From its conception to its development and eventual usage in timepieces, luminescent paint – better known as lume – has always been seen as a utilitarian material. It’s applied to the dial and hands to allow a watch to be read in darkness, but usually serves little purpose beyond this. With the BR 03-92 Diver Full Lum, however, Bell & Ross has turned this convention on its head (again), by elevating lume beyond its functional use to become an essential element of the watch’s design.
Consider this new timepiece the spiritual successor to 2019’s BR 03-92 Full Lum. As a bona fide diver’s watch, it has all the features expected of one. Note its unidirectional turning bezel with count-up markings, ceramic case that’s both waterproof to 300 metres and resistant to magnetism, as well as running seconds hand.
The clean, legible dial design that’s requisite for any diver’s watch is present too. What’s special here is the liberal amount of lume that’s been applied to its dial – instead of having luminescent hands and markings that glow against a dark background, the entire dial surface is now ablaze with light, with untreated surfaces providing contrast. The bezel’s markings have been filled with lume too, which ensures its legibility in the dark.
Two types of lume have been applied here. The hands, indices, and bezel markings have been filled with the yellowish Super-Luminova C3 – the brightest variant that RC Tritec, the company behind the product, currently produces. The dial itself, however, uses Super-Luminova C5, which is a greenish-yellow in colour, and roughly 90 per cent as bright. Contrast is thus achieved via both colour variation, and the relative brightness between the pigments.
The Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver Full Lum is offered with a black rubber and a synthetic fabric strap, and both options are worn with a PVD-treated stainless steel pin buckle that matches the black ceramic case. This timepiece is limited to 999 pieces worldwide.