Bell & Ross is known for being whacky and creative with its designs. Earlier in the year, we got to see first-hand their take on minimalism/brutalism in the form of the BR-05 Artline Horolum. Now the French brand is back, making another watch inspired by an art movement. The theme of this watch is streamline moderne. Coming at the tail end of art deco is streamline moderne. This movement in design stripped back the abstract colours of art deco in favour of clean lines with machine-inspired colour choices. Straight lines were used a lot, just like art deco, but curves were much more commonplace too. I suppose streamline moderne was one of the main influences on the jet-age designs of the 1950s. Check out the Coca-Cola building in Los Angeles on Google to see what I mean.
To achieve a fast-vintage appearance, the Bell & Ross designers gave the watch some racey vertical lines on the bracelet’s square bezel and centre links. It reminds me of Citroën HY vans, Airstream caravans and the Ford Trimotor. I like it a lot. Matching the grey of the 40mm x 10.5mm stainless steel case is a ruthenium grey dial, a first for the BR-05 collection. Unlike the watch I tried out, this one has a sunburst finish, which may or may not be readable in broad daylight. Better try one and find out. There is some SuperLumiNova on the hands and markers for extra visibility in low light.
Powering it is the BR-CAL.321, based on the Sellita SW-300. It’s automatically wound with a 4Hz beat rate and 42-hour power reserve. It’s visible through the sapphire caseback and has some clean graining on the plates. Check out the photos in my hands-on review; it’s pretty much the same.
Created in 2019, the BR-05 Artline is a derivative of the BR 03, Bell & Ross’ watchmaking icon.
The new BR-05 Artline adopts a subtle and refined finish. It retains its elegant shapes with rounded corners from this more urban family. It stands out with a sober and graphic ornamentation, which draws its inspiration from the world of aeronautics.
It is called Artline, a term that sums up its concept well. “When you look at it, you immediately think of the American style of the Stream-Line”, explains Bruno Belamich, co-founder of Bell & Ross.
– Aero style: the first transport planes of the 1940s were indeed known for their corrugated aluminium fuselage.
This technique was used for its lightness and resistance to deformation.
– Urban style: aluminium is widely used in architecture. This alloy covers the facades of state-of-the-art buildings. Interior decoration also takes advantage of this material, which adorns avant-garde lighting and furnishings.
An ornate watch, the BR 05 Artline is a unique Bell & Ross model.
The display numerals give way to baton indexes, just doubled at 12 o’clock. This sleek and modern exterior brings great distinction to the dial.
The dial is adorned with a sunburst ruthenium grey. This elegant shade, never used before on a BR 05, is the result of metallisation. The sapphire caseback allows you to contemplate the oscillating weight.
Its gadroon decoration also adorns the central links of the bracelet so bringing a rare elegance to these elements.