Bell & Ross BR 03 94 Patrouille de France Limited Edition Watch Review

Bell & Ross BR 03 94 Patrouille de France Limited Edition Watch Review

Sharing the same passions for flight, values of precision and home country of France, Bell & Ross have partnered up with the Patrouille de France to release their first collaborated limited edition watch. Exclusive to only 500 pieces worldwide, the Bell & Ross BR 03 94 Patrouille de France is more than just a limited edition stamped with the collaborator’s logo. Instead, the pilots of the Patrouille de France have had a real hand in designing its configuration ensuring legibility and accuracy are primed.

For more than 67 years, the Patrouille de France has flown around the globe with sophistication and style. They are considered one of the oldest and most famous precision aerobatics demonstration units in the world under the control of the French Air and Space Force, otherwise known as the Armée de l’Air et de l’Espace. Their mission is to perform adrenaline-rushing aerial displays, traditionally opening events such as Bastille Day in Paris and leading the ambassadorship role of French aeronautics overseas. Their maneuverers are nothing short of amazing and as you can expect, timing is crucial to the team’s success. Every turn must be perfectly synchronised between the pilots with no rooms for error as they travel at speeds up to 800 kilometres per hour spaced just two metres apart. With precise timing in mind, the armée de l’Air et de l’Espace chose French luxury watch manufacturer Bell & Ross to be the latest official watchmaking partner of the Patrouille de France. As their partner, Bell & Ross has worked closely with the pilots of the squadron to create the BR 03 94 Patrouille de France Limited Edition, a chronograph carefully adapted to ensure all their operational needs.

Their first request for the Bell & Ross BR 03 94 Patrouille de France Limited Edition watch was its black ceramic profile. Renowned for being scratch resistant, lightweight on the wrist and unable to offer reflection during flight, black ceramic was chosen for the 42 millimetre by 42 millimetre case. Like so many in the Bell & Ross collections, the case follows the characteristic “circle within a square” aesthetic with four matching black screws at each corner and a screw in crown at 3 o’clock sat inbetween the two chronograph pushers. The case continues to impress with a 100 metre water resistance rating helped by the solid case back handsomely engraved with the Patrouille de France emblem and its limited edition status out of 500 pieces.

Another requirement for the Bell & Ross BR 03 94 Patrouille de France watch was the presence of a bi-directional bezel also engineered from black ceramic. There aren’t currently any Bell & Ross BR 03 94 models equipped with a bezel like this, so it just goes to show the level of thought and influence the Patrouille de France pilots had in designing the limited edition. The bezel is equipped with a 60 minute scale which ensures easy legibility with white luminescent markings including a white luminous triangle marker at 12 o’clock. The bezel then sits beside sapphire crystal glass treated with a layer of anti-reflective coating.

For us, the dial is the most distinctive feature of the Bell & Ross BR 03 94 Patrouille de France Limited Edition watch, beautifully dressed in the aerobatics demonstration unit’s colours and their emblem. The main face of the dial is adorned in a matte navy blue with matching blue counters and contrasting white markings for the single Arabic numeral and indexes. Like the bezel, the white markings and the propeller-shaped hour and minute hands are coated in glow in the dark Superluminova. Also on the dial is a rounded date window between 4 and 5 o’clock, two red hands for the chronograph complications and a tachymeter scale on the inner flange, a feature perfect for pilots needing to calculate average speeds. Despite all that, the centrepiece of the dial is easily the logo of the Patrouille de France. The gold emblem sits centre stage at 6 o’clock and includes the nine jet silhouettes and the tricolour banner to mark their home country of France.

Powering each of the complications on the dial is the BR-CAL.301 automatic winding movement, a calibre based on the familiar ETA 2894. Alongside its small seconds function, date window and central chronograph seconds, the Swiss made movement stands out for its frequency of 28,800vph, 37 jewels and power reserve of 42 hours. The Bell & Ross BR 03 94 Patrouille de France watch is then finished off by a black rubber strap secured by a black PVD coated stainless steel pin buckle. In the box, an additional strap is also offered crafted from ultra-resilient black fabric.

If you’d like to learn more about the Bell & Ross BR 03 94 Patrouille de France watch and get your hands on one of the 500 limited edition pieces, head over to the Jura Watches website here. You can also get in touch with our team of luxury watch specialists by calling 01335 453453 or send us a message at help@jurawatches.co.uk.

Specifications: Bell & Ross BR 03 94 Patrouille de France Limited Edition (BR0394-PAF1-CE/SRB)

  • Case Size: 42mm
  • Case Material: Matte black ceramic
  • Bezel: Bi-directional rotating with 60 minute scale
  • Glass: Sapphire crystal glass with anti-reflective coating
  • Crown: Non-screw locked
  • Case Back: Closed
  • Water Resistance: 100 metres
  • Movement: BR-CAL.301 automatic winding
  • Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph seconds, 30 minutes counter, date
  • Power Reserve: 42 hours
  • Jewels: 37
  • Frequency: 28,800vph
  • Dial: Matte navy blue with white Superluminova markings and Patrouille de France logo
  • Strap: Black rubber and black textile
  • Buckle: Pin, black PVD steel
  • RRP: £5,400
  • Limited Edition: 500 pieces

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