In the realm of horology, Bell & Ross stands as a stalwart, renowned for its utilitarian design inspired by cockpit flight instruments. Beyond its signature aesthetic, Bell & Ross has consistently delved into diverse design concepts. The Cyber Skull line, a testament to the brand's avant-garde approach, presents a contemporary reinterpretation of the memento mori tradition. Now, in 2023, the latest addition to this distinctive collection emerges — the Bell & Ross BR 01 Cyber Skull Sapphire Ice Blue.
Design and Materials:
The BR 01 Cyber Skull Sapphire Ice Blue maintains the iconic sapphire case introduced in 2021, measuring 43.5mm in diameter by 45mm lug-to-lug. The faceted design, crafted entirely from clear sapphire, exudes a cyber-themed aesthetic. The case features a polished stainless steel winding crown at 3 o’clock and boasts 30 meters of water resistance. Complementing this design, the transparent silicone strap with a brushed stainless steel pin buckle retains its place from the full sapphire model.
The dial takes a bold departure from tradition, showcasing a stylized skull and crossbones assembly that seemingly floats within the case. The centrally-mounted baton hands extend from the nose of the skull to indicate hours and minutes. A fully exposed balance wheel at the skull's top symbolizes the "brain" of the watch responsible for accuracy. Unlike its predecessor, the skull in the new model is crafted from galvanized brass with a pale blue PVD finish, introducing a captivating visual element.
Movement and Precision:
Powering the BR 01 Cyber Skull Sapphire Ice Blue is the BR-CAL.209 manual-wind movement, consistent with the previous full sapphire model. Running at 28,800vph (4 Hz) with a 48-hour power reserve, the movement features rhodium-plated components. Its skeletonized design contributes to the illusion of suspension within the case, creating an unparalleled visual experience.
Limited Edition and Pricing:
Priced at $115,000 USD, the BR 01 Cyber Skull Sapphire Ice Blue represents a slightly more accessible option compared to its full sapphire predecessor. The reduction in price is attributed to the skull, crafted from PVD-finished brass. Notably, this model enjoys a larger production run of 25 examples, enhancing its availability compared to the original 10-piece limited edition.
The Bell & Ross BR 01 Cyber Skull Sapphire Ice Blue asserts itself as a pinnacle in the brand's offerings. Its marriage of innovative design, cutting-edge materials, and limited availability positions it as an exclusive and captivating timepiece for those seeking the extraordinary in horology. As Bell & Ross celebrates this latest addition on its 1-year anniversary, the Cyber Skull collection continues to push the boundaries of traditional watchmaking.