Bell & Ross has created both an emblematic and functional watch that meets the specific requirements of patrouille de France pilots: the BR 03-94 PATROUILLE DE FRANCE.
The year 2021 marks a new milestone for Bell & Ross as the reference brand in Aviation watches was chosen by the armée de l’Air et de l’Espace (French Air and Space Force) to become the official watchmaking partner of the patrouille de France. Bell & Ross worked closely with the pilots and designed a chronograph which is perfectly adapted to their operational needs.
Patrouille de France is the French Air and Space Force’s official aerobatic display team, created in 1953. Its mission is to represent the French Air and Space force abroad, acting as an ambassador for French aviation and for France itself. It is one of the most precise and aesthetic acrobatic flying teams in the world.
Comprising 9 pilots and 35 engineers, the patrouille de France manages an annual agenda with a military precision approach. Its time is split between winter, which is dedicated to training, and summer which is spent demonstrating at air shows. It traditionally opens the Bastille Day parade in Paris, with nine Alpha Jets.
Produced in 500 pieces, the BR 03-94 PATROUILLE DE FRANCE limited-edition is made available to the public. The dial proudly and elegantly bears the patrouille de France insignia. The circle represents the cohesion of the operational unit and its ability to tackle every aspect of a situation.
The gold of the emblem’s background is a color widely used in military insignia. The nine jet silhouettes evoke nine Fouga Magister (former patrouille de France’s aircraft before the Alpha jet) and represent their signature aerial display formation also known as the “Concorde”.
The tricolor banner which wraps the logo symbolizes the French colored smoke and acrobatic evolutions of the flying team, “ambassador” of the French Air and Space Force. The patrouille de France logo is printed at the bottom of the dial and also engraved on the case back.
The case for the new BR 03 PATROUILLE DE FRANCE is made of high-tech ceramic. This material holds a privileged position in the aerospace sector, with uses including the manufacture of parts subject to high temperatures, exposure to acids, corrosion, and erosion.
It is also found in the design of heat shields and noses for rockets. Almost as tough as a diamond, ceramic is extremely hardwearing and has an unchanging color as it is dyed in the mass. It is also lighter than steel, hypoallergenic and has thermal control properties, which increase the wearer’s comfort.
The BR 03-94 PATROUILLE DE FRANCE houses a mechanical chronograph movement with automatic winding which offers tried-and-tested reliability. Available to the public, an identical limited to 100 pieces quartz edition version of this watch will outfit the patrouille de France flying team.
As an essential tool in aerial navigation for measuring short time periods, the chronograph is the main complication of aviation. It is equipped with a bi-directional bezel with a 60-minute scale to mark intervals in time.
Thought for an optimal readability of the pilot while flying, the chronograph seconds hand features in the centre of the dial which is the most important time measurement tool.
Precision and legibility are the two key criteria for the pilots. The colors used on the dial provide a visual contrast to offer optimal readability.
To enhance its legibility, the hands used for the chronograph functions are distinguished by red tips. In aviation, this is the one of the colors of essential features and test flights, known for its frank, clear and dynamic properties. The dark blue dial echoes the color of the sky as well as the patrol’s color identity.
The numerals, indexes and hands are white and photo-luminescent to ensure perfect visibility both day and night. Designed for a professional use, the insignia was placed on the dial, so it does not disturb the readability. This logo also features on their dashboards’ plane.
The BR 03-94 PATROUILLE DE FRANCE is equipped with a black natural rubber strap.
Model: BR 03-94 Patrouille De France Limited edition
Calibre BR-CAL.301 automatic mechanical movement
Hours, minutes, small seconds at 3 o’clock and date
Chronograph: 30-minute counter at 9 o’clock, central chronograph seconds
Tachymeter scale on the flange
Matt black ceramic case
42 mm in width
Crystal: sapphire with anti-reflective coating
Bi-directional rotating black ceramic bezel with 60-second scale
Water-resistance: 100 metres
Blue dial with Patrouille de France logo at 6 o’clock
Numerals and indices painted in Super-LumiNova®
Metal skeletonised SuperLumiNova®-filled hour and minute hands
Black rubber and ultra-resilient black synthetic fabric
Pin buckle in steel with black PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) finish