RACE

against

TIME

Speed has always been an inspiration for Bell & Ross. Through its passion for engineering, the company has crafted not only some fine timepieces, but also extreme speed machines that further inspire even greater creations.

The expression ‘time is of the essence’ often relates to speed, and speed has always held fascination for renowned watchmaker Bell & Ross.


Since it was founded, Bell & Ross has always demonstrated a passion for new technology and has consequently pushed itself to excel and develop highly complex mechanisms for its watches.


By extension, Bell & Ross is interested in all forms of extreme machines; in their off-time Bell & Ross engineers have been responsible of a number of fascinating motor vehicles that in return further inspire the creation of whole new lines of watches.

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Following the B-Rocket motorcycle in 2014 and Aero GT supercar in 2016 comes the retro-styled Bellytanker race car in 2017.


Creatively built off a fighter plane’s fuel tank, which is naturally designed to be aerodynamic in the first place, the streamlined Bellytanker is best known for participating in speed trails on the huge salt lake flats of the North American West, Bonnevile being the most famous example.


Bell & Ross’ creation is inspired by later versions of the Bellytanker. Being a plane on wheels, it aligns perfectly with the watch brand’s aviation and military DNA. This retro-futuristic racer is the latest in a line of extreme machines developed by the firm.


Besides the obvious aeronautical influences, the Bellytanker’s design also offers numerous nods to the watchmaking world. The metal of its bodywork is like the case of a watch, whilst the glass covering its cockpit echoes an ultra-curved crystal. The copper-cultured trim evokes the dials of timepieces from this era.

Bell & Ross

on wheels

The B-Rocket is a retor-futuristic concept motorcycle with streamlined aerodynamics of a jet plane. This two-wheeled wonder pays tribute to the finest US-made experimental aircrafts produced in the 1950s and 1960s.

Same approach as the B-Rocket applied to a car. Bell & Ross created an avant-garde aircraft-inspired supercar with astonishing performance.

B-Rocket (2014)‍‍‍

‍‍‍Aero GT(2016)

What’s in a Tank?

In the 1940s and 1950s, the term ‘Bellytank’ referred to the emergency drop fuel tank fitted on the belly of fighter planes. At the end of WW2, an American speed freak by the name of Bill Burke wanted to build an ultra-fast car to race on the salt flats.


Burke drew on his experience fighting the war in the South Pacific. In 1946, when many military components were sold off cheap after the war, he bought a drop tank from a North American P-51 Mustang fighter plane for $35.

Using the tank as bodywork, Burke fitted it to a chassis and powered it with a V8. He took the prototype for testing at the Bonnevile salt races, and the first Bellytanker racer was created.

Later, Burke repeated the feat by developing more racers built from tanks of the lighter Lockheed P-38 fighter.

Comprised of two timepieces, the new Bellytanker collection adopts the round case of the Vintage model whilst remaining resolutely modern. It is designed to evoke the legendary era of record-breaking ra‍‍‍ces in the North America of the 1950s. This collection is aimed at contemporary and enthusiastic drivers, with a love for vintage and the thrill of driving.

Each of the two watches of the collection are limited to just 500 pieces.

BR V1-92 Bellytanker
Movement: Calibre BR-CAL302, Automatic mechanical
Functions: Hours, minutes, central seconds, and date
Case: 38.5mm diameter, satin-polished steel
Dial: Gilt. Metal appliqué numerals and indices. Metal-skeletonised Superluminova-filled hour and minute hands
Crystal: Ultra-curved sapphire, anti-reflective coating
Water-resistance: 100m
Strap: Brown calfskin
Buckle: Pin, steel

BR V2-94 Bellytanker
Movement: Calibre BR-CAL301, Automatic mechanical
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds at 3 o’clock. Date. Chronograph – 30-min timer at 9 o’clock, central chronograph seconds
Case: 41mm diameter. Satin-polished steel. Steel bezel, tachymeter scale. Screw-down crown, push buttons. Sapphire case-back
Dial: Gilt. Metal appliqué numerals and indices. Metal-skeletonised Superluminova-filled hour and minute hands
Crystal: Ultra-curved sapphire, anti-reflective coating
Water-resistance: 100m
Strap: Satin-polished steel or brown calfskin
Buckle: Folding, satin-polished steel

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