Bell & Ross Unveil Alpine A521 Limited Edition Collection

Bell & Ross Unveil Alpine A521 Limited Edition Collection

Bell & Ross’ portfolio of pilot’s watches needs no introduction. Since its foundation, the Swiss watch manufacturer has focused almost entirely on the needs of airborne aviators providing instantly legible circular dials within robust square cases. Yet, one other industry Bell & Ross have dabbled in over the years is that of motorsport. In 2016, they became the official partner to the Renault F1 racing team and what followed was a multitude of Bell & Ross R.S collections. Today, they pursue yet another adventure within the sport, one with the Alpine F1 racing team with a trio of remarkable Bell & Ross Alpine A521 Limited Editions.

In September 2020, Luca De Meo, the CEO of Renault, announced the creation of the Alpine F1 team in honour of the Renault F1 team being rebranded. Despite the change, the Alpine F1 retains all of its predecessor’s heritage alongside a new management and driver line-up in place. Also maintaining the team’s legacy is Bell & Ross, who remain in full support of their partners as the Official Watch Partner of the Alpine F1 crew. The revived partnership was celebrated on March 28 in Bahrain, at the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix for 2021. As expected, alongside this partnership, the luxury watch brand has launched a special limited edition trio of chronographs dedicated to the team. Let’s introduce you to the Bell & Ross Alpine A521 Limited Edition collection…

Bell & Ross BR V3-94 Alpine A521 Limited Edition

The first model in the Bell & Ross Alpine 2021 collection is a piece from their BR V3-94 series. Characterised by its classic take on the racing chronograph, the Bell & Ross BR V3-94 Alpine A521 Limited Edition features a timeless round case engineered from stainless steel with satin and polished finishing measuring to 43 millimetres in diameter. For practicality during both everyday life and on the racetrack, classic pump pushers rather than screwed ones are located on the right hand side of the case alongside a screw in crown with crown guards delivering a 100 metre water resistant rating. The case is then delivered with a choice of a stainless steel bracelet or carbon-effect blue and black calfskin leather strap.

The colour blue is a running theme in the new 2021 Bell & Ross Alpine F1 collection to match with the team’s own rebranded cars. Royal blue is noticed both on the leather strap lining and on the black dial through the tachymeter scale, on the chronograph seconds hand and on the 30 minutes counter. Keen eyes may have spotted the unique design of the chronograph seconds hand which features a counterweight in the shape of an ‘A’ for the Alpine team. Powering the Bell & Ross BR V3-94 Alpine A521 Limited Edition of 500 pieces is the BR-CAL.301 automatic winding movement which can be seen at full force through the sapphire crystal case back or subtly through the skeletonised apertures on the small seconds and 30 minutes counters. The movement also delivers a small date window between 4 and 5 o’clock and a power reserve of 42 hours.

Specifications:

  • Case Size: 43mm
  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Bezel: Bi-directional rotating with anodised black aluminium ring, 60 minute scale
  • Glass: Curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
  • Crown: Screw down
  • Case Back: Exhibition
  • Water Resistance: 100 metres
  • Movement: BR-CAL.301 automatic winding
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, central chronograph seconds, 30 minute counter, date
  • Power Reserve: 42 hours
  • Jewels: 37
  • Frequency: 28,800vph
  • Dial: Black with Superluminova numerals and hands, tachymeter on flange
  • Strap: Black and blue calfskin leather strap or stainless steel bracelet
  • Buckle: Folding
  • RRP: £3,600 (Leather), £3,750 (Bracelet)
  • Limited Edition: 500 pieces

Bell & Ross BR 03-94 Alpine A521 Limited Edition

The second model in the Bell & Ross Alpine 2021 collection is a square take on the watch we’ve just shown you. The Bell & Ross BR 03-94 Alpine A521 Limited Edition shares most of the elements explained above, however, with the iconic “circle within a square” case, an aesthetic dear to the brand and its followers. Engineered from satin-finished and polished stainless steel, the case measures to 42 millimetres in width and is topped by a bi-directional rotating bezel with black aluminium insert and 60 minute scale and sapphire crystal glass with anti-reflective coating. Again, a 100 metre water resistance rating is promised thanks to a screw in crown.

The dial of the Bell & Ross BR 03-94 Alpine A521 watch also follows suit with the same ink-black backdrop, sporty blue accents, A-shaped seconds hand and skeletonised counters for 30 minutes and small seconds. The only real difference to the dial is the position of the date window which now appears at 6 o’clock in replacement of the Arabic numeral. Powering the chronograph complication and the skeletonised Superluminova filled hour and minute hands is the BR-CAL.301 winding calibre with a 42 hour power reserve. The model is another limited edition of 500 pieces and comes with two strap options, a black rubber band or a black ultra-resilient textile strap, both fitted with stainless steel pin buckles.

Specifications:

  • Case Size: 42mm
  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Bezel: Bi-directional rotating with anodised black aluminium ring, 60 minute scale
  • Glass: Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
  • Crown: Screw down
  • Case Back: Exhibition
  • Water Resistance: 100 metres
  • Movement: BR-CAL.301 automatic winding
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, central chronograph seconds, 30 minute counter, date
  • Power Reserve: 42 hours
  • Jewels: 37
  • Frequency: 28,800vph
  • Dial: Black with Superluminova numerals and hands, tachymeter on flange
  • Strap: Black rubber band or black ultra-resilient fabric strap
  • Buckle: Pin
  • RRP: £5,400
  • Limited Edition: 500 pieces

Bell & Ross BR-X1 Alpine A521 Limited Edition

For the last piece in the Bell & Ross Alpine 2021 collection, we move onto something slightly more complex and technical. Since the very first Bell & Ross Renault collaboration back in 2016, the BR-X1 model has always been part of the annual collection so it was no surprise to us that the Bell & Ross BR-X1 Alpine A521 Limited Edition was the final model in the trio. Compared to the two chronograph companions mentioned above, the BR-X1 is a limited edition of 50 pieces and is characterised almost entirely by its complex skeletonised dial. It still boasts the same Alpine-blue accents but with an open worked main plate leaving some of the technical parts of the BR.313 automatic movement on show.

The skeletonised dial of the Bell & Ross BR-X1 Alpine A521 watch is hemmed in by a bi-directional rotating bezel in steel equipped with a unique time marker, sapphire crystal glass and a 45 millimetre titanium and ceramic case. Boasting lightweight, scratch resistant and hypoallergenic properties, the case is then treated to a black PVD coating. The case also promises a 100 metre water resistant rating and delivers a tinted sapphire crystal case back revealing the other half of the mechanical movement. Superluminova hands for hours and minutes ensure easy legibility and a perforated black rubber strap with stainless steel folding buckle secures the piece comfortably to the wrist.

Specifications:

  • Case Size: 45mm
  • Case Material: PVD titanium and ceramic
  • Bezel: Bi-directional rotating with time marker
  • Glass: Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
  • Crown: Screw down
  • Case Back: Tinted glass, exhibition
  • Water Resistance: 100 metres
  • Movement: BR-CAL.313 automatic winding
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, central chronograph seconds, 30 minute counter, date
  • Power Reserve: 42 hours
  • Jewels: 56
  • Frequency: 28,800vph
  • Dial: Skeleton with Superluminova numerals and hands, tachymeter on flange
  • Strap: Black rubber
  • Buckle: Pin
  • RRP: £15,900
  • Limited Edition: 50 pieces

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