For one day, myself and 22 additional far-more-qualified watch fans closely analyzed 71 watches in 14 groups, constituting the full world of watchmaking in the $3,100 non-complication Tudor Black Bay into a woman’s tourbillion made by Bovet that retails for more than200,000. Of all the watches that I saw, one that really stood out to me was that the Bell & Ross BR126 Sport Heritage Chronograph. An entry in the Sport Watch class, The Sport Heritage Chronograph didn’t take home an award at the ceremony, but it left a lasting impression on me for carrying its own against the rest of the watches at the running.Here’s one thing I’ve discovered in my years as both an artist and also a watch collector: great design costs the exact same to make as bad layout. It just takes some heart and soul to make it really mean something. Better materials cost more, sure, but a pad printer will put whatever style correspondence on a dial that you let it. When an economical (though dependable) Swiss ETA movement is involved, as is true with this BR126, many watch companies begin from a stage of resignation and do not even attempt to do something genuinely rewarding. Bell & Ross looked past the price point about the Sport Heritage and really broke the fantastic design barrier on watches at this level. We’ve seen brands like Omega and Panerai experimentation with an artificial patina effect, but the BR126 nails the “outdated luminous” look on its own hour markers and hands. If you’ve ever spent time staring at a classic Sea-Dweller or Submariner, you’ll appreciate how persuasive this seems. And in addition to adding some historical realism, it also sets the tone for the remainder of the watch concerning its color palate: subdued, timeless, and trendy.
An interesting combination by Bell & Ross and Shaw Harley-Davidson. Shaw Harley-Davidson is the current world champion in modified Harley motorcycles and together with Bell & Ross, they present the one-off custom Nascafe Racer.
As my motorcycle knowledge is very limited (understatement), I hereby copy an excerpt of the Bell & Ross press release:
The methods used by Bell & Ross master watchmakers when developing and assembling their timepieces was employed by the Shaw Harley-Davidson master technicians when building the project bike, which is based on the Harley-Davidson® FXSTB Softail® Night Train, one of the more radical Softails – long, low and naked and named by Willie G. Davidson.
The motorcycle was totally stripped down to the last nut and bolt in the Speed & Custom workshop of the East Sussex dealership, and every detail was taken into account on the rebuild.
Using the BR 01 Carbon – the iconic time instrument produced by Bell & Ross – the Shaw Speed and Custom team mounted the timepiece in a handcrafted center console using a machined piece of aluminum. The watch mounting positioned the timepiece in the ideal place for its function as a professional tool for the rider. A combination of anodized blue, carbon and stealth-like matte black custom paint was used on the bike to reflect the design of the timepiece.
“We wanted to mirror the Bell & Ross timepiece wherever we could on the motorcycle to ensure that the essence of the finished product was never compromised by superfluous design or extraneous items,” said Steve Willis, Shaw Harley-Davidson Sales Director and Head of the Speed & Custom design wing of the dealership.
“We were immediately excited by this project,” explains Bruno Belamich, Designer and Co-founder of Bell & Ross. “We identify with the values portrayed by Harley-Davidson, values that we share such as the search for the extreme, adventure and precision.”
Bell & Ross hopes that this partnership will allow Shaw Harley-Davidson to qualify for and defend their world title in Sturgis, South Dakota in August 2011.