Bell & Ross BR-X1 Phantom Chronograph
Coolest iteration so far.
In 2014, Bell & Ross’s iconic BR 01 design spawned a futuristic hypergraphic derivative, the BR-X1.
While the watch inherits the distinctive square-middle-round case modeled on aircraft instruments, but executed from there is a radical departure from the original’s retro military look, the BR-X1 is built and styled.
In the 5 years since its introduction, the BR-X1 has iterated on multiple variants – including the Renault Formula 1 version and the White Eagle – featuring a skeletonized dial revealing a skeletonized chronograph module and a mix of materials. The combined complex case—in this case titanium and ceramic—has a rocker-type pusher that rotates at one end.
This year, Bell & Ross (B&R) introduced one of the most striking iterations of the BR-X1 to date, the all-black Phantom.
Watches with black cases and dials are relatively common today, ironically in part because a brand has resisted the genre so strongly that it spawned an illicit cult of aftermarket all-black watches. Even with the plethora of black watches on the market, few go beyond painting everything on a watch black.
The first truly all-black watch was the smash hit Hublot Big Bang in 2006, and many more followed. But the biggest irony of this type of watch is that the illegible color palette makes the watch even more eye-catching. Although conceptually cryptic, the results have grabbed attention.
However, watch designers do try to achieve a little readability. All-black watches are often combined with different shades of black, applied to a variety of materials and finishes to create the necessary texture and tonal contrasts that are an important part of their appeal. Thanks to its intricate multi-layered design, the BR-X1 is the perfect canvas for an all-black finish. Bell & Ross fake
The Phantom starts with a 45mm titanium case coated with a thin ceramic layer applied by physical vapor deposition (PVD).
While the black finish doesn’t quite match solid materials like ceramic and carbon fiber — because the coating can delaminate or peel — they’re much more durable than their two-year-old predecessors. Additionally, the choice of titanium keeps the large case lightweight.
The case is brushed and framed by a black ceramic strap. Its rocker push rods are made of black ceramic with rubber inserts to optimize grip and strength.
To improve tactility and practicality, the case has a rubber insert at nine o’clock, which echoes the shape of the pusher, but also serves a practical purpose: to provide a more secure grip when activating the chronograph pusher.
Like most of B&R’s cases, the BR-X1 case is made by B&R’s sister company G&F Chatelain — both owned by Chanel — and the same company responsible for the Richard Mille and MB&F cases company.
Unlike the smaller BR 03 case, which has perfectly aligned screws (actually nuts held from the back by actual screws), the BR-X1’s case is a sandwich held together by feature screws, so the slots are randomly aligned.
The dial of the watch is skeletonized with skeletonized counters and extended scales on the tachymeter scale ring, while the hands are faceted. Everything is black, even the tachymeter flange, which is marked in a slightly lighter shade of black.
The hands and hour markers are filled with black Super-LumiNova, which glows in the dark, albeit faintly compared to the traditional white “lume”.
It is worth noting that unlike all other BR-X1 chronographs which only have the markings of the seconds hand printed on the sapphire crystal, the Phantom features a black metal frame around the registers, improving legibility while making the dial symmetrical.
While the skeletonized date ring has a black finish, the date display at six o’clock has a white insert, which is a bit visually odd but irrelevant, and the date is much more legible.
The movement is the same as the BR-CAL.313 in the al BR-X1 replica watch, it is an ETA 2892 with a Dubois-Depraz chronograph module on top.
While this module can be found in many other watches on the market, here it is custom made for Bell & Ross with a skeletonized plate, which is why most of the mechanics are visible through the dial. The most conspicuous is that the motherboard has been hollowed out to form an “X” shape.
While only the upper bridges and date ring of the movement have a black finish – the rest of the gears and baseplate do not – the striking uniformity and effect of the extremely black watch is both disturbing and gorgeous.
The reverse doesn’t offer much perspective. Executed in the same way as most other BR series watches, the case back is solid with a small porthole that displays the balance wheel and a description of the materials used in the case.
While the BR-X1 has gone through countless iterations, nothing beats the subversive appeal of this stealthy, all-black version.
However, the $19,000 price tag puts this watch up against stiff competition from a wide range of brands offering watches with nearly the same formula — futuristic skeletonized dials and multi-material cases — from brands such as Tag Heuer, Genelec Time and Hublot.
But what sets the Phantom apart is its limited number of productions, and ultimately its superb case construction and unparalleled form. perfect fake watch
Material: Titanium and ceramic with rubber inserts
Water resistance: 100 meters
Movement: BR-CAL.313 (ETA 2892 with Dubois-Depraz module)
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, 30-minute chronograph winding
Frequency: 28,800bph or 4Hz
Power reserve: 42 hours
Strap: Perforated black rubber