Continuing with our coverage of Baselworld 2015, here we bring you our hands-on review of this new Bell & Ross Vintage WW1 Edición Limitada —Limited Edition in Spanish— limited to 99 pieces. Because time is easily forgotten when you’re enjoying yourself, Bell & Ross has chosen to equip its new Vintage WW1 Edición Limitada ref. BRWW1-GRM-PG with a movement with a 5-day power reserve with a manual wound mechanism that is armed with a double barrel. On the matte grainy tobacco brown dial, one can appreciate an exposed balance wheel at 9 o'clock and a power reserve indicator with the inscription in Spanish “Reserva de Marcha 5 días” —5-day Power Reserve. Fitted with an elegant highly polished pebble-shaped 5N 18K red gold case measuring 42 mm in diameter, the new Bell & Ross Vintage WW1 Edición Limitada exudes class and elegance, while evoking the Latin American tones that gave its inspiration.
The color scheme of the watch displays shades of brown that immediately evoke the iconic browns of Cuban cigars, in a design that skilfully combines the worlds of watchmaking and cigars. The roundness of the case and the style of the dial bring to mind the shape and color of the finest Habanos, while the red gold case serves as the perfect contrast for the captivating shade of brown of its cigar inspired dial. The subtleness of the wired lugs, and the design of the Arabic numerals —in the traditional font for Pilot's watches— covered with gold dust arouse a vintage atmosphere that is reminiscent of the traditional craftsmanship of cigars.
To make things even more interesting, the minute and seconds hands are curved at their tips following that old practice followed by the most skillful watchmakers. Additionally, the seconds hand has its tip colored bright red to add depth and contrast to the dial.
Any cigar lover knows that behind its apparent simplicity, a cigar is the result of a complex and careful process of assembly. The heart or 'filler' is made with tobacco leaves that come from different parts of the plant and it is bounded or enclosed by another leaf called 'binder'. Finally, these are covered by the 'wrapper', a large leaf that is the outermost layer of the cigar and which gives each cigar its unique color due to its long period of fermentation. Just as a 'torcedor' —skillful cigar maker— knows all the secrets to cigar making, a watchmaker knows that the smooth running of a watch relies on the craft behind its precise mechanism. The Vintage WW1 Edición Limitada has an opening in the dial that allows a view of its mechanism. The movement of the balance is also visible, whilst ensuring that the indications remain readable.
On the reverse of the watch, a transparent sapphire back reveals the beauty of the manual wound calibre BR-202 with 34 jewels and 5-day power reserve. The unobstructed view of the three-quarter main plate and the balance cock make for a beautiful treat for the eyes. Highly decorated unlike any other Bell & Ross watch we've reviewed, the beveling, the 'Côtes de Genève Rayonantes' finish and the blued screws complete the stunning appearance of the manual wound calibre powering this new watch.
Matching the elegant look and brown theme of the new Bell & Ross Vintage WW1 Edición Limitada, the watch is fitted with a dark brown alligator strap with 18K red gold pin buckle. The strap is very supple and hand stitched with a thread matching the color of the dial. The watch is water resistant to 50 meters, but who in its right mind would want to get this beautiful watch and strap all wet.
To enhance this meeting between the world of cigars and watches, Bell & Ross has chosen to present the watch in a case of Makassar ebony, which can be transformed into a humidor with a humidifier and a hygrometer. This case holds up to 50 cigars and its color palette compliments that of the Vintage WW1 Edición Limitada ref. BRWW1-GRM-PG. With this limited edition of 99 watches dedicated to cigar lovers, Bell & Ross once again demonstrates its watchmaking skills.
On the wrist, the watch wears true to its size and very comfortably. If you are a cigar lover like we are, this is a watch that will definitely feel very special when you strap it to your wrist. Furthermore, if you get to enjoy it along with one of those hard to get special edition Bell & Ross cigars like the one we have above, it will feel even better and more special.
Sticker Price $24,000 USD. For more info on Bell & Ross click here.