Bell and Ross BR 03-94 BLACKTRACKOctober 30, 2023
Bell & Ross, founded by Bruno Belamich and Carlos Rosillo in 1992, emerged from a university project introducing a compelling range of aviation and military-inspired timepieces. The iconic BR 01 Instrument, a substantial 46mm x 46mm model launched in 2005, not only brought them fame but also significantly influenced the watch design scene and laid the groundwork for the subsequent BR series. In 2006, the brand launched the BR 03 collection, featuring a more compact 42mm square case and incorporating the BR 03-94 chronograph line. Renowned for its functional design, the BR 03-94 Chrono prioritised readability, boasting large luminous elements and easily legible dials, even with a busy chronograph layout. The latest to emerge from the ‘garages’ of Bell & Ross is the BR 03-94 Blacktrack, jointly crafted with a custom motorcycle to match. With Bell & Ross born in the air, the recent addition, the BR 03-94 Blacktrack, draws inspiration from the thrilling world of motorcycles. Recall the successful 2011 collaboration with Shaw Harley-Davidson, resulting in the Nascafé Racer Bell & Ross motorcycle featuring a special BR 01 Carbon watch in the central console. In 2014, the B-Rocket concept bike, inspired by early USA jet planes, led to the creation of the BR 03 B-Rocket. Collaborating with award-winning designer Sacha Lakic, known for his diverse projects in automotive and industrial design, including Blacktrack motorcycles (the brand he started in 2016), the BR 03-94 Blacktrack is a perfect match for the Blacktrack BT-06 motorcycle, jointly crafted by Lakic and Bell & Ross designers. Infused with Bell & Ross’s avant-garde design, the BR 03-94 Blacktrack’s 42mm x 42mm matte black ceramic case with faceted angles and an octagonal bezel perfectly complements the stealth-like appearance of the BT-06 motorcycle. The iconic screws at each corner, a signature BR design element, serve a functional purpose, enhancing the chronograph’s sturdiness. The predominantly black and grey dial of the BR 03-94 Blacktrack resembles a motorcycle dashboard, housing the 30-minute chronograph counter at 9 o’clock and the small seconds at 3 o’clock. The tip of the chronograph central hand and the hand of the 30-minute totaliser are coloured red, as is the date seen through the small aperture at 6 o’clock on the black background so that it does not destroy the overall grey and black appearance of the watch. Unique sub-dials echo the form of motorcycle handlebar dials; also note meticulous detailing like the superposition of the chronograph second hand forming the “B” for Blacktrack. Super-LumiNova treatment diverges from the standard Bell & Ross style, applied nuancedly on indices and hands. The watch, exhibiting a bold design language, can be integrated into the BT-06 motorcycle console. Powered by the automatic BR-CAL.301 movement (ETA 2894-2 base), the BR 03-94 Blacktrack seamlessly blends form and function, capturing the spirit of adventure. The black calfskin strap, with a red edge and a steel pin buckle in a black PVD finish, completes the motorcycle-inspired aesthetic.