Bell & Ross is one of those extremely serious brands but that know how to have fun. Producing watches for aviation, marine and racing that fulfil strict/rigorous requirements, the French brand covers a large range of tool watches. At the same time, Bell & Ross creates time measuring objects that laugh (even in the face of death). Because what is life without a bit of fun. This year, the brand launched one of these fun/tool watches, the Bell & Ross BR 03-93 GMT – a super cute watch with a serious and useful complication.
GMT is not a new complication in the B&R offering. The brand’s first GMT, the BR 03‑51 GMT TITANIUM was launched 14 years, in 2007. During the years, the B&R GMT watches were manufactured in high-tech materials like titanium or carbon. Currently, there are six watches featuring GMT: today’s reviewed piece, the previous model of the BR 03-92 GMT and four BR V2-93 (Vintage collection in round shape).
Let’s start with a hands-on video:
As you can see, the Bell & Ross BR 03-93 GMT is a colourful, even joyful watch. The red & black accents are pleasantly combined with the contrasting design, offering good legibility.
Bell & Ross BR 03-93 GMT
One cannot simply mistake this watch. This BR 03-93 GMT bears the distinct traits with which Bell & Ross stands out: the square case with front screws, round bezel and the instrument style dial.
The square steel case
The square case manufactured in 42mm is familiar. The brushed caseband is covered with a brushed top that features a polished chamfer that accentuates the watch’s shape.
The very short matt brushed lugs contribute to comfortable wear. Even if the watch seems a bit massive, it is actually a pleasant wrist presence. On the right side, we can observe the traditional Bell & Ross crown. With an excellent grip, the crown offers a facile winding and setting.
The first position use one direction for the date change and the other for the GMT function. The second position is dedicated to time setting. As expected, the rest position can be used for winding (although, a daily wear will make manual winding unnecessary).
The watch can be fitted either with a calfskin leather strap having the brushed Bell & Ross pin buckle or with the synthetic fabric strap. Both straps are well built and comfortable.
Bell & Ross BR 03-93 GMT is covered with a matt caseback. The beveling was mirror polished, continuing the top theme of contrasting surfaces.
Pilots, travellers and enthusiasts, this dial is for you
A second time zone is a useful complication. Travelling or not, having the time of a second location at a glimpse is great. Having friends all over the world and having a decent amount of travelling, I have learned to appreciate the GMT more than having initially thought.
During the times I have worked for Deployant, I have used a lot this complication due to my constant communication with the team. Although a frequent traveller or GMT-function user will learn quite quickly to mentally calculate the second time zones, having the information at a turn of the wrist proves useful.
Bell & Ross BR 03-93 GMT uses for GMT a big arrow hands with a red varnished tip filled with SuperLuminova. The hand uses a 24-hours register printed on the anodised aluminium ring. The day/night indication for this function is represented by the red area in the bezel (from 6 to 18 o’clock) and the night by the black other half (from 18 to 6 o’clock). The bezel is bidirectional, so the second time zone can be easily set.
As new usual and known by the collectors and enthusiasts, the date is displayed by a round aperture situated between 4 and 5 o’clock. The white on black style is well visible without disturbing the view.
The time displayed is a pure Bell & Ross pilot’s watch: four volumetric brushed metal Arabic numerals and SuperLuminova filled hour indexes. The faceted sword hands are luminescent filled as well. The legibility is amazing in any light condition.
While in the low light, the SuperLuminova will create a glowing show, during the daylight and especially in bright sun, the brushed numerals will showcase the interesting vertical brushing.
Robust, reliable – Calibre 303
Bell & Ross BR 03-93 GMT is powered by the BR-CAL.303. This movement is the brand’s version of ETA 2893-2 (or similar Sellita equivalent). While not visible under the closed caseback, the movement bears the brand’s personalisation.
The automatic movement offers 42 hours of power reserve with a 4Hz oscillator. This movement, like all the ones from the family, proved its robustness in time, having also the advantage of easy serviceability.
Regardless of how serious of a tool watch is, I find the Bell & Ross BR 03-94 GMT as a fun piece with ambitions. These are justified by the form and function. Still a super cute watch.
The watch made me such a good impression, that I had no issues wearing it even in more formal attire since I am not the only one wowed by its look.
Even if the dimensions are on the large size, even Diana find it very agreeable, being attracted by the lovely colour shades and combination.
Bell & Ross managed again to create a tool watch with a joyful side. The proverbial joie de vivre of the French people can found unusual implementations. The Bell & Ross BR 03-93 GMT is a powerful tool watch that knows to make the best of life.
Bell & Ross BR 03-93 GMT Technical Specifications and Price
- hours, minutes, central seconds, second 24-hour time zone date.
- Quick setting of the GMT hand, independently of the hour hand.
- calibre BR-CAL.303.
- Automatic mechanical.
- 42 mm in width.
- Satin-finished and polished steel.
- Bi-directional rotating bezel with 24-hour scale and black and red two-colour anodised aluminium ring.
- Water-resistance: 100 metres.
- Crystal: sapphire with anti-reflective coating.
- Indices coated in Super-LumiNova®.
- Metal skeletonised Super-LumiNova®-filled hour and minute hands and 24-hour hand.
- black coloured calfskin leather and ultra-resilient black synthetic fabric.
- Satin-finished and polished steel.
- 3,800 €