The Bell & Ross BR 03-92 RADIOCOMPASS

Image: Bell & Ross

Since its inception, the Franco-Swiss watchmaker Bell & Ross has been fascinated by aeronautical and military instruments. The statement “from the cockpit to the wrist” perfectly sums up the deep connection Bell & Ross has forged with its professional aviation watches, with roots steeped in military history and values.

In 2010, the Flight Instruments collection debuted a family of air navigation-inspired timepieces, paving the way for a cult following in the years to come. Twelve years later, the Flight Instruments collection continues to expand with the addition of the Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Radiocompass.

Image: Bell & Ross

The BR 03-92 Radiocompass, named after its namesake tool, was inspired by the pilot cockpit’s navigational radio compass instrument. The onboard radio receiver serves as a positioning aid by indicating an aircraft’s position and direction via ground beacons. This indispensable tool guides pilots regardless of visibility, allowing them to navigate even at night or in low visibility conditions (fog or rain).

The BR 03-92 Radiocompass, like all Flight Instrument collections, takes design cues from its source of inspiration. A distinctive pair of watch hands are modeled after those seen in the cockpit. The use of bright colors (orange, yellow, and green) helps to create visual contrast while also adding a touch of levity to Bell & Ross’ otherwise serious demeanor. Because of the unusual shapes of the watch hands, the alphabets H and M are added to denote the hour and minute hands, respectively. On the hands, generous coats of Super-LumiNova are applied.

Image: Bell & Ross

Other subtle references round out this exclusive, 999-piece limited edition timepiece. The graphic dial is adorned with three layers of white graduated markings arranged concentrically, as well as a triangle pip, minute indexes, and numerals. As a nod to the radio compass navigation instrument, the innermost hour numerals are rendered in highly legible isonorm typography and positioned towards the center of the dial. For readability in low light conditions, generous coats of Super-LumiNova are painted on the watch hands and twelve five-minute intervals.

The square and circle, as with the majority of Bell & Ross’ pieces, play an important role in the watch’s design language. A common square-shaped case has rounded edges and a circular time display set within it. Matte black ceramic was chosen as the case material because it is lightweight, hypoallergenic, scratch proof, and tough, and is widely used in the aerospace industry.