conviction that every millisecond counts.

Bell & Ross is in pole position to create timepieces that celebrate the perseverance, talent and training needed to achieve the highest performance with a team-inspired campaign that will accompany the new collection launch. The R.S.19 collection was unveiled in March at Baselworld, the fair that shows off the best that horology has to offer.

BR-X1 R.S.19

Designed as a high-octane race car for the wrist, the BR-X1 R.S.19 has been created for fully functional operation at the wheel: Ergonomic “rocker” push buttons are suitable for use with gloves and have highly legible dial details in colours featured in the cockpit controls of the cars driven by Ricciardo and Hülkenberg. The watches are also extremely lightweight, thanks to the use of grade 5 titanium, ceramic and rubber.

The square case of the BR-X1 is surrounded by micro-blasted ceramic and rubber that act as a protective shell. Rubber grip elements have also been integrated into the case to ensure better handling when activating the chronograph’s “rocker” push buttons, even while wearing gloves.

New to the BR-X1 this year is the addition of a “time marker” on the circumference of the bezel ring. This is how it works: Following a hot lap, the team back in the pit lane can instantly mark wherever the chronograph’s yellow running seconds hand has stopped by rotating and aligning the yellow triangle. The respective times can be instantly compared after the second lap.

The BR-X1 R.S.19 has a limited edition of 250 pieces.

BR-X1 Tourbillon Chronograph R.S.19

Bell & Ross gives the tourbillon a sporty spin with a whirring ticking escapement and throbbing balance wheel of around 360° per minute. The tourbillon cage at six o’clock evens out the pull of gravity across the movement’s regulating parts to improve timekeeping and reduce friction at certain pinch points: an ingenious invention dating back two centuries.

In keeping with the F1 theme, the watch is assembled like a high-performance car. The manufacturing and hand-assembling of the tourbillon cage is an impressive feat. A smaller balance wheel is used to fine-tune the tourbillon as it rotates inside a small space.

Visually stunning, this fine mechanical watch has the stripped-back and highly technical case design of the BR-X1 that is fitted with Bell & Ross’ new lap-by-lap time marker around the bezel and stopwatch chronograph functionality. The BR-X1 Tourbillon Chronograph R.S.19 has a limited edition of 20 pieces.

BR V3-94 R.S.19 and BR 03-94 R.S.19

Inspired by the steering wheels of the cars driven by Hülkenberg and Ricciardo, these two limited-edition choronographs share some similarities such as the bi-directional timing bezel for “on the-fly” timing that has a knurled design to provide a better grip while wearing gloves.

They both sport luminescent dials that have been inspired by the Renault F1 Team steering wheel colour coding. The 2019 interpretation of the watches has a dial that is made of F1’s essential high-tech material — carbon fibre — which stands out against the signature Renault F1 Team yellow and black colours plus the green, red and orange found on cockpit buttons.

The BR V3-94 R.S.19 (above) sports the classic circular case of Bell & Ross’ Vintage collection — now increased to 43mm “XL” proportions. The BR 03-94 R.S.19 features the utilitarian 42mm across the square of its Instrument watches. Both watches have 999 limited-edition pieces.

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