The Bell & Ross motto is “function shapes form” and the French luxury brand’s watches are undeniably utilitarian, stripped back to the essentials and inspired by military history.
But while this suggests ruthless pragmatism, Bell & Ross watches aren’t as serious as they sound. You’ll still find diamonds, striking all-red radar-inspired dials, and even a skull-shaped automaton that literally laughs at you.
Bell & Ross’ luxury watches are informed by the principles of practicality and efficiency but there’s still room for idiosyncratic design. The result? Combat-ready tool watches for men that are compelling, creative, and full of character.
At a glance
|Industry: Watches||Founded: 1993|
|Headquarters: France||Founder: Bruno Belamich and Carols A. Rosillo|
|Watch Collections: tool watches, pilot watches, and dress watches||Parent organization: Independently owned|
|Annual Revenue: $17 million USD||Website: bellross.com|
Bell & Ross watch price
How much does a Bell & Ross watch cost?
The starting price for an entry-level Bell & Ross watch is $2,200 for a Bell & Ross BR S Quartz. Bell & Ross watch prices for a BR 03 start at $3,400. At the other end of the price spectrum, you can expect to pay $30,000 for a Bell & Ross Laughing Skull Full Diamond.
What is the most expensive Bell & Ross watch?
The most expensive Bell & Ross Watch is the Bell & Ross BR-X1 Skeleton Tourbillon Sapphire at $410,000. Debuting at Baselworld 2018, the case is made from five blocks of sapphire and inside is a hand-wound skeleton flying tourbillon. There are only six of these luxury watches in existence.
See how this compares to the world’s most expensive watches.
What is the cheapest Bell & Ross watch?
The cheapest Bell & Ross watch is a Bell & Ross BR S Quartz, with prices currently starting at $2,200. Bell & Ross watch prices for a BR S Auto start at $2,990. You can also pick up a Bell & Ross BR 03 Diver for $3,990.
About Bell & Ross watches
History of Bell & Ross
Bell & Ross started out in 1992 as a university project between two friends, Bruno Belamich and Carlos A. Rosillo. Bell & Ross is an amalgamation of their names. Belamich (Bell) was in charge of watch design while Rosillo (Ross) took responsibility for sales, marketing, and management. Their mission was to produce functional and hard-wearing timepieces with an aesthetic inspired by performance.
The brand’s first watches were made in Germany by a company called Sinn, known for its tool watches. One of these was Space 1, the first automatic chronometer to be worn in space. There was also the Hydromax 11,100 m, which could withstand extreme water pressure as well as the Bell & Ross Bomb Disposal Type.
It wasn’t until 2002 that Bell & Ross started making its own watches and, in 2005, launched the Bell & Ross BR 01 Instrument. This timepiece was incredibly distinct with its square case and round dial and earned the watch brand international exposure.
Today, the BR 01 is available in many different versions. A Tourbillon version was even released at the 2007 Baselworld fair in Switzerland. Bell & Ross has continued to grow its watch range to international acclaim.
Interesting facts about Bell & Ross
- Bell & Ross is official watch supplier for the Space Lab Mission and the French Air Force.
- The Bell & Ross Challenger earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for its 11,000-meter water resistance.
- Bell & Ross’ creativity isn’t limited to watches. The company has also produced cutting-edge experimental concept vehicles in the form of the B-Rocket motorcycle, the AeroGT sports car, the Hot-Rod Bellytanker, and the BR-Brid racing plane, as well as creating watches for those driving these machines.
Bell & Ross product range
Bell & Ross watches fall into five watch series, although there is some overlap between them and you’ll find certain timepieces in more than one collection.
First, there’s the Bell & Ross Instrument collection with the watch brand’s iconic square-meets-circle design. As the name suggests, the emphasis here is on functionality and performance, tool watches par excellence, including dive watches.
Next, there’s the Bell & Ross Urban collection with sleek styling with the requisite durability for everyday wear, plus impressive reliability and precision.
The Bell & Ross Vintage collection is just as it sounds. This is for those after a retro-chic timepiece, with a range of watches inspired by the brand’s classiest 1940s pilot watches.
For those who believe that the more unorthodox the watch, the better, then the Bell & Ross Haute Horlogerie selection is definitely worth perusing. The BR-XI Tourbillon in both its iterations is a serious modern watchmaking masterpiece.
Finally, there’s the Bell & Ross Concept collection where you’ll find similarly unconventional timepieces, all inspired by military combat, including the Bell & Ross BR 01 Laughing Skull.
Signature materials and craftsmanship
Bell & Ross watches are inspired by military tool watches and aviator watches, including WWII combat instruments, WW1 pocket watches, and instrument panels from vintage planes. The company’s vision is to create ultra-durable timepieces that can withstand the most extreme temperatures and conditions, calling on expertise from diverse disciplines, including the knowledge of pilots, divers, astronauts, and bomb disposal professionals.
The Bell & Ross BR 01 instrument is the watch brand’s most iconic model, defined by its square case and round dial and inspired by aircraft dashboards. The descendants of this watch include the Bell & Ross BR 01-92 Radar, a limited edition series of 500 pieces that feature three concentric disks instead of traditional hands so that the watch resembles a radar. In 2011, this evolved into the eye-catching BR 01 Red Radar with a sapphire crystal screen in translucent red.
Other innovations to come out of the Bell & Ross factory include the Bell & Ross BR-X1, a square watch encased entirely in anti-reflective sapphire crystal, allowing every millimeter of its inner workings to be viewed from the outside.
There’s also the Bell & Ross’ Type Démineur which features a soft-iron inner Faraday cage case as well as an outer steel case that’s resistant to becoming magnetized itself. This makes it perfect for use by bomb-disposal squads and it was adopted by the French Security Services when it first came out.
Other signature Bell & Ross features include ceramic cases (a material favored for its corrosion, scratch, and fade-resistant properties), Super-LuminNova coated markers and hands for superior legibility, and durable rubber straps.
Where is Bell & Ross made?
Bell & Ross watches are made at the company’s production facility at La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland. It is here that the luxury watches are designed, assembled, and undergo strict quality control procedures before being prepared for market. The company headquarters are in Paris, France.
Bell & Ross watches
This iconic Bell & Ross collection is one of the watch brand’s most notable and is a tribute to the circle-inside-a-square design of the BR 01. Inspired by airplane cockpit instruments, the series includes the BR 03, BR-X1 Chrono, BR S Auto or BR S Quartz, and the BR 05. These may be utilitarian watches with a focus on function over form but you’ll still find diamonds, alligator straps, and the occasional skeleton dial.
|Price:||$2,200 – $480,000|
|First release year:||2005|
|Current case size:||39 mm – 46 mm|
|Movement:||Quartz and automatic|
|Water resistance:||50 m – 300 m|
The Bell & Ross Urban collection is just as it sounds. Avant-garde, daring, functional, yet also elegant, perfect for modern go-getting professionals or urban explorers. There’s the BR X5 with its hollowed-out case to optimize lightness and 70-hour power reserve that renders it “weekend-proof.” Or the BR 05: precise, reliable, sleekly square, and gracefully round simultaneously. Color combinations include icy blue steel, warm copper brown, as well as classic black and silver.
|Price:||$4,600 – $13,000|
|First release year:||2019|
|Current case size:||40 mm – 42 mm|
|Water resistance:||100 m|
One of the brand’s earlier collections, the Bell & Ross Vintage watch series pays homage to 1940s aeronautical heritage and has its roots firmly in military history. In fact, each model in this collection is created according to a set of specifications established by the armed forces. As such, these Bell & Ross watches are all water-tight and you’ll find a range of complications, including dual time zones. The retro vibe comes from the satin-finished cases and natural leather straps, making these black-tie-appropriate too.
|Price:||$2,400 – $4,900|
|First release year:||2017|
|Current case size:||38.5 mm – 46 mm|
|Water resistance:||100 m|
The most exclusive Bell & Ross collection, this selection of haute horlogerie creations consists of the BR-XI Tourbillon and the BR-X2 Tourbillon, both magnificent feats of modern engineering. The high-tech BR-XI Tourbillon is inspired by the futuristic cockpits of 21st-century fighter planes and is available in rose gold, micro-blasted titanium, and ceramic. Meanwhile, the BR-X2 Tourbillon is housed between two sapphire crystal plates which essentially makes the case invisible, leaving just the movement on display.
|Price:||$163,000 – $480,000|
|Current case size:||45 mm – 46 mm|
|Water resistance:||50 m – 100 m|
This experimental watch series includes the Bell & Ross BR 01 Laughing Skull watch, a tribute to WW2 parachutists and the skulls worn as talismans by fighters throughout history to ward off misfortune and scare enemies. These exceptionally memorable watches are also available with diamonds.
Then there’s the brand’s Flight Instruments sub-collection, which consists of the Bell & Ross Radio Compass watch, a highly technical timepiece with a fun contemporary aesthetic.
|Price:||$4,100 – $30,000|
|First release year:||2018|
|Current case size:||42 mm – 46.5 mm|
|Movement:||Manual and automatic|
|Water resistance:||50 m – 100 m|
Where to buy Bell & Ross watches
You can buy Bell & Ross watches from the watch company’s website or in-person from one of the stores listed here. Bell & Ross Watches have an international warranty valid for 2 years from the purchase date.
For more about buying a luxury timepiece, see our guide.
Bell & Ross shipping
Online orders can only be delivered to the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.
Prices on the Bell & Ross website are inclusive of VAT but do not include delivery costs and other taxes. Shipping prices are added to the total price when the order is finalized. For orders over a certain price (£950 or €950) the watch company offers complimentary delivery. For watch orders below this price, delivery is €9 or £9.
Bell & Ross return policy
Bell & Ross will accept returns for a refund within 14 days of delivery, as long as watches are returned in their original condition with the original packaging and accompanied by a copy of the delivery slip and returns/exchange form.
Bell & Ross customer service number
To speak to a Bell & Ross customer service representative, call +33 (0)1 73 73 93 00.
Bell & Ross social media profiles
Frequently asked questions about Bell & Ross watches
Bell & Ross is a luxury watch brand that was founded in 1992. Headquartered in Paris, France Bell & Ross is known for its military-inspired timepieces. For more about the watch company, including prices, products, and history, see our Bell & Ross guide.
Bell and Ross watches are made by the company at its production facility in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. The French luxury watch brand currently uses movements by third-party manufacturers. For more about Bell & Ross, see our Bell & Ross guide.
Bell and Ross make good watches, especially when it comes to military-influenced designs and high-tech functionality. These are high-quality Swiss watches with reliable and precise Swiss movements and are known for their durability and unique style.
Bell and Ross watches are special because of their military-inspired aesthetic and their durability and impeccable performance. The French luxury watch brand is committed to making legible, functional, reliable, and precise timepieces—as per its mission statement.