Bell & Ross has extended their partnership with Renault F1 through 2019, marking the fourth year in their joint venture. From their initial beginnings of aviation inspired watches in 1994, Bell & Ross has found ways to innovate while always retaining their core aesthetics. These aesthetics are evident in their 2019 collection for the Renault F1 team.
Four watches in their R.S. 19 collection were released this year. The BR V3-94 R.S.19 and the BR 03-94 R.S.19 are the two different executions with the same power train. Similar to the pair of Renault F1 cars, these watches have the same internals but slightly different setups. Both watches feature carbon fibre dials and bright yellow accents mimicking the livery of the Renault F1 cars. Further F1 inspiration is found in the green, red and orange accents that resemble the buttons of an F1 steering wheel. Both models are limited to 999 pieces.
Limited to 250 units is the BR-X1 R.S.19. In keeping with motorsport pedigree the watch features large chronograph pushers that can be operated through gloved hands (for those still manually timing laps from pit lane). Further motorsport functionality comes from the innovative ‘time marker’ placed outside the watch’s bezel. To save a lap time simply turn the marker to where the second hand was stopped, and that becomes the time to beat next lap around. This feature is so nostalgic and romantic it almost makes me upset that we all use digital lap timers these days.
At the top of the model range is the Bell & Ross BR-X1 Tourbillon Chronograph R.S.19, a watch as mechanically impressive as the Renault F1 cars it reflects. The internals are not only very complex but completely exposed, in keeping with haute horology levels of excellence. All the chronograph components – gears, levers, column-wheel – are exposed to display out loud the engineering prowess of Bell & Ross. It’s so beautiful that it’s almost a shame that the BR-X1 Tourbillon Chronograph R.S.19 is limited to 20 units.