Bell & Ross BR-X1 Chronograph Tourbillon Sapphire Review

Form and function are two ways to begin describing the unique masterpiece that Bell & Ross engineers have recently presented to the world. The Bell & Ross BR X1 Chronograph Tourbillon Sapphire is a brilliant time piece offering an amazing display of the complications achieved by the watchmaker in plain view for all to see. Cut from a block of solid sapphire the BR XI is truly a gem of rich and durable quality. The sapphire comes in second place in hardness following only the diamond. The solid gemstone surrounds the complications which are nothing short of genius in a profound display of form and function. A modern time piece with its grand function proudly and expertly presented with no apologies for craftsmanship or design, worthy of a closer look.

Specifications

The BR X1 Chronograph Tourbillon Sapphire is perhaps one of the most unique examples of fine luxury watchmaking that is a daring exposure of the complex detail that goes into the making of fine luxury watches. It is ultra modern in presentation while maintaining the classic features of the complications on display within view.

Case

The case has been cut from a block of the precious gemstone sapphire, known for its scratch resistance and protective qualities. It was the logical choice for this novel approach to revealing the inner workings that have a need to be on display. It houses a crown of titanium which acts and the pusher for activating functions of the chronograph in a polished finish with water resistance up to three ATM.

Movement

Haute Horlogerie complication movement caliber BR-CAL.285 featuring flying tourbillon displays the shape of the ampersand as carriage of the Bell & Ross logo. A mono pusher is featured as a build in of the crown for starting, resetting and stopping of the chronograph. The column wheel mechanism is displayed below the 12 o’clock position on the dial and offers a full view of the chronograph mechanism through the skeleton bridge.

The bridges and main plate of the skeleton for chronograph and movement are Bell & Ross exclusive design. Precision placement in high quality steel with a satin finish, the custom skeleton movement ride lies at twelve and six o clock featuring polished and bevelled completion with a tourbillon carriage also bevelled and finished in circular satin and bevelling. The power reserve is one hundred hours. On the chronograph the sixty second timer is located at one o clock with a thirty minute timer at eleven o clock. The power reserve indicator is placed at nine o clock and the flying tourbillon at the six o clock position.

Dial

The unique dial features a sapphire base offering the most unique display thanks to the skeleton design with minute and second counters shown through the applique of rhodium plating and a circular satin finish housed under the crystal. In view, the rohodium plated circular power reserve with satin finish applique. The indices are skeleton metal with white SLN filling. The hands follow form in a faceted skeleton style with Superluminova filling. Surfaces display a combination of blasted and polished finishes for contrast and legibility.

Detailing

The BR X1 Sapphire tourbillon is perhaps one of the finest examples of luxury detail and grand complications on display today. It is not often that the marriage of such elegant materials and design are presented with a full view of the complications and workmanship with can be seen from all angles of the time piece. Time and patience have been poured into the making of the wrist watch. Nine blocks of sapphire are used in the creation of the piece. Due to its hardness, Sapphire in solid form offers firm protection for the delicate complications housed within. This piece is held together with screws that keep the top, middle, back and four bumpers of the sapphire firmly in place to form the housing that allows full view of the movement and chronograph. Many hours have gone into the cutting, bevelling and polishing of the sapphire blocks use in the creation of the BR X1 Sapphire Tourbillon.

Modern meets classic

We’re allowed a look at the elements which are masterfully engineered and put together in to form the complexities that allow for the functions of the Sapphire tourbillon. What is perhaps the most impressive aspect of this piece is the display that has been carefully planned and executed through the use of the material that would offer affordability and the highest level of protection that a gemstone can offer. Classic details are displayed through a modern design which offers a perfect melding of aspects of each style to form a timeless piece that will maintain value and relevancy throughout the ages. Bell & Ross have just added another piece to the list of elegant and unique luxury watches that are high on the list for acquisition by enthusiasts and collectors of rare and unusual time pieces. This highly wearable wrist watch features a forty five mm in diameter case. The strap is a translucent woven Kevlar with an inlaid metallic finish.

Limited Edition

This one of a kind limited edition watch has been limited to the production of just five pieces. The price is $495,000.

Final thoughts

The Bell & Ross BR X1 Chronograph Tourbillon is a rare find with only five produced and available for purchase. With a price tag of just under a half million dollars, this collectible will make a fine addition to any collectors treasure trove. It is a bit novel, yet with a more staunch classical feel because of the full display of the complications which bring the piece firmly down to earth. Part of the excitement that this piece generates is because of the construction materials and methods. Added virtue from the exquisite design and labor of time under the hands of precision engineers and artisans that were required to deliver this unique example of horological brilliance. Several different factors merge to make this piece a rare find and a highly desired acquisition for those in the market for a new high end collection piece.

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