Bell & Ross BR 01 Skull Bronze Tourbillon – Unique Piece for Only Watch 2015

Bell & Ross extends its support to Only Watch Charity auction by donating a unique BR 01 Skull Bronze Tourbillon timepiece. Crafted in bronze, this one of a kind horology masterpiece is inspired from mythical stories of sea pirates.

46 mm square case in aged bronze, skull in hand-engraved solid gold, hand-wound movement with four complications (tourbillon, regulator, accuracy indicator and power reserve), distressed brown alligator leather strap: this single-piece BR 01 SKULL BRONZE TOURBILLON combines the sophistication of an exceptional mechanical movement, the timeless beauty of a case that seems to have materialised from the past, and the provocative, symbolic resonance of the skull.

Seemingly protected by the skull at the centre of the watch, the tourbillon reveals its revolving cage in pink gold at the bottom of the dial. Considered the most noble of horological complications, its rotation compensates for measurement discrepancies caused by gravity, thereby improving the accuracy of the mechanism.

A genuine technical feat, the production and integration of this tourbillon movement in an equally idiosyncratic case, required the combined skill of the brand’s engineers and the finest Swiss master watchmakers. In tribute to their expertise, a transparent sapphire crystal aperture in the back reveals the main plates, jewels and gears.

The most fearsome fighters have historically flaunted their bravery by displaying the skull symbol, both to intimidate their opponents and to ward off ill fortune. Today, it still figures on military equipment, such as uniforms, emblems and aeroplanes. The famous “Jolly Roger” is a decorative element that is used as a talisman or a rebel symbol.

Faithful to this spirit, the BR 01 SKULL BRONZE boldly displays the skull and crossbones, formed by the bezel and the screws, which resemble the pirate flags of the past. In addition, the hands on its relief honeycomb dial reveal other traditional motifs from the military world: the sword and the dagger.

To give the new BR 01 SKULL BRONZE TOURBILLON a unique look, Bell & Ross designed its case using bronze with a microblasted finish. In perfect compliance with watchmaking quality standards, this alloy of copper (92%) and tin (8%) sports a very distinctive colour. Initially presenting a shade that suggests tones of pink or red gold, bronze acquires a patina over time, which gives it an incomparable ancient look.

This aged appearance is the result of bronze naturally adapting to its environment (temperature, humidity, friction, etc.). Without impacting the solidity and longevity of the material, this patina, which varies depending on the climate and the season, gives the BR 01 SKULL BRONZE TOURBILLON a particular colouring that makes each watch an absolutely unique piece.

While bronze has resolutely survived many millennia, Bell & Ross brings it into the modern age by combining it with grade 5 titanium, which gives the back of the case hypoallergenic properties and extreme lightness, making it very comfortable to wear. BR 01 SKULL BRONZE TOURBILLON: this unique complication, which brings a metal from prehistory into the modern age in a Steampunk style, will be offered by Bell & Ross as part of the Only Watch auction.

Evoking the treasure chests of legend, the watch, to be auctioned in aid of the Association Monégasque contre les Myopathies (AMM) [Monaco Association against Muscular Dystrophy], will be presented in a box made from precious wood. In the centre of the lid, a glass dome will allow admirers to gaze into the heart of the legend and marvel at this unique watch.

The 6th edition of this biannual charity auction of unique timepieces, in aid of research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, will be held in Geneva in November 2015. The collection will be unveiled in Monaco for the Monaco Yacht Show, which runs from 23rd to 26th September 2015, and will then be exhibited in Europe, the USA and Asia.

Technical details

Hand-wound mechanical with BR-CAL.281 flying tourbillon

Hours and minutes
Tourbillon rotating with the seconds
Power reserve indicator (5 days)
Accuracy indicator (mainspring torque indicator to determine the movement’s optimal operating range)

46 mm
Bronze CuSn8
Screw-down crown
Titanium case-back with transparent sapphire crystal
Crystal: anti-reflective sapphire. Gilt logo applied using metallisation.
Water-resistance: 30 m

3D with honeycomb structure, “wet-look” black (copper base with black projection)
Skull in 18-carat hand-engraved solid gold
Gold tourbillon cage
Gilt hands

Hand-distressed brown alligator leather
Buckle: pin. Titanium PVD-coated steel

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