Bell & Ross Announces Limited Edition BR 03 94 Patrouille de France Watch
Monday - 16 August 2021
A wristwatch design with the needs of the world’s most famous precision aerobatics demonstration unit in mind.
Bell & Ross has recently unveiled a limited-to-500 pieces BR 03 model that celebrates the brand’s partnership with the Patrouille de France – the country’s precision aerobatics demonstration unit. Its lightweight yet robust black ceramic case is developed in the typical military-inspired “circle within a square” shape and comes with many nods to the brand’s roots in developing tool-like instruments for the military and aviation industry.
Bell & Ross has dedicated much of its heritage towards manufacturing watches for military pilots and elite forces. No other watch could exemplify this commitment more than the BR 01. This year we have seen the watchmaker return to its roots once again when it revealed a partnership between itself and Patrouille de France - France’s precision aerobatics demonstration unit. The two French entities have slotted right into one another’s jigsaw puzzle with their shared passion for military timekeeping equipment. Bell & Ross is the perfect advocate for timekeeping when it comes to special forces, diving commandos, air forces and field action since many of its timepieces of the past have been utilized by specialists within these fields of expertise.
What is the Patrouille de France?
The Patrouille de France was born in the fifties and is the world’s most famous precision aerobatics demonstration unit. It is also the oldest of its kind with breath-taking precision aerobatics displays carried out by a team of 9 pilots and a workforce of 35 mechanics behind the scenes. Each year three pilots are integrated, having been chosen from the French Air Force’s hunter pilots. The connection between the Patrouille de France and Bell & Ross was clear from the beginning. With precision and timing important to both entities, the partnership makes great sense. Creative director and co-founder, Bruno Belamich explains:
“This token of trust is the fruit of a rich and prestigious history between Bell & Ross and military aviation. It is a recognition and an honour to be able to display the Patrouille de France to our professional references,”
The Bell & Ross and Patrouille de France partnership – a perfect fit
Bell & Ross has proven its ability to manufacture instrumental timepieces for professionals time and time again. Even from an early age, it was developing wristwatches for a real purpose. The brand made the Type Demineur in response to a request made by the French Civil Defense for a suitable wristwatch to meet its operation specifications. Following that, the BR 01 was born. A simple yet strong design that recalled vintage onboard instruments used in military aeroplanes of the past. Many of the brand’s timepieces have been utilised by elite squads and continue to equip squadrons to this day.
When the National Gendarmerie Intervention Group (GIGN) requested a purpose-built watch for the body of the French National Police Force, Bell & Ross was there to answer its need. It also produced the BR 03 Type Aviation watch for French fighter pilots, as well as several military-developed models for the French war school (the Vintage 123 Heritage) and some limited edition timepieces for the French Naval Air Force. It, therefore, feels like a natural fit for the famous watchmaker to partner up with the French Acrobatic Patrol Patrouille de France. The brand takes over from Breitling who had been partnering with the unit since 2017.
The new Bell & Ross BR 03-94 Patrouille de France watch
Designed by the French Acrobatic Patrol, the new Bell & Ross BR 03 94 Patrouille de France watch not only recognises and pronounces the connection between the two entities but celebrates a shared passion for values of precision and reliability, as well as a shared spirit of the country. The timepiece goes far further than merely putting a name on a dial. The new Bell & Ross BR 03 94 watch is a timepiece for military watch collectors, fans of the famous French watchmaker, and also an instrument that can be worn by pilots of the Patrouille de France team itself when perfectly timing their manoeuvres. During aerial shows, these specialists can travel at speeds between 300 and 800 kilometres per hour whilst spaced only two or three metres apart from one another.
Tailored to the operational needs and requirements of members of the Patrouille de France team, the new Bell & Ross BR 03 94 watch boasts multiple special features that make it such a specialist tool. There are in fact two models released as a celebration of the partnership. There is a version powered by a quartz movement that is limited to 100 pieces worldwide and developed solely for the pilots themselves and a limited edition of 500 pieces powered by an automatic movement.
The automatic BR 03 94 Patrouille de France watch measures dimensions of 42mm x 42mm. The typical circle within a square case shape is crafted from matte black ceramic and is water-resistant to 100 metres. Its bi-directional rotating bezel in black ceramic has a white luminescent 60-minute or 60-second scale, depending on whether the bezel is used in conjunction with the central second or minute hand. The black ceramic material is clearly chosen in this design for its lightness and anti-corrosive properties. The case comes complete on a black rubber strap and a black PVD-coated stainless steel pin buckle. An additional black canvas strap is also supplied with the purchase.
The new Bell & Ross BR 03 94 Patrouille de France Limited Edition watch boasts the colour codes of the aerobatic team’s emblem. A matte dark blue dial creates contrast with its vivid white markings but is also chosen to resist glare when wanting to reference vital information on the display. The typical B&R hands are accompanied by Super-LumiNova-coated hour markers and an Arabic numeral at 12 o’clock. The chronograph functions are highlighted in a red hue; the central chronograph second hand and the 30-minute sub-counter at 9 o’clock. Calculation of average speeds is also made easy by a tachymeter scale on the flange and, of course, said legible chronograph functions positioned underneath an anti-reflective sapphire crystal glass front. At 6 o’clock you can see the proud Patrouille de France logo, complete with 9 jet silhouettes and a tricolour French banner. Lastly, the Bell & Ross BR 03 94 Patrouille de France watch is powered by the Bell & Ross BR-CAL.301 based on the ETA 2894, which provides a 42-hour power reserve and a performance of 28,800 vibrations per hour.
For more information on the new limited edition piece, you can visit the page here or call our Jura Watches team today on 01335 453453