Swiss watch brand Bell & Ross, renowned for its military and aviation watches, unveils Vintage WW1 Chronographe Monopoussoir, the latest exclusive model from the Military history’s ultimate master watchmaker.
In 2011, the brand successfully introduced the re edition of the timepieces worn during the First World War: the PW1 (Pocket Watch 1) and its wristwatch version, the Vintage WW1 (Wrist Watch 1. Now, Bell & Ross is again demonstrating its expertise, with the creation of an exclusive model illustrating the unique parallel between the history of aviation and that of watch-making. The newly introduced Vintage WW1 Chronographe Monopoussoir(Monopusher Chronograph) model is a worthy successor to the first wristwatches used by pilots in the 1920s.
During the 1920s, in the early days of military aviation, chronographs addressed aviators’ need to calculate short time periods. They were not simply wristwatches; they were an instrument for achieving their mission. The device very accurately reinterprets the authenticity of period aviation chronographs, which originally only had one button. The epitome of Bell & Ross’s watch-making expertise, the WW1 Chronographe Monopoussoir is a complication that is as practical as it is functional. This type of chronograph facilitates the measurement of short periods of time by pressing a single button. Perfectly incorporated into the crown, the single button operates all the chronograph’s commands: start, stop and reset, for safer and faster use.
In order to satisfy the requirements for legibility, Bell & Ross has modified the mechanical design by increasing the counters’ centre distance. Since these are perfectly aligned with the button, they provide an intuitive and immediate reading. A mirror image of the single button chronograph of 1920s aviators, the Vintage WW1 Chronographe Monopoussoir emphasises legibility and functionality.
The WW1 Chronographe Monoupoussoir is available in two typical versions combined with period functionality.
Bell & Ross WW1 Chronographe Monopoussoir Héritage
The Heritage version of the Chronographe Monopoussoir refers to the history of aviation while using the most modern techniques to recreate the effects of passing time. Its refined aesthetics capture the eye. Its dial, brown with a distressed look, its sand-coloured numerals, index and hands are reminiscent of the dials of old watches down to the last detail, giving an inimitable retro-chic appeal to the model as a whole.
The watch’s legibility lies in the contrast of the numerals and index against the brown dial. With its military finishes inspired by history and its natural leather strap, the Chronographe Monopoussoir Heritage has the authentic appeal of a measuring instrument of the era.
Bell & Ross Chronographe Monopoussoir Ivory Dial
With its more classical styling, the Chronographe Monopoussoir Ivory Dial is characterized by its traditional finish. The eponymous ivory dial, the snailed counters and the pear-shaped blue-steel hands give this model a period feel. The generous polished case adds the finishing touch, resembling time pieces of the past.
The contrast of the black numerals and index lend optimal legibility to the information. The WW1 Chronographe Monopoussoir Ivory Dial features a blue alligator strap which perfectly completes its timeless elegance.
These two versions, each with its own distinctive personality, share common characteristics specific to the WW1 collection:
• The Swiss manufactured movement.
• The large fob-watch type diameter, which is the inspiration for the collection.
• The simplicity of the horns, produced like wire handles soldered to the case, and the elegance of the straps hark back to the first wrist watches while being ergonomically perfect.
• The easy-to-use large grooved crown, inspired by the ones handled by pilots while wearing gloves.
• The domed glass gives the watch a vintage look. Its use of sapphire crystal distinguishes it from the original. Sapphire crystal is extremely resistant, making the timepiece remarkably durable.
• The dial, with its sober design, optimizes legibility, a particularity of all Bell & Ross watches.
The Vintage WW1 Chronographe Monopoussoir has been designed with the greatest respect for the original device: the first wristwatch. This is one of the most striking tributes paid by Bell & Ross to the history of military aviation. Without concession or compromise, the firm has produced a genuine classic, which is retro, modern as well as extremely functional.
Mechanical automatic La Joux-Perret
Hours, minutes and small second. Single-button chronograph with two counters (60 seconds and 30 minutes)
45 mm. Polished steel
Crystal: anti-reflective sapphire
Water resistance: 100 meters
Heritage model: brown, domed. Snailed counters. Numerals, index and hands covered in a sand-colored photo-luminescent coating
Ivory model: ivory, domed. White snailed counters. Blue-tinted hands
Calfskin (Heritage model); alligator (Ivory model)
Buckle: pin. Polished steel