Can a complicated watch excel in simplicity? And if so, what is its appeal? Bell & Ross did this exercise with the new BR-X2 Tourbillon Micro-Rotor. Their approach is very technical yet very modest at the same time. This mainly due to the fact that instead of opting for elaborate decorations, the went for a much more subtle approach, alternating linear brushed surfaces with soft ball-blasted bevels. Perfection is the only option when creating this finish, as any imperfection will stand out like a lighthouse at night.
The way Bell & Ross approached this watch as a whole with understated perfection, for the same reason as that the finish on the movement has to be perfect: there is no way of hiding it. The “square movement with rounded corners” is set in a holder which also acts as the outside of the case, with the lugs attached. It is then sandwiched by two precisely milled sapphire crystals. This gives the watch beautiful transparency. In fact, it offers a very nice balance in design, and might be the perfect option for people who enjoy watching the movement but find a skeleton too busy or a full sapphire watch too transparent.
The movement itself is a gem, although I am biased as the BR-X2 features a micro-rotor. Bell & Ross developed the movement together with MHC, and they made the most of the unusual shape. With a height of 4.05 mm it is relatively thin, and that is also how it wears on the wrist. Instead of working with an intricate array of bridges, most of the movement is, in fact, covered up. Only the parts that are interesting to see are shown. This creates somewhat of the effect of a mid-season advent calendar, and that is rather pleasing. On one side you know that there is more, while at them another side you get enough to satisfy your appetite.
There are also clever details incorporated in the watch that make it pleasing. Yes, the flying tourbillon is one of them, but also the sloped ring, half integrated into the movement with the SuperLuminova filled hour markers extending over it. Details, but such splendid ones!
Regarding price the Bell & Ross BR-X2 Tourbillon Micro-Rotor takes the middle ground with an MSRP of $64.900,-. There are less expensive tourbillons in the market, but they often lack such an intricate design, while full sapphire tourbillon’s come at a much higher price. While this watch may not be for everyone, it is a delicacy for some watch connoisseurs, and the limited edition of 50 pieces will probably won’t be long in stock at selected retailers.