The ultimate reference in aeronautical watches, Bell & Ross has now added racecar drivers to its list of professional users.
As the official watch partner of the Renault Sport Formula One Team, Bell & Ross continues to celebrate this partnership. It was especially evident at the recent Singapore Grand Prix, in which drivers Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer were spotted with their engraved BR-X1 RS16 Skeleton Chronograph timepieces.
Palmer also made a special appearance at Bell & Ross’ pop-up store at Paragon in Singapore for a meet and greet session.
Currently on his first season as a Formula One main race driver this year, Palmer also participated in the Batak challenge – a test of reflexes, hand-eye coordination and concentration – alongside six finalists who attained the highest scores. One winner walked away with the grand prize of a Bell & Ross timepiece, while the remaining five received gift bags comprising merchandise.
In the evening, Bell & Ross CEO Carlos A. Rosillo hosted a cocktail reception at the same venue. It was attended by VIPs, who got to meet and mingle with personalities such as Cyril Abiteboul, managing director of Renault Sport Formula One Team. Los Angeles-based celebrity deejay Eve Speciall provided the evening’s entertainment as she spun at the console with an eclectic mix of music infused with her unique grooves.
“Renault Sport Formula One Team and Bell & Ross share a common goal of pushing the limits of mechanics in a race against time,” enthused Rosillo. “Our partnership is symbolic of what can be achieved when precision and speed come together to form a synergy that could only lead to victory.”
Abiteboul concurred, adding: “The collaboration with Bell & Ross was born out of passion for mechanical engineering, speed and precision and is a valued partnership for both sides. We share an interest in small details and the conviction that every millisecond counts.”
For a taste of the afore-mentioned partnership between these two brands, yours truly was treated to a private tour of the Renault Sport Formula One Team technical centre during the night race. The walk along the pit lane – conducted by David Menochet, affable managing director of Renault Sport Racing – offered a rare glimpse of the behind-the-scenes of the Grand Prix garages.
In regard to the watches, the BR-X1 RS16 Skeleton Chronograph and the BR-X1 RS16 Skeleton Chronograph Tourbillon were created to withstand extreme conditions.
They are armoured, robust and technical timepieces that stand out thanks to the innovative design of their 45mm multi-material case.
Using materials like grade 5 titanium and Carbone Forge – a high-tech composite material – the BR-X1s are lightweight yet incredibly strong watches prepared for the impacts of this extreme field.
Carbone Forge is a material obtained using a unique conversion process. The technology behind the process involves compressing carbon fibers with a thermosetting resin at high temperature in a steel mold. To meet watch-making quality criteria, the engineers have reworked the carbon fibers and the composition of the resin. The result is a non-porous, water-resistant single-unit case with clean edges in a deep black, which is the colour of the carbon fibers.
The marbled appearance of each piece is unique thanks to the random way the carbon fibers are mixed. Made from grey-tinted sapphire crystal and featuring applique metal indices with photo-luminescent inserts, the dial forms a clear window through which the movement can be observed.
A yellow rubber grip has also been integrated to the case to ensure better handling when activating the chronograph’s functions. As a subtle reference to the colour associated with Renault Sport Formula One Team and the racing car field, both timepieces display yellow rubber inserts on the crown and the rocker push buttons.
Only 250 pieces of BR-X1 RS16 Skeleton Chronograph and 20 pieces of BR-X1 RS16 Skeleton Chronograph Tourbillon are available worldwide.
In Malaysia, Bell & Ross boutiques are located at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, The Gardens in KL and Gurney Plaza in Penang.