A month ago, Bell & Ross released a new watch in the LUM series – the Bell & Ross VINTAGE BR V2-94 FULL LUM. The traditional lines and features of the VINTAGE series have now the “woah”-factor of the full luminescent dial.
For those unfamiliar with the brand, the VINTAGE series of Bell & Ross comes in 3 sizes: BR V1 is the smallest with 38.5mm models, the BR V2 is the medium-sized 41mm version while the BR V3 is the largest variant with a case measuring 43mm diameter. Furthermore, the BR V2 collection is split into sub-family: 92 for the classic three hands time and date, 93 is the adding GMT function to the list while 94 is the chronograph version of the line (these numbers also represent the functions in the other brand’s families). Deconstructing the name, Bell & Ross VINTAGE BR V2-94 FULL LUM is a VINTAGE series in 41mm with chronograph and a full luminescent dial.
Bell & Ross VINTAGE BR V2-94 FULL LUM
Bell & Ross continues its quest to the greatest legibility ever with a new FULL LUM model, this time in the VINTAGE series. The VINTAGE BR V2-94 FULL LUM is the first and only one in this collection featuring the LUM concept. It means that fans of the VINTAGE series can fully enjoy a classic instrument watch particularised by this spectacular development.
Yes, Bell & Ross has a classic, vintage-looking round case
Bell & Ross VINTAGE BR V2-94 FULL LUM comes with a traditional round shaped 41mm steel case. Most of us know the French brand for its signature square case, but Bell & Ross has a long history of round shaped instruments.
The case comes with a polished case band while the front of the lugs and the crown protection feature a subtle brush. A raised and polished bezel holds a black varnished aluminium 60 minutes register and a vintage-inspired domed crystal.
The crown and the pushers are the crewed-in types. The crown features the signature “&” embossed logo. The pushers are easy to unscrew/screw but using the chronograph requires a firm push (more details in the movement paragraph of the article).
The rubber strap is fitted with a Bell & Ross “BR” brushed steel pin buckle. A delicate polished line follows the contour of the buckle. The pin fits perfectly in the milled buckle and the entire set offers a good safe and comfortable wrist position.
A restrained pastel dial during the day, green and blue fire during the night
What I love about the Bell & Ross VINTAGE BR V2-94 FULL LUM is its dial duality. With excellent legibility, the FULL LUM dial features a dual personality. A rather monotone pastel day view transforms in the dark into a light show. I found particularly attractive the separation of the chronographic function from the time display by using another shade of SuperLuminova. The chronograph is using a SuperLuminova blue tipped central hand and a blue 30-minutes counter. The time display uses a green background with green hands and hour markers. Please note that the metal bezel features no luminescent whatsoever.
The contrasting black varnish increases the legibility during both day and night. The hour markers with 12 and 6 as numerals and the rest as baton indexes received an extra layer of SuperLuminova that appear slightly yellow during the day. Under full sun, the left chronograph sub-dial tends to show its particular blueish note.
The VINTAGE BR V2-94 FULL LUM was fitted with black lacquered hands: a generous SuperLuminova filled and pilot-inspired sword hour hand, a batton minute’s hand and thin baton hands. The chronograph’s central seconds’ hand reveal its aviation inspiration with a nice counterbalance shaped like a stylised jet fighter. The tip of the hand was well tipped in blue SuperLuminova.
Between 4 and 5 o’clock, the round aperture reveals the date. While the colour scheme is well chosen to follow the dial’s light pastel note, it is not offering luminescent subtract. But, with a bit of luck, the date will still be visible due to the surrounding luminescent.
While the dial might appear busy at a first glance due to the black accents, the carefully studied layout and selection of colours, for both day and night view, offers legibility hard to beat. Even the circular pattern on the subdials is nicely visible in any light condition.
Comparison between full lighted dial above and the low light view bellow.
Robust ’cause ETA demonstrated so…
Bell & Ross VINTAGE BR V2-94 FULL LUM is powered by the Calibre BR-CAL.301. In fact, this is a Bell & Ross decorated and personalised ETA 2894-2, a well established and proven by time movement (2892 with modular chrono on top). Calibre BR-CAL.301 inherits the specifications: 4Hz with 48 hours power reserve, 37 jewels and with a lever/cam design for chrono.
The Bell & Ross VINTAGE BR V2-94 FULL LUM reveals its movement through a screwd backplate with a crystal window. The finishes are industrially executed but pleasant to see. Some blue screws contrast with the yellowish gears and silvery bridges and baseplate. The 12 o’clock positions held the balance wheel and underneath we can see the ETA mark-ups and some other internal references stamped. The sapphire crystal bears a white print with the “&”-logo and the “LIMITED EDITION” and pice number in the xxx/250 format.
Due to the modular construction of the chronograph on the top of a workhorse, the module lacks the finesse in the actuation of full a column wheel counterpart. The actuation is offering good haptic feedback but requires an increased actuation force.
Daring other neutral, manly or feminine?
Due to its design and dimensions, the Bell & Ross VINTAGE BR V2-94 FULL LUM ticks a lot of checkboxes for both girls and boys. The size does not impose issues, regardless of the wrist size.
The light pastel palette makes it attractive as a summer piece, while the strong luminescent dial makes it excellent as a tool watch.
The legibility is its strong point, but its neutral design makes it not only a serious tool watch but also a fun summer piece. From sports to casual, this watch looks good in any relaxed attire but will “light up” by need in the tool watch mode.
Bell & Ross VINTAGE BR V2-94 FULL LUM is an exceptional example of good taste. It is a perfect example that a tool watch can be cute and enjoyable while performing his tasks with brio.
Bell & Ross VINTAGE BR V2-94 FULL LUM Technical Specifications and Price
- hours, minutes, small seconds at 3 o’clock and date.
- Chronograph: 30-minute counter at 9 o’clock, central chronograph seconds.
- Calibre BR-CAL.301.
- Automatic mechanical.
- 41 mm in diameter.
- Satin-finished and polished steel.
- Fixed bezel with anodised black aluminium ring and 60-minute scale.
- Screw-down crown and pushers. Steel and sapphire case-back.
- Crystal: ultra-domed sapphire with anti-reflective coating.
- Water-resistance: 100 metres.
- luminescent green painted in Super-LumiNova®.
- Numerals and indices coated in Super-LumiNova®.
- Metal skeletonised Super-LumiNova®-filled hour, minute and seconds hands.
- Satin-finished and polished steel.
4,700 € / USD 5100 / SGD 7000