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WATCH REVIEW Bell & Ross BR01-94 Pro

Editor's opinion
56 / 100
The BR01 with its direct aircraft clock origins and respectable size of 46mm x 46mm, has become the icon of Bell & Ross :  it's a radical watch, which promises to make an impact on anyone. 
Straight to the Point

Bell & Ross BR01-94 Pro

Ref.: BR01-94 Pro
$5,500.00 US retail price May 18th, 2010
  • distinguished and original look
  • original construction of the case
  • good finishing
  • dial design does not facilitate readability
  • titanium Grade 2
  • high price compared to other models in the BR range
Brand Bell & Ross
Model name
BR01-94 Pro
BR01-94 Pro
Case material
Case diameter (without crown)
46 x 46 mm
Case diameter (crown included)
46 x 50 mm
Movement type
Unspecified by the manufacture
Base Caliber
ETA 28-94
Single-face crystal with anti-reflective coating
Power reserve
Transparent back
Lug width
24 mm
Length from lug to lug
55 mm
Case thickness
12,7 mm
Clasp type
Pin buckle
Clasp material
Total weight
129 grammes
Retail price USA at May 18th, 2010
Comfort (/15) 10
Movement (/20) 8.5
Movement Optimisation / Garnishment (/5) 1
Ease of handling and adjustment (/5) 4
Movement control proceeded by the Manufacture / horlogical awards (/3) 1
Power reserve (/2) 1
Complications (/5) 1.5
Finishing (/20) 12.5
Dial finishing (/6) 4
Case finishing (/6) 4.5
Quality of garnishment / caseback engraving quality (/2) 1
Crystal quality (/4) 2
Clasp finishing (inner and extern) (/2) 1
Functionality (/20) 12
Diurnal legibility (/5) 3
Night legibility (/4) 2
Water resistance (/3) 1
Strap : ease of size adjustment + ease of substitution (/4) 2
Clasp : quality and safety (/4) 4
Additional items (/10) 4
Limited edition (/3) 0
Watch delivered with several straps (/2) 1
Quality of the watch box (/1) 1
Portability with shirtsleeves buttoned (/2) 0
Goodies included (/1) 1
Understandability of the brochure (/1) 1
Value for money (/15) 9
When to wear it ? For a dinner downtown
Users opinion
like this watch
Do you like this watch?

This Titanium “Pro” variation is more refined than the other BR’s with a very ‘industrial’ look : highly crafted case and hands, a reviewed dial  … Despite its name, it seems more suited to a dinner in town than a commando operation.


A good manufacturing quality of the case

The “Pro” case has a new enhanced bezel with an original and beautiful “sun” brushed finishing. As always with Bell & Ross, the manufacturing quality of the case is good.
But the titanium grade 2 used is likely to damage more easily than a grade 3 or 5.

The hands are wonderful : with their alternately sanded and polished surfaces, they seem more inspired by the dashboard of a supercar than an aircraft gauge panel.

The 46mm side of a BR01 are not for all wrists. But very short lugs make it much easier to wear.


About the straps

Despite the reasonable weight of this chronograph, comfort with the rubber strap is not optimal, which isn’t really up to the watches standard. It is too rigid and low quality (with a very “plastic” look and traces of moulding). It definitely does not accentuate the watch.

Luckily the 2nd nylon canvas bracelet provided is a real success : it fits well with the “military” look and comfort is excellent. It is just unfortunate that the buckle is PVD steel and not titanium.


Despite its name, it seems more suited to a dinner in town than a commando operation.


A readability which is not as good as you might expect
from a Bell & Ross watch

The disappointment of this BR01 “Pro” is readability : the very large hands mask chronograph counters and matching colours do not allow intuitive time reading.

The night-time legibility is no better : the brightness diminishes very quickly, and the key hands are almost identical when aligned with the indexes. If you do manage to see them, you’ll have great difficulty telling one from another…

This is particularly surprising as the BR01 “classics” are among the most legible watches on the market !


What to remember

At the end of the day, the radical design of BR is very endearing.
But the emphasis seems to have been on the look rather than on its practicality.
It’s a great watch if you want to look like a pilot. But maybe less so if you want to be one…

The price of this “Pro” version is a bit salty: € 500 more than the BR01-94 Titanium “classic” which is already € 1000 more expensive than the steel version…

If you like the BR, take the time to choose your model: Bell & Ross offers a wide range of different models !
The BR01-92 models are for instance a highly recommendable alternative at a lower price.

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