Ever since its introduction in 2019, the Bell & Ross BR 05 timepiece has swiftly taken center stage in the brand's strategic lineup. Over a span of just four years, the "Urban" BR 05 series has evolved into a comprehensive collection featuring four distinct models: the automatic 3-hand versions, including captivating skeleton variants, the power reserve models showcasing exclusive Kenissi movements, the GMT editions, and the chronograph edition. Notably, the chronograph model emerged a mere year after the initial trio, and has already spawned several limited editions. The latest addition to the regular lineup is the Bell & Ross BR 05 Chrono Green Steel, available with a rubber strap or a bracelet, boasting an exquisite green dial.
A defining characteristic of the BR 05 family is its robust build. The entire collection embodies a bold and modern design, characterized by its angular form, resulting in a substantial wrist presence. This characteristic is accentuated in the 42mm-wide steel case of the chronograph variant, now slightly thicker at 14.25mm due to a new movement (which will be discussed shortly). This additional thickness, while contributing a top-heavy feel, complements the already prominent appearance of these models. Importantly, the 14.25mm profile is well-justified for an automatic chronograph timepiece.
Of notable mention are the pushers integrated into the case design. Subtly crafted and impeccably responsive, these pushers can be effortlessly operated from various angles and with any finger. The timepiece boasts a sapphire crystal, ensuring durability, along with a water resistance of 100 meters. It is offered on an integrated bracelet featuring a butterfly deployant clasp, although potential sizing considerations may arise for some wearers. Alternatively, a rubber strap option is available at a slightly lower price point, and the quick-release mechanism facilitates easy interchangeability between the two options.
The dial of the Bell & Ross BR 05 Chrono Green Steel is adorned with a vibrant emerald green hue, exhibiting a captivating sunburst effect that transitions from a dynamic green to deeper tones depending on the lighting conditions. Subtle silvery graining on the subdials, combined with circular grooving, introduces an appealing textural contrast. The brand's characteristic 4:30 date display is thoughtfully incorporated, harmonizing with the vertical orientation of the dial. This arrangement demonstrates a deliberate design approach, underscored by meticulous color coordination. The hands and indices, with their rounded ends, complement the Royal Oak-esque handset, exuding a harmonious aesthetic. A striking detail is observed in the subdial hands, featuring square bases that align with the subdial shapes—a testament to the brand's attention to detail. Furthermore, Super-LumiNova coating ensures legibility, even on the chronograph seconds hand.
Powering the Bell & Ross BR 05 Chrono Green Steel is the Bell & Ross BR-Cal.326 movement, derived from the Sellita SW-510 automatic chronograph caliber. Visible through a sapphire caseback, this movement features a custom 360° rotor and offers a substantial 60-hour power reserve at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. The cam-operated chronograph mechanism adds to the movement's reliability. The BR-Cal.326 replaces the modular BR-Cal.301, known to be an ETA 2894-2 equipped with a chronograph module. This upgrade presents a slight increase in height, alongside an impressive 18-hour boost in power reserve. The BR-Cal.326 has now become the standard movement for all BR 05 Chrono models, possibly indicating its future integration into other chronographs within the brand's portfolio.
With this new introduction, the BR 05 collection expands to encompass 21 distinct models, not including various strap configurations. While green dials are not novel, the richness of the emerald green dial on the Bell & Ross BR 05 Chrono Green Steel distinctly sets it apart from its counterparts, emerging as a compelling choice. Priced at $6,200 USD for the rubber strap option and $6,700 USD for the steel bracelet version, the increase of $300 from the original release three years ago appears modest and well-justified, especially considering the incorporation of the new integrated chronograph movement.