Style / World of Watches (WOW)

A Month with Bell & Ross Vintage BR V2-93 GMT

This vintage-inspired GMT timepiece from Bell & Ross possess a bezel that no other GMT timepiece on the market has – the ability to account for rarer time zones.

Dec 11, 2018 | By Jonathan Ho

Photography of Bell & Ross Vintage GMT: Jonathan Ho

Classic designs, gentlemanly proportions, domed crystals, and well executed simplicity; vintage-inspired timepieces like that of the Tudor Black Bay 58 and the unsung hero of 2018, the Bell & Ross Vintage GMT carry appeal far beyond what they offer as a novelty of moving brass and steel components. Instead, watches with these vintage or retro design elements harken back to an age where functionality was paramount and brands often focused on maximising the users’ ease of use.

Of late, vintage watch design has earned a resurgence, thankfully, bearing all of today’s conveniences like quick set date and sapphire crystal, these modern re-issues or re-interpreted editions carry all the hallmarks and aesthetic cues of their heritage counterparts but complimented with the advances of contemporary material science.

Bell & Ross Vintage BR V2-93 GMT

A Month with Bell & Ross Vintage BR V2-93 GMT

Unlike many of its contemporaries, the Bell & Ross Vintage GMT is not a heritage issue from the brand’s past. Instead, the BR V2-93 GMT makes ample use of appealing vintage design codes and applies them to a thoroughly modern GMT watch. With a 24-hour GMT hand and a rotating bezel, the Bell & Ross Vintage BR V2-93 GMT is the perfect watch for travellers and pilots crossing time zones – after spending a month on my wrist and travelling the expanse of the globe from Milan to Miami, from morning runs to dinner events, this Bell & Ross Vintage GMT remained one of the few watches to be on semi-permanent ‘wrist rotation”.

As commonly understood, the unique proposition of a GMT watch is that the bezel can be used to indicate a secondary time zone time based on the position of the 24-hour GMT hand relative to the ‘hour’ it is pointing to on the bezel without compromising “home time” on the central dial by simply leaving the time un-adjusted and rotating either the bezel to the secondary time required or adjusting the iconic orange hand to account for the time at destination. But therein lies the most important difference of the Vintage BR V2-93 GMT.

A 24 hour bezel capable of half-clicks is the first indication that the brand has thought about the details of their new vintage GMT watch thoroughly.

Equipped with steel bezel and eschewing ceramic in lieu of the good old aluminium insert, the Bell & Ross Vintage GMT is the first watch I have noticed to allow the bezel to turn in half-clicks rather than a full hour clicks. This makes a whole lot of sense, considering that Newfoundland, India, Iran, Afghanistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, the Marquesas, as well as parts of Australia use half-hour deviations from standard time, the BR V2-93 GMT is the first of its genre to account for this and it was a most pleasant discovery after an extensive month of global travel and international connections.

Using a 41mm steel case, the Vintage BR V2-93 GMT is larger proportioned (though it’s not visually obvious) than actual older vintage GMT models but where Bell & Ross excels is in executing the tapered lug and svelte mid-case design elements in the same vein of beloved older GMT models and the result is astounding.

Satin brushed finishing contrasted with a mirror shine enhances the Bell & Ross Vintage GMT’s dressy appeal while the domed sapphire mimics old school plexiglass plastic domes. Note the tapered lugs.

A domed sapphire crystal mimics the heritage appeal of hesalite or plexiglass domes but it does not provide the magnification associated with the older plastic “crystals”, nevertheless, it delivers much visual depth to the GMT complication, enhancing the utilitarian nature of the Bell & Ross Vintage GMT alongside the unobtrusive date function at 4 o’clock.

The combination satin-finished and mirror polished case and bracelet adds a dressy feel to the well-proportioned and well-built BR V2-93 GMT. Powered by the workhorse ETA 2893-2 but rebadged as a modified BR-CAL.303, the Bell & Ross Vintage GMT is not just for travelling but an all round-perfect accessorial companion.

Bell & Ross Vintage GMT Price and Specs

Movement Automatic BR-CAL.303 with 42 hours power reserve
Case 41mm stainless steel case with 100 metres water resistance
Strap Bracelet or leather
Price From SG$4600


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