Bell and Ross: History and Watches

May 23, 2019
Bell and Ross: History and Watches

There are a lot of companies that are creating amazing watches across the globe. Swiss companies like Bell and Ross are among the ones leading this race for as long as anyone can remember. The reason for this is an undying dedication by these companies to create the best possible watches. The reason for mentioning Bell and Ross, in particular, is the simple fact that this company has earned this high status. To be able to understand what this company stands for, we will take a tour of their journey through time. The amount of fame that this company has earned is all due to the consistent focus on creating amazing watches suited for a diverse range of audiences. Their efforts paid off in a lot of special ways and Bell and Ross watches currently hold massive respect in the world of watchmaking for their quality and innovation.


A very specific beginning

Taking a look at the history of any watchmaker brings to light a general passion for developing watches. However, very few companies started with a focus as specific as Bell and Ross. The founding team of this company consisted of both watch designers and specialists working specifically with aeronautical panels. The focus of the team was to create watches that are specifically for professionals like astronauts, military enthusiasts, divers, pilots, and even bomb disposal personnel. Given the aeronautical background, we see a lot of designs that reflect classic aircraft panels. The company put zero focus on creating watches that looked pretty and had visual appeal in terms of elegance. The main values of the company were to provide top-notch water resistance, extreme precision, amazing functionality, and visual clarity. As a result of this clear vision, we can easily identify when Bell and Ross watches are presented to us.



This is a watch that Bell and Ross created in partnership with a company named Sinn. The watch has its history linked to the very first German astronaut in space, Reinhart Fürrer, who wore this specific watch on its maiden trip to space on the Spacelab mission. The watch’s original name is Bell and Ross 103, but the name changed after the space trip. Now, it is called Space 1 and it counts as a part of the Sinn collection. As for the specifications, the watch has an automatic movement derived from the Lemania 5100. It gives a modest 42-hour power reserve. It shows 3 chronograph functions on the dial in addition to the day and date window at 3 o’clock. The watch comes in a pure black steel body with the Spacelab logo also engraved on its back. It also has a water resistance rating of 100 meters.



Bomb disposal is a very specific and very dangerous profession. The French understand this and they wanted a watch that fits this profession. The Civil Defense of France contracted Bell and Ross to create a watch that met operational requirements for bomb disposal. As a result, this watch came into being and it meets the four Bell and Ross principles perfectly. With magnetism being the biggest factor, the watch has a non-magnetic case and is equipped with a quartz movement. The watch is very basic with only a date function but comes with a rotating bezel and the battery life also lasts for 5 long years. The markers and hands are obviously fluorescent, and the watch also comes equipped with an anti-glare sapphire glass. The watch is operational in deep waters as well with a water resistance rating of 200 meters. The watch offers a synthetic fabric bracelet for increased comfort.


front view of Bell & Ross Instruments Ref. BR0392-D-BU-ST/SRB watch

Hydro Challenger

The race for the depths of the seas has always remained open for top watchmakers and Bell and Ross is never one shy from such a challenge. Reaching the farthest depths means creating something that is innovative and completely different from the usual stuff. The company set out to reach a depth that no one has ever achieved and this watch did exactly that in the year 1997 when the watch achieved a functioning depth of 11,000 meters. The record made its way into the Guinness Book of World Records and this is a title that would remain with Bell and Ross watches for the days to come. The watch case contains mineral oil to help it sustain the heavy pressures at such depths and the company focused on nothing else when creating this watch. To the layman, it is a very straightforward watch with three hands that tell the time.


Mystery Diamond

Any successful watchmaker knows that they cannot attain a good market share without creating watches for women. This is a fact that Bell and Ross knew extremely well and the result was the birth of the Mystery Diamond watch. The watch found instant fame on its launch in the year 2003, with a magical feature which is a diamond that floats between the dial and the sapphire glass cover to tell the time. How the company achieved this marvel is still a mystery. Thus, it is fair to say that the name of the watch is quite apt. The watch is all stainless steel and in silver color and has Arabic numbering on 3, 9, and 12 positions. It is also interesting to note that the date feature is located at the 6 o’clock position which is unusual. However, it matters little as unusual seems to be the whole theme.


front view of Bell & Ross Instruments Ref. BR0394-RS18 watch


Through its partnership with Sinn and a successful watchmaking career, Bell and Ross have developed a strong name in watchmaking. The company is creating a wide range of watches, including a lot of unique and colorful watches as well. The BR 03-94 Carbon Orange Watch or the BR 03-92 Diver Blue watch are just a few examples. We can easily trust it to provide the best watches for professional needs.

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