Bell & Ross was founded in 1992 as a university project between two lifelong friends, Bruno Belamich (Bell) and Carlos A. Rosillo (Ross), both of whom shared a vision of producing functional and durable timepieces. With their simple idea of ‘function shapes form’, they changed the world of horology as we know it today.
In terms of inspiration, the ampersand-logoed French brand has drawn from the history of aviation and the military specifications and technological advances that accompany it; as a result, each product that rolls from the assembly line is produced with the highest visual and performing qualities.
With this philosophy in mind, early models, such as the Space 1 (which was the first automatic chronometer to be worn in space) and the Bomb Disposal Type (a piece of wrist armour that made the harrowing job of defusing explosives much easier) grabbed the attention of enthusiasts.
The company not only wants its watches to look good, but it also wants them to be used as a tool and constant ally in order to assist those in professions where one must withstand extreme temperatures, undergo violent accelerations or resist dangerous pressures. So, to create something that will work under such circumstances, Bell & Ross enlists the expertise of pilots, divers, bomb disposal experts and astronauts when trying to develop timepieces with optimal functionality – the BR 01, for example, takes inspiration from the aesthetics of the clocks in the cockpit of an airline (a circle within a square).
Moreover, to ensure that it meets the expectations of its users, the label assembles a team of experts with complementary skill sets – designers, engineers and master watchmakers are all brought together and are guided by one single utilitarian and ergonomic-style motto: never let the essential be compromised by the superfluous.
It is then in the production facility at La Chaux-de-Fonds where the master watchmakers conceive, assemble and then fine-tune each Bell & Ross timepiece, and in order to guarantee high-quality, only the strictest quality controls are implemented, regardless of however complex the mechanism is.
As a result of its research and building process, Bell & Ross has built a reputation on functionality, precision, water-resistance and legibility, and today it’s the official supplier of the Space Lab Mission, The French Air Force, The Lafayette Escadrille and many other professionals of the extreme.