Bell & Ross Levels Up the BR-05 Range with the new BR-X5
The new BR-X5 is an elevated version of the highly popular BR-05 range, which consists of a new three-part case structure.
On the heels of the success of the Bell & Ross BR-05 range, the firm follows up by levelling up with the 41mm BR-X5. While the BR-05 marked Bell & Ross’ first move away from the world of professional tool watches, the BR-X5 reveals entirely new ambitions. Indeed you can tell everything important about the BR-X5 watch by examining it closely. This includes a new three-part case structure but it is important to start here with the engine. This is an automatic time-only watch with date and power reserve indicator; a full wind feeds calibre BR-CAL.323 with energy for more than 70 hours, approximately. What you cannot see is that this movement is COSC-certified and enables Bell & Ross to offer a five-year warranty, and now the combination of details (and perhaps phrasing) might be speaking to you.
So, while it looks very much like a line extension for the BR-05, it is actually designed quite literally to appeal to collectors who have always wanted a manufacture movement in Bell & Ross’ core collection. Brand founders Carlos Rosillo and Bruno Bellamich confirmed to us twice — first obliquely at a press conference in KL, Malaysia, and then directly when we spoke with them the next day. In fact, Rosillo talked specifically about offering a Bell & Ross watch for enthusiasts who did not want anything powered by an ETA or Selita standard calibre. Instead, what we have here with the BR-X5 is a made-to-order calibre from none other than Kenissi.
On one level, this is unsurprising given the relationship Chanel has with both Kenissi (it owns a stake in the specialist firm) and Bell & Ross, where the luxury bastion had an important role in the founding of the watchmaking brand. To address a popular theory, the founders of Bell & Ross noted clearly that they wanted a specially made calibre so Kenissi did not just use some old stock they had, say from the discounted Tudor North Flag.
About the case and variants, there are three different options, with up to five versions (depending on how one defines this, according to Rosillo), with the ice blue dial variant in steel being particularly fetching. On the other hand, the orange and black version in forged carbon, titanium and steel showcases the new multipart case structure to best effect. As you might expect, this is the most expensive version of the BR-X5, as compared with the BR-05. It is a somewhat conservative jump, things considered. All versions are water-resistant to 100m. The versions with rubber straps are S$9,700, while the bracelet options are S$10,500. The final orange piece is S$16,700.
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