The latest addition to the Bell & Ross Vintage Collection are these two beautiful watches under review. The Sport Heritage BR 126 features a 30-minute chronograph while the Sport Heritage BR 123 is a non-chrono with date. These two watches pay special tribute to the 1960s, a period of intense creativity and numerous innovations including the creation of Dassault's famous Mystère-Falcon 20 —the best business jet of its time.
These two fascinating timepieces not only look very vintage but also feel quite vintage as both are fitted with a perfectly executed tropic rubber strap with pin buckle that looks as if it was a new old stock strap from a previous era. For those of you concerned about the fit of the strap, this strap is very soft, malleable and comfortable. For those of you with smaller wrists, Bell & Ross offers three different sizes for a perfect fit.
Both models are fitted with black matte dials with sand-colored luminova to give the appearance of a rich 'cafe con leche' patina on the hands, markers and Arabic numerals. To round up the vintage look of these watches, the dial also features a 100 meter depth rating writing in red. These dials are flawlessly executed and a real treat to the eyes. The Sport Heritage BR 126 Chrono features running seconds at 3, 30-minute chrono-register at 9 o'clock and date aperture between 4 and 5 o'clock. The non-chrono model BR 123 only features a date aperture between 4 and 5 o'clock.
Both models are fitted with polished stainless steel cases measuring 41mm in diameter, fixed black bezels graduated to 60 minutes in increments of 10 minutes, ultra-rounded domed sapphire crystals and display case backs that allow for full view of the self-winding automatic calibres —the movement on the chronograph is slightly nicer than that on the non-chrono model. The crystals are treated with anti-reflective coating for improved visibility and the BR 126 Chrono features the traditional 'old school' pump pushers that are somewhat hard to push to activate the chronograph. Both watches are quite thick but still very comfortable.
On the wrist, the watches wear extremely comfortably and slightly larger than their actual size —more like 42mm watches. The wrist presence is spectacular and definitely a conversation starter among watchlifestylers that appreciate vintage timepieces. At first glance, one would think these watches are new old stock 'safe queens' from the early 60s with the nicest and most even 'patina'. Upon close inspection the Bell & Ross logo is the tell tale of a modern timepiece with vintage character. Regardless, these two watches are really gorgeous and our two favorite Bell & Ross watches right now. Next time you are wearing your Barbour jacket, make sure you pair it with one of these fascinating watches.
Sticker Price BR 126 $4,500 USD. BR 123 $3,100 USD. For more info on Bell & Ross click here.