Created in 2009, the BR 01 Airborne model paid tribute to the extraordinary saga of military paratroopers, especially the US Airborne divisions that played such a distinguished role in the Second World War.Rubbing shoulders with danger on a daily basis, the young soldiers had adopted the skull and crossbones as a symbol of their courage to better defy death and intimidate their enemies. The skull and crossbones acted as a talisman during their missions and a continual reminder of how vulnerable they were to danger. In 2011, Bell&Ross is offering two new limited edition models of this talisman watch – the BR 01 Airborne II and the BR 01 Tourbillon Airborne.
The new BR 01 Airborne and BR 01 Tourbillon Airborne are both distinguished by their finishes, but are also consistent with the Airborne’s military symbol. .They share the same inspiration, shape and expression:
– The watch’s bezel and screws delineate a skull with crossbones that is perfectly integrated into the square shape of the brand’s iconic case.
– The single-color «phantom black» dial conjures up the symbolic color of death and sports the face of a seemingly-defiant skull and crossbones.
– The dagger – or sword-shaped hands, depending on the model, further evoke designs borrowed from military art.
The BR 01 Airborne II and BR 01 Tourbillon Airborne emphasize more than ever the talisman spirit of the original model and its symbolic function to the great delight of collectors.
BR 01 Airborne II Marking Time
The BR 01 Airborne sports an aged steel case, giving the original model the character and appearance of a watch which has acquired a patina over time. This «rifle barrel» finish is achieved by repeated random rubbings. This technique, which in no way alters the material, makes each piece unique.
The crystal, marked with a «jaw» index transferred onto the underside, and the brown leather strap, tanned like old leather with tone-on-tone stitching, gives this watch its inimitable style.
BR 01 Tourbillon Airborne Fine watchmaking and military symbolism
The BR 01 Tourbillon Airborne is an outstanding time instrument, a combination of military symbolism and an exclusive fine watchmaking movement.
It incorporates four additional watchmaking complications that blend perfectly into the skull and crossbones dial: a tourbillon, a precision indicator, a regulator and a power reserve indicator.
Clearly visible in its carriage positioned at 6 o’clock on the main timepiece, the tourbillon is the most noble of watchmaking complications. It compensates for measuring differences caused by Earth’s gravity when wrist movements rotate or accelerate, thereby improving the running precision of the watch.
The sophistication of this mechanism is truly a technical innovation that has called upon all the skills of in-house engineers and the cream of Swiss master watchmakers.
– The model has a 3D skull and crossbones dial that counts the hours, defying time further. The precision of its sophisticated structure is only possible thanks to today’s technological tools.
– The DLC-finish titanium case in its «phantom black» tone-on-tone finish is strong and lightweight while at the same time discreet.
– The black shagreen strap upholds the watchmaking qualities of this exceptional piece.
Bell&Ross is going beyond military symbolism with this new, exclusive model. Its sophistication recalls man’s vanity as portrayed in the world of art: works that remind men of the fragility of life and their humility when facing death.
BR 01 Airborne II –
Movement – Self-winding mechanical – ETA 2892.
Functions – Hours and minutes.
Case – 46 mm diameter. Stainless steel, black PVD finish. Screw-in crown.
2D dial – Photoluminescent black.
Crystal – Anti-reflective sapphire.
Water resistance – 100 meters.
Straps – Leather and heavy-duty canvas.
Limited Edition of 999 pieces.
BR 01 Tourbillon Airborne –
Movement – Mechanical with manual winding. Carbon fiber mainplates and bridges. Tourbillon carriage with black gold finish.
Complications and functions – Tourbillon. Regulator. Power reserve indicator (five days). Precision indicator.
Case – 46 mm diameter. DLC-finish titanium. Titanium screw-in crown. Sapphire caseback.
3D dial – Photoluminescent black with mesh-like design.
Crystal – Anti-reflective sapphire.
Water resistance – 50 meters.
Straps – Shagreen and rubber.
Limited Edition of 20 pieces.