Aviation is the primary inspiration for Bell & Ross, but at Baselworld 2014 the watchmaker hit the road. During the fair, Bell & Ross unveiled the B-Rocket, a high-speed Harley-Davidson, and the BR 01 B-Rocket and BR 03 B-Rocket watches inspired by this unique motorcycle.
According to Bruno Belamich, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Bell & Ross, the design of the watches actually began with the bike. The manufacture teamed up with a Harley-Davidson customization specialist to build a one-of-a-kind Bell & Ross motorcycle, and of course they brought their love of aviation to the process.
“For the motorcycle, we got inspiration from this mythical era of aviation of the 60’s and the US experimental aviation of the time,” Belamich said. The B-Rocket, which Belamich calls “the plane motorcycle”, was the result. As a watch designer, Belamich was inspired, saying, “I had the ideal object to translate into a watch.”
Direct offshoots of the B-Rocket, the BR 01 and BR 03 are the ultimate drivers’ watches. Both pieces feature a large minutes counter, a tachymetric scale on the outer edge of the dial, a 60-second counter, a 30-minute counter and a 12-hour counter. The chronograph is triggered by the highway push-piece. The more elaborate BR 03 features two additional complications as well: the date and a power-reserve indicator styled to look like a fuel gage.
The spirit of the motorcycle can be seen in the satin-brushed steel cases, the padded leather of the straps and the red triangle marks at 12 o’clock, which echo the triangle visible on the B-Rocket’s tachometer and turbines.
“We have two watches that are sisters, but complimentary in terms of function and size, that go perfectly for the crazy pilot that will dare to ride this plane/motorcycle,” Belamich concluded with a laugh.
Photo credit: Haute Time. Additional photos courtesy Bell & Ross.