Bell & Ross dedicates limited-edition BR 03 and 05 to its respective partners, namely Patrouille de France, in celebration of the French aerobatics team’s 70th anniversary, and sports and racing car manufacturer Alpine, featuring the livery of its motorsport outfit.
BR 03-92 PATROUILLE DE FRANCE 70th ANNIVERSARY
Founded in 1953, the Patrouille de France has built its reputation on the excellence of its pilots chosen from among the best fighter pilots, and the panache of its developments, appreciated at all latitudes. A symbol of the performance of French armed forces, the Patrouille de France is also an ambassador of French style throughout the world – each flight is a feat, both on a purely technical level and in its artistic dimension. The same applies, of course, for Bell & Ross, which is dedicating a limited edition of its BR 03 instrument watch to this exceptional 70th anniversary.
The Patrouille de France and Bell & Ross are two institutions which now have a common history. The link is much stronger than a simple association of two names. Just as aerobatics presupposes a perfect symbiosis between the team members, since 2021, the two trajectories have intersected and sometimes even merge. Over time, a real partnership has been forged between these two entities, each of which is a benchmark in their area of expertise, thanks to shared values.
“Since 2021, the French Air and Space Force and Bell & Ross have forged a partnership of trust built around the Patrouille de France brand and strong common values. Self-transcendence, constant innovation, rigour, precision and a spirit of cohesion bring life to the teams of the ‘Grande Dame’ and those of Bell & Ross on a daily basis. And what’s more, it is the demand for excellence and the desire to raise the prestige of French wings to the highest level that brings us together and gives meaning to our association.”
– Colonel Malard, director of SIRPA Air and Space
The Patrouille de France has marked minds and hearts for seven decades thanks to its highly skilled pilots, but also its exceptional aircraft. In the sky, their slender lines and their agility are also part of the beauty of the show. From the Thunderjet, which entered into service in 1953, to the Alphajet, in service since 1981, not forgetting the Ouragan, Mystère IV and the mythical Fouga Magister, these aircraft are part of the legend. To celebrate them, they are represented on the back of the ceramic case of the BR 03-92 PAF.
For the tribute to be fitting, a few challenges had to be overcome. “The silhouettes of the five aircraft that have flown since the creation of the Patrouille de France in 1953 are engraved on the back of the watch. It was somewhat complicated for the artistic department to ensure that the five aircraft ‘fit’ on the case-back,” specified Bruno Belamich, creative director and co-founder of Bell & Ross.
The human dimension is essential in any aerial performance. In an aircraft, flight instruments are designed to serve the pilot. Guided by this philosophy, Bell & Ross has always been keen to develop its professional timepieces in direct contact with their users. A guideline that influences the technical characteristics and adds a real meaningful touch to the watches.
“Pilots are always consulted for the creation of watches: the primary goal of the House is to meet the needs of these men and provide them with a tool to serve their mission. For example, the BR 03 TYPE A Patrouille de France was created at the request of the pilots; the watch is equipped with a quartz movement providing a dual analogue and digital display,” recalled Bruno Belamich. The BR 03-92 PAF is no exception: inspired by pilots, it was designed with pilots.
As proof that the BR 03-92 PAF is also a professional instrument, it adopts the fuselage of the BR 03, an ultra-light square-shaped case (42 x 42mm) in high-tech ceramic, treated with a black coating accentuating the contrasts. Both technical and contemporary, water-resistant to 100 metres, it protects the automatic mechanical movement calibre, BR-CAL 302, which indicates the hour, minute, second and date.
For the dial of this exclusive anniversary limited edition of 999 pieces, Bell & Ross has chosen a particularly luminous shade of blue, evoking the flight suits of the pilots of the Patrouille de France. The insignia of this elite display team and the specific logo of its 70th anniversary appear at the heart of this dial subtly circled in the colours of the French flag. The matching strap, combining blue Alcantara and ultra-resistant black synthetic material, is top-stitched in the symbolic colourway of blue, white and red.
BR 05 CHRONO A523
For the BR 05 Chrono Alpine A523, Bell & Ross harnesses the expertise of French manufacturer of racing and sports cars, Alpine. “What brings the two entities together is the same passion for precision mechanics and high performance. Through this prestigious partnership, Bell & Ross is pursuing its quest for excellence and innovation,” says Carlos Rosillo, chairman and co-founder of Bell & Ross.
David Gendry, Alpine’s vice-president of sponsorships, partnerships and communications, adds, “When it comes to our partnership with Bell & Ross, our philosophy is one of style and performance.”
“We work in a high-pressure environment where precision and performance are essential to deliver results. Wearing a Bell & Ross watch is not only a constant reminder of our goals, but also an integral part of how we achieve them: through precision, punctuality and reliability.”
Through the strategic partnership, the BR 05 Chrono A523 meets the needs of professional drivers from style to functionality – and, in the words of Bruno Belamich, the Cofounder of Bell & Ross, is truly “an ally”. Every detail of this timepiece is thoughtfully curated, starting with the distinguished presence of the French flag, complemented by the Alpine’s signature blue hues and accentuated by its logo, acting as a counterweight to the chronograph hand. The finely graduated black dial, adorned with two counters, emphasises impeccable readability and unwavering functionality through rain and shine.
Belamich says, “For the first time, Bell & Ross presents a BR 05 in the colours of F1 and our partner team Alpine, complementing our existing models. The choice of chrono movement meets the needs of Team Alpine, who are of course measuring speed and sports performance. Bell & Ross conveys the Alpine identity in each of its designs through the colour code and logo.”
The chronograph version of the new contemporary urban collection from Bell & Ross, in all its Alpine boldness, reaffirms its dual nature: sporty and chic. The design retains its elegant proportions, with a 42 mm-wide case that continues to square the circle. Refined finishes alternate polished and satin-finished surfaces, creating a subtle diffusion of light. The watch can be worn with a steel bracelet with flexible, comfortable links, or the black leather strap. And like the BR 05 GMT Sky Blue, the BR 05 Chrono A523 is 100-metre water resistant.
Both partners retain an artisanal approach: “Like the Alpine racing cars, Bell & Ross timepieces are still largely assembled by hand,” emphasises Rosillo. For discerning connoisseurs, this timepiece is available in a limited edition of 500 pieces.