Insider: Bell & Ross Grande Date WW1-96. Vintage Looking, Superb Sunburst Dial and a Big Date.

Bruno Belamich—Bell— and Carlos A. Rosillo—Ross—, two boyhood friends, formed the Bell & Ross brand in 1993. Known for its iconic aesthetics with their oversized watches and distinctive easy-to-read dials, Bell & Ross continues to position itself as a strong player in the watch collecting arena.

Their BR01 instrument series, perhaps the most popular within the brand collection, was based on airplane cockpit instruments. The BR WW1-96 is part of the Vintage series and is reminiscent of the first pilot watches of the 1920s and designed to resemble the look of a pocket watch but on a strap.

This beautiful watch comes fitted with a black alligator strap and a massive 45mm stainless steel case that wears nicely and comfortably for a watch of this size. The sunburst dial on this timepiece is just magnificent. At first glance, it appears to be jet black; however, upon closer inspection and while exposing the watch to a bright source of light—especially natural light— you get the mesmerizing effect of its sunburst finished dial in charcoal gray.

The big date aperture on this watch is very similar in size to that of one on an A. Lange & Sohne or a Glashütte Original Panomatic. The sunburst dial with its white markers, Arabic numerals and big white date provides the perfect contrast for easy time telling as well as an outstanding wrist presence. This watch is fitted with an automatic caliber with a power-reserve of up to 48 hours and an anti-glare coated sapphire crystal. 

All in all, this is a great looking watch with strong wrist presence. The only aspects we dislike are the lack of a display case back or a screw-down crown. Other than that, we can only say great things about this piece, including the fact that for a watch of this size, it's still quite light and very comfortable.

On the wrist, the watch wears true to its size and quite nice. this is a watch that will for sure trigger a nice conversation among watchlifestylers wherever you go.

Sticker Price $4,200 USD. For more info on Bell & Ross click here.