Bruno Belamich of Bell & Ross is one of those people that can’t stop trying to redesign things. Two years ago, the brand most commonly known for its aviation-inspired timepieces unveiled its B-Rocket motorbike and we were floored. Not only did the brand create a bike, it did so using all the elements that made Bell & Ross a favourite among collectors. Belamich took his favourite parts of airplanes (the curved nose, the wings) and planted them on a bike and the resulting B-Rocket proved Bell & Ross wouldn’t just have to be stuck on the wrist.
This year, Belamich once again stretched his creative muscle, putting down concrete plans for the brand’s new concept car, the Aero GT. “Every year, in order to create new (timepiece) models, I need new sources of inspiration,” admitted the creative director. “Following the success of our B-Rocket motorbike in 2014, I wanted to go even further and design the Bell & Ross car. The aim was to produce a car that can ‘hold its own’ even among automotive professionals. But above all, this real challenge was a great joy as it was the starting point for a new pair of watches inspired by the automotive world – the BR 03 AeroGT models.”
We never thought we’d walk out of Baselworld 2016 dying to own a car but Bell & Ross have a funny way of playing around with your head. The Aero GT above is what happens when you miniaturise a plane, dismantle it and meld it with a supercar. From the cockpit-looking drop-shaped glass roof to the razorthin wing mirrors, the Aero GT looks like it would be an absolute beast both on the runway and the Gran Turismo track. Our favourite element has to be the twin exhaust pipes that have been unusally sized to mimic the turbojet engine exhausts.
The concept car has laid the groundwork for Bell & Ross’ latest collection of timepieces. The BR 03-92 AeroGT (above) sees an automatic watch designed to show off its engine with a skeletonised dial. With a satin-polished steel case and the applied metal indices, this GT-inspired watch is a modern retelling of the iconic square and circle combo Bell & Ross is known for. The BR 03-94 AeroGT (below) is the chronograph-equipped variation of the two and our personal choice. After all, there’s probably no better mechanism to admire than the activation of chronograph levers. Both versions come with a black calfskin leather strap, stitched with red piping and an ultra-resistant synthetic fabric.
If you’re a speed demon both in air and on the ground, we’re going to go ahead and assume you’re salivating already. We know we are.