The latest novelty from the Bell & Ross Aviation collection is a chronograph piece inspired by space exploration. Even though it was not actually used in any space mission or even tested in such conditions, it does have the appropriate functions and a required sturdy yet light-weight construction. Bell & Ross Aviation BR-X1 Hyperstellar comes in a housing mostly made in titanium and with a self-winding movement. The price of the piece that was made for astronauts and aficionados of space exploration is set at $19,900.
In the official promotional material for the novelty from its Aviation series, Bell & Ross underlines the fact that a reliable mechanical chronograph is a necessary tool during any space mission. There are recorded cases in the history of space explorations when electrical equipment had failed and the crew members were then forced to rely on the mechanical timekeepers to complete their missions. However, it has to be said that Bell & Ross Aviation BR-X1 Hyperstellar or any other watch by the manufacturer were not actually used in these situations.
Be that as it may, it does not mean that the novelty would not be suitable for space explorations. On the contrary, the watch is equipped with exactly the features that would be needed in the surroundings. Firstly, BR-X1 Hyperstellar has a case made of light and resilient titanium, or to be more precise grade 5 titanium with micro-blasted finish. This material makes the most of the 45 mm wide square case of the watch. In addition to this, its fixed bezel features an insert made of anodized aluminum in blue color, another material renowned for its light weight. The construction of the housing also includes a bumper made of rubber which is used for additional protection of the structure.
Another touch that stands in accordance with the overall astronautic theme is the presence of rocker push-buttons on the case-band of the timepiece with water resistance to 100 meters. As it is common for the watches from the Aviation series of the Swiss watchmaker, the square shaped case is combined with a round dial. The dial is protected with a sapphire crystal which features a glare-proof coating for an improved legibility. The screwed in case-back with the appropriate engravings has an additional small opening covered with gray-tinted sapphire. The porthole is just above the balance of the watch’s movement.
Bell & Ross Aviation BR-X1 Hyperstellar sports a transparent dial which is likewise made of the same darkened sapphire and allows the look on the watch’s movement from the dial side as well (more precisely it shows off the chronograph mechanism). It features applied metal hour markers filled with luminous coatings, as well as skeletonized hands of the same kind. There is also a single 30-minute chrono sub-counter that sits at the nine o’clock position. It is surrounded with the same anodized aluminum that can be seen on the bezel insert, as well as on the inner bezel with minute/second markers.
The new Bell & Ross timepiece runs on Caliber BR-CAL.313 which was designed exclusively for the brand by Dubois-Depraz from ETA 2894-2 base movement. It is a self-winding mechanical movement with 56 jewels and a recognizable structure with the upper bridge in the shape of letter X. The caliber operates at the frequency of 28,800 vph and offers the power reserve that last for 42 hours.
For the attachment, the brand opted for the combination of materials. The strap is made with the top part in dark gray alligator leather and with a rubber lining in the same shade. Bell & Ross Aviation BR-X1 Hyperstellar is made in the limited edition of 250 pieces and each of the copies in the series is individually numbered as it can be seen on the case-back.