If you were to go into outer space, what kind of watch would you bring?
You may already know the answer – these are the Watch models Space 1, 2, 3.
Space 1 was the first automatic watch designed to keep accurate time despite being exposed to automatic movements, temperature, humidity, and air pressure. It was the first of its kind to be worn in outer space in 1985.
Would you like to know more about this fascinating technology? Read on to find out.
Meet the Founders of Bell & Rose
The outer-space-inspired name was given by the Bell & Ross company that manufactured the timepiece. Space 1 was worn by German physicist and astronaut Professor Dr. Reinhard Furrer. He was an astronaut of the last successful mission of the Space Shuttle Challenger.
Although there were other watches worn in outer space before, Space 1 is believed to be the first chronograph watch worn in outer space. The timepiece measures 44mm in diameter and 15 mm in thickness.
It is made of stainless steel and sapphire crystal, with automatic movement and a 100M water-resistant mechanism. It was initially named the Sinn 140A Ltd Edition.
The concept and design were originally made by two college students named Bruno Belamich and Carlos Rosillo. The duo is now known as the founders of Bell and Ross, the watch company.
The two were guided by the four basic principles of their design, namely legibility, functionality, precision, and reliability in all their models.
Belamich was the watch designer, while Ross was the operational head of the company that they founded in 1992. It was after the success of Space 1 a.k.a Sinn 140A.
Their interest in watchmaking was further revealed through their desire to create timepieces for the military. They wanted a stylish yet functional design that can be effectively used on land, air, sea, and then ultimately in outer space.
Together they created chronographs for the Army and the Air Force.
They designed extreme dive watches that can go deep into 11,000m of water and withstand the pressure associated with the dive.
They continued to create masterpieces that were manufactured by Sinn, and one of them was called Demineur. It was specially designed for the bomb disposal unit of France (or the French Security Services).
Chanel acquired Bell & Ross itself in 2002, which prompted them to move to La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.
The BR01 Instrument – A Product of Change
After the change in the manufacturing base around 2005, Bell & Ross launched BR01 – the modern icon in watchmaking. For Bell & Rose, BR01 is the key to the brands’ international exposure and recognition.
Inspired by the design of a military dashboard, Bell & Rose adopted the design and used their standard black color.
Black was used for functionality. It helps pilots avoid reflections in the cockpit. The design includes a round dial inside a square body.
The watch spoke of a strong brand image and was made of either black or steel case – basic yet functional which upholds its brand standards.
BR01 became the new image for Bell & Ross. The brand spoke of creativity even for those with a very active lifestyle. Since the launch of this model, the company has embarked on forging agreements with the diving world and extreme sports such as motorbike racing and even Formula 1 race car driving.
BR01 has evolved to other designs such as the BR03 – similar in design but is more appropriate to be used regularly. Despite the shift to a more conventional function of their design watches, they still maintained the concept of simplicity and functionality.
The latest design known as Horoblack and Nightlum is a timepiece that is aligned with the design of BR01, otherwise known as BR03 – 92.
Bell & Ross maintained the uncomplicated design and retained the date that is visible both day and night.
These models are highly functional and are useful for pilots inside the cockpit. They continued to make other versions of the same model for the Special Forces and Elite Police Force of Germany as well as the French Tactical units.
While Nightlum features a bead-blasted black ceramic case and matching color for the dial, Horoblack is the opposite.
It is made of a stainless-steel case and a matching colored dial. Both have a matte surface to avoid reflections. For both designs, the hands and indexes are vintage-inspired.
The Nightlum design provides clear hands and indexes visible in the morning and lit up at night. Both are dubbed as the most solid examples of super military timepieces.
Upholding the Core Inspiration
To date, Bell and Ross continue to design according to their main sources of inspiration for the brand, which are the Sky, Earth, and Sea. In honor of the Sky, the Aeronavale under BR01 and BR03 collections pay tribute to aircraft the most.
The rectangular shape was also inspired by the aircraft instruments.
Their Vintage Collection was designed to pay tribute to the Earth-style via the BR V2-92 Military Green model that paid tribute to the men on the ground. They were also the first wristwatch to be used by elite forces for their missions.
The design was treated with green Super-LuminaNova@3 to maximize luminescent qualities.
And to represent the Sea is their model Hydromax with water resistance up to 11,000 meters. To respond to the need for precision, despite the ongoing movement, the model used ETA 955.612 quarts movement with seven rubies.
This ensures that this model has the usual benefits of accuracy and constant running.
Bell and Ross continue to be the preferred brand for the military and other followers of extreme activities. Each watch from this watchmaker does serve its purpose and is well worth the price tag that you have to pay for.
If you are more used to watches that belong to more expensive brands, give Bell and Ross a try. It especially applies to those who want to join the military or even venture to outer space.