Bell & Ross is likely best known for its famous square-shaped watches and the aircraft instrument panels which inspired them. Though always looking to expand its reach, the watchmaker since 2016 has partnered with French-based Renault’s Formula 1 team as their official timekeeper. This year, as part of that ongoing partnership, Bell & Ross has released their latest collection dubbed R.S. 20 featuring four new racing-inspired chronographs.
The goal of the new limited-edition R.S. 20 collection is to channel a growing theme among the two brands: to foster the “Formula 1 of the future,” and to do so is using cutting-edge materials and novel design schemes. These new watches take their inspiration most notably from Renault’s R.S.20 single-seater revealed on March 11, but also from Renault’s futuristic R.S. 2027 Vision concept car, together resulting in an updated collection that is “outstandingly futuristic” yet “anchored in the present.”

BR V3-94 R.S.20

  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Dial: Matte black with yellow and white accents
  • Dimensions: 43mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire*****
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters
  • Crown: Screw-down* * * * * * *
  • Movement: BR-CAL.301
  • Strap/bracelet: Racing-style calfskin strap or polished steel bracelet
  • Price (leather): $4,400
  • Price (bracelet):*$4,700
  • Reference Number: BRV394-RS20
  • Expected Release: March 2020*

Limited Edition: 999 Pieces

BR 03-94 R.S.20

  • Case Material: Matte black ceramic
  • Dial: Matte black with yellow and white accents
  • Dimensions: 42mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire*****
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters
  • Crown: Push/Pull* * * * * *
  • Movement: BR-CAL.301
  • Strap/bracelet: Perforated black rubber
  • Price : $6,500
  • Reference Number: BR0394-RS20/SRB
  • Expected Release: Available Now*
  • Limited Edition: 999 Pieces

Renault’s F1 team and Bell & Ross have been ongoing partners since 2016, and since then have released five distinct collections on an annual basis dubbed the R.S. series (R.S. stands for Renault Sport, the carmaker’s motorsport, performance and special vehicles division). Much less well known than its aviation background is Bell & Ross French roots, and according to the brand when the fellow French Renault approached the watchmaker half a decade ago to partner for its F1 team, B&R jumped at the opportunity which has since proven to be a successful fit.

Leading the R.S. 20 releases is the BR V3-94 R.S.20, a new take on the Bell & Ross’ popular round chronograph series. This model features integrated pushers, sharp crown guards, and a bi-directional 60-minute bezel with shrunken numerals, together giving the case a very modern appearance. Moving to the dial, the new watch’s use of a checkered flag inspired minute ring, racing-style Arabic numerals, and the flashes of yellow provide it with a strong sporty appearance and directly tie it to Renault’s F1 team. As for functionality, the automatic BR-CAL.301 (ETA 2894-2) caliber inside provides the model with a 30-minute chronograph counter at the 9 o’clock and a running seconds hand at the 3 o’clock with a 42-hour power reserve.

Next up is the BR 03-94 R.S.20, a black ceramic chronograph with a dial similar to the previous BR V3-94 R.S.20. On this model, you’ll find a recognizable Bell & Ross square case shape, with chronograph pushers parallel to its right side and strapped to the wrist with a futuristic-style rubber racing strap. On the dial, we see the familiar racing-style configuration, though now slightly upgraded to suit the higher price point of the BR 03-94 series, with its enlarged applied Arabic numerals and 6 o’clock date window. Like the BR V3-94 R.S.20, the BR 03-94 R.S.20 also features the BR-CAL.301 movement.

The final two models in the new release package are the BR-X1 R.S.20 and BR-X1 Tourbillon R.S.20, two skeletonized chronographs featuring future-focused square cases composed of titanium, ceramic, and rubber. The BR-X1 (non-tourbillon) features a skeletonized version of the dial we saw on the previous two watches, now boosting the design into an even sportier package with its multi-material case, “rocker” chronograph pushers, and updated bi-directional bezel which uses a rotating PVD bezel ring with an independent time marker. This watch features the automatic BR-CAL.313, a skeletonized version of the previously seen BR-CAL.301.

The BR-X1 Tourbillon features a very similar case to the simpler BR-X1, though opting away from the additional yellow accents on its pushers, and distinguishing itself with its tourbillon mechanism and more complicated, asymmetrical dial configuration.
Bell & Ross has recently drawn attention for updating their Vintage Collection with three new BR V2 models released last February, and before then for unveiling their new “Urban” BR 05 line in 2019 meant to capitalize upon the growing demand for integrated, steel sports watches. The new R.S. 20 line showcases the brand’s continued commitment to not only producing interesting and novel designs in these new series, but further its commitment to revisiting and revitalizing its existing series and partnerships to meet the modern market.

The new R.S. 20 watches are being unveiled just ahead of the start of the 2020 F1 season, which begins on March 13 with the Rolex Australian Grand Prix and spans in Grand Prix races across the globe through November. Bell & Ross

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