Designed to set the tempo for the first years of the twentieth century, watches had to adapt to endure the First World War. Functionality, reliability, precision and durability, thus, became the crucial properties. In order to protect the fragile glass covering the dial, some watches were protected behind fully fledged metal grilles.
With the Vintage WW2 Military Tourbillon - a limited edition of 20 pieces - Bell & Ross is reinterpreting this glorious watchmaking past, with an exceptional timepiece that incorporates four complications - tourbillon, precision indicator, regulator and power-reserve - within a 45 mm titanium casing, equipped with a protective cover.
Nowadays made from sapphire, watch glasses are very solid and no longer require protective shields. The cover of the WW2 Military Tourbillon becomes thus an integral part of the watch, which enhances the wearer’s ability to read the dial thanks to its distinctive curves that emphasize the hands. The openings in the design of the metal reveal all of the information provided by the timepiece and its complications.
The crosswise layout of the various functions combines readability and functionality. The contrast of the matte black flange around the circumference of the dial, the “Côte de Genève” decorated metallic surfaces and additional counters, which play on this contrast to reinforce readability, creates visual depth and a «three dimensional» effect.
Remaining loyal to its military inspiration in giving priority to the readability of short time cycles, the WW2 Military Tourbillon features a regulator movement, a watchmaking principle whereby hours and minutes are displayed via separate dials. While the minute hand has a central axis and sweeps across the entire dial, the hour hand has a dedicated miniature dial positioned at 12 o’clock.
At the 3 o’clock position, another hand (Trust Index), indicates the level of precision of the movement on the basis of the tension of the barrel spring. At 9 o’clock is the power reserve indicator (5 days).
Finally, the dial opens at 6 o’clock revealing the tourbillon’s pink gold “cage”, of which a rotation lasting one minute allows the Bell & Ross «&» symbol to play the role of a small second.
The Bell & Ross designers have opted to make the Vintage WW2 Military Tourbillon a link between yesterday, today and tomorrow. Although the casing seemingly stems from the past, with its shield, itspatina style and its oversized striated crown, it is made from satin-polished Grade 5 titanium, to which a PVD treatment lends a “gunmetal gray” color.
The use of a sophisticated material such as titanium enables the reconciliation of the 45 mm diameter of the casing with Bell & Ross requirements regarding weight and strength.
The bracelet, available in aged leather or brown alligator skin and reminiscent of the elegance of early wristwatches, plays the “wearer comfort” card thanks to its flexibility and the presence of movable lugs.