Though synonymous with aeronautical watches, Bell & Ross, now adds racecar drivers to its list of professional users as the watchmaker becomes the Official Watch Partner of the Renault Sport Formula One Team. To celebrate the partnership, Bell & Ross has released a limited edition pair of watches – the BR-X1 RS16 and the BR-X1 RS16 Tourbillon – named after the team’s new R.S.16 race car for the 2016.
“Renault Sport Formula One Team and Bell & Ross have the common goal of pushing the limits of mechanics, which it is well represented in these limited edition timepieces. It is a very exciting and rewarding partnership,” says Carlos-A. Rosillo, CEO and co-founder of Bell & Ross.
It was at the Grand Prix in Shanghai that drivers Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer were presented wearing their specially engraved BR-X1 RS16 Skeleton Chronograph watches.
THE BR‑X1 RS16, THE HIGH‑TECH SPORTY CHRONOGRAPH
The model is said to be the perfect piece to commemorate the partnership. As the extreme version of the iconic BR01, the BR-X1 line is not unlike the Formula One which represents the ultimate version of a car.
“The collaboration with Bell & Ross was born out of passion for mechanical engineering, speed and precision and is a valued partnership for both sides. We share an interest in small details and the conviction that every millisecond counts,” says Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director of Renault Sport Formula One Team.
The BR‑X1 RS16 Skeleton Chronograph and the BR‑X1 RS16 Skeleton Chronograph Tourbillon were created to withstand extreme conditions, thanks to the innovative design of its 45 mm multi-material case, including grade 5 titanium and Carbon Forge, a high-tech composite material. As a result, the BRX1s are lightweight though incredibly strong and able to withstand the impact of the extreme field of Formula One.
The case is made from grey-tinted sapphire crystal and features applique metal indices with photo-luminescent inserts and it is through the dial that the movement can also be seen. To allow for legibility, the hands are Superluminova and indices applique.
A yellow rubber grip has been integrated to the case to ensure better handling when activating the chronograph’s functions and as a reference to the colour associated with Renault Sport’s Formula 1 Team and the racing car field, both timepieces display yellow rubber inserts on the crown and the rocker push buttons.
Embodying the very essence of the “automotive watch”, the BR‑X1 RS16 Skeleton Chronograph, a high‑tech chronograph with a sporty yet sophisticated design, is perfect for measuring short time intervals. Its innovative rocker push buttons, used to activate the chronograph functions, are made from high‑tech ceramic with ergonomically designed yellow rubber inserts. Essential for calculating speeds, the tachymeter scale appears on the dark grey flange. To improve legibility, the hands of the chronograph are brought out in yellow: it is an indispensable tool for driving.
BR‑X1 RS16 TOURBILLON
In a more luxurious and high‑end version, the BR‑X1 RS16 Skeleton Chronograph Tourbillon celebrates a grand complication that pays tribute to speed, strength and performance: the values that are shared with Formula 1. Limited to 20 pieces, this extraordinary timepiece combines the extremely masculine aesthetic codes of both Bell & Ross and Renault Sport Team with the technical refinement of Haute Horlogerie. Bell & Ross has developed a manual wind Skeleton Tourbillon Mono‑Pusher Chronograph, with column wheel movement, and hours and minutes in the centre for a traditional display, as well as a 100‑hour (4 days) power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock.
A watch of extreme sophistication, the BR‑X1 Chronograph Tourbillon also has a 30‑minute counter at 10 o’clock and a 60 second counter at 2 o’clock for the chronograph functions. With the tourbillon, clearly visible in its cage positioned at 6 o’clock, which serves as the ultimate guarantee of precision, the BR‑X1 RS16 Chronograph Tourbillon stands out as an exceptional instrument with a pioneering design. Last but not least, the case‑back of the timepieces also features the Renault Sport Formula One Team logo.