— This year, Replica Bell & Ross Watches has equipped its chronograph with a lightweight, ultra-resistant material: Carbone Forgé® (forged carbon).
Both lightweight and extremely strong, Carbone Forgé® plays a key role in the aeronautical and space industry, notably in the production of structural parts used for fuselages that are subjected to extreme mechanical stress.
Carbone Forgé® is a material obtained using a unique, patented conversion process. The technology behind the process involves compressing carbon fibres with a thermosetting resin at high temperature in a steel mould.
To meet watchmaking quality criteria, the engineers have reworked the carbon fibres 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 fibres. The marbled appearance of each piece is unique thanks to the random way the carbon fibres are mixed. The matt finish reduces reflection for better legibility, and makes it soft to the touch.
To protect it from the ravages of time and any possible impacts, a “bumper” in high-tech ceramic and rubber surrounds the square case of the BR-X1. High-tech ceramic, a material also borrowed from aeronautic and space industry, is used to design parts that are subject to very high temperatures, acid attack, corrosion and erosion, such as heat shields or the noses of space rockets. Almost as tough as a diamond, the high-tech ceramic developed by Bell & Ross can be dyed in the mass, is hard-wearing, non-deformable and lighter than steel. Its innovative rocker push buttons are used to activate the chronograph functions; these push buttons are also made from high-tech ceramic with ergonomically designed rubber inserts.
The case is equipped with functional non-indexed screws. The sapphire glass has an antireflective coating to ensure resistance and optimal legibility.
Bell & Ross’ latest creation is powered by a skeleton chronograph movement. Structured in the shape of an “X”, its upper bridge is treated with black DLC. The back of the BR-X1 – made from grade 5 PVD titanium – features a small, round opening which reveals the beating heart of the balance. Made from grey-tinted sapphire crystal and featuring appliqué metal indices with photo-luminescent inserts, the dial forms a clear window through which the movement can be admired. The faceted, Superluminova®-filled hands and appliqué indices offer perfect legibility.
The central hour and minute hands are read traditionally, while the small seconds hand is positioned at 3 o’clock. The skeleton date dial is positioned at 6 o’clock. Instead of a hand, the minute timer on the chronograph function features an ultra-light aluminium disc resembling the blades of a turbine. Essential for calculating speeds, the tachymeter scale appears on the flange.