Review: Jämes-César Pellaton Chronomètre Royal de Marine
Previous
RANDOM
Review: Glashütte Original Senator Chronograph Panorama Date
Next

Review: Bell & Ross BR03-92 Diver

A dive watch with an alter ego
by Chelsey Chen on June 22, 2017
Positives

• Strong value proposition; it is a dive watch and can also double-up as a cockpit instrument timepiece

• Compared to the steel BR03-92, this dive watch is competitively priced

• A sports watch that is dressy enough to be worn on weekdays for “desk divers”

Negatives

• Made for only for up to 300m scuba diving (air-diving) and is not suitable for saturation diving (mixed-gas diving) at deeper depths

Mention Bell & Ross and what comes to mind immediately would be their cockpit instrument timepieces. Interestingly some 20 years ago in 1997, the brand became the leader in professional dive watches with the Bell & Ross Hydromax, a dive watch that can withstand the depth of 11,100 meters because of its patented oil-filled case. Back then, the Hydromax was designed for the most extreme conditions encountered in professional diving and was regarded as a major technical innovation.

Fast forward to today, the market is abundant with all sorts of dive watches, with varying depth ratings, functions and price points, suited for all types of divers. It may seem like a challenge for Bell & Ross to reintroduce their dive watch on its 20th anniversary, but we are with the designers on this one, by offering the dive watch in their iconic Bell & Ross stainless steel square case. The result is a refreshing piece that looks extraordinarily different from other dive watches, and one that can also double-up as a cockpit instrument or pilot watch.

 

The BR03-92 Diver, the first square diver watch from Bell & Ross.

 

The BR03-92 Diver

A dive watch is not just one that can withstand the depths and thermal shock under the sea without water intrusion or condensation, but it must also have elements to allow legible time reading at a distance of 25cm in the dark according to ISO 6425 “Divers’ watches” standard.

Despite it not having a huge crown which is common for Flieger/Pilot watches (so that it can be used with gloves) the BR03-92 Diver possesses exceptional legibility with its clearly defined, luminous hands and contrasting indices, fulfilling both the requirements of a dive and a pilot watch, all in a easily recognizable square-shaped case.

Read also:   Horological Travesty: The TAG Heuer Monaco V4 is Underappreciated

The BR03-92 Diver has many “firsts” for the brand. Apart from being the first square diving watch created by the brand, this is the also the first time Bell & Ross has presented a watch in a pelican case as the watch box, complete with a BR velcro watch strap, that you can easily adjust to use for diving over the thick wetsuit. As you will see in our unboxing video below, the watch comes with the BR hex screwdriver as well as an Allen key so that you can perform the change of straps and pin buckle yourself easily.

The BR03-92 Diver presented in a pelican case as the watch box.

The case, dial and hands

The first thing that one would notice on this watch would be its sapphire crystal, or rather, the lack of (the look of) it. As mentioned above, a good dive watch requires remarkable legibility and the anti-reflective coating on this piece is commendable. The sapphire crystal does not look like it’s there most of the time, unless under strong reflective lighting conditions. We learnt that the crystal has a thickness of 2.85mm, compared to 1.50mm on the classic steel BR 03-92 for improved water resistance.

Remarkable legibility with commendable anti-reflective coating on the sapphire crystal.

The black matte dial shows maximum contrast with its glossy metal indices filled with white Superluminova, which once again, adds to making it easy to tell the time.

Another positive feature on this piece would be the hour hand, easily distinguishable by its bright orange hue, drawing the wearer’s attention to it at the quickest glance. Both the minute and second hands contain white Superluminova, vital for calculating dive time when in the depths of the sea.

Read also:   Review: Modestly priced watches: The Sinn U1 Camouflage

The BR03-92 Diver has a brawny presence on its 42mm steel case that comes in satin polished steel, with straight brushed finishing at the sides. We learnt that the case of the BR03-92 Diver has been reinforced with a thicker back of 2.80mm compared to the 1.80mm on the classic steel piece. For its antimagnetic feature, the dive watch is equipped with a soft iron cage inside the case.

The bezel insert is only 3mm wide without being over-imposing.

 

The bezel is unidirectional with 60 clicks and feels incredibly sturdy with a good degree of resistance to rotate in order to prevent accidental rotation and incorrect setting. To us, the 3mm-wide black aluminum insert is at an impeccable size without looking over-imposing, allowing this dive watch to be worn with formal office wear.

The watch comes with the familiar B&R steel signed crown but this time, it has a rubber crown insert, as well as a crown guard, contributing to the slew of safety features on the watch.

The BR03-92 Diver runs on the SW300-1.

The movement

In the heart of the BR03-92 Diver lies the automatic BR-CAL302 movement which is based on the Sellita SW300-1. It has a reasonable power reserve of 38 hours, and is functioning at the frequency of 4Hz, 28,800 bph.

 

The hour hand can be easily identified due to its bright orange hue.

 

Concluding thoughts

Coming from a brand with wealth of experience in the aeronautical, military and maritime fields, the BR03-92 Diver is a trustworthy, functional piece, made to withstand the underwater environment of up to 300m. Even if it’s used by a desk diver, one can easily appreciate it being legible, practical and most importantly, having unique aesthetics as a dive watch in the distinctive square shape case. It can also be regarded as a cockpit instrument watch, akin to the classic steel version, only this time with additional dive features.

Read also:   Review: Rolex Submariner Ref.114060

 

The BR03-92 Diver may have a slew of safety features, but it works well for daily desk diving too.

 

In case you missed it, here’s the unboxing video that we shared last week so that you will know what else to expect, apart from the timepiece:

Technical Specifications and Price

Reference: BR 03-92 Diver

Movement: BR-CAL. 302 Automatic mechanical

Case: 42mm stainless steel

Bezel: Unidirectional rotating steel bezel with 60-minute scale and black anodised insert

Dial: Black, with metal applique skeleton Superluminova-filled numerals and indices.

Crystal: Sapphire with anti-reflective coating

Straps: 1 x woven black rubber and 1 x ultra-resilient black synthetic fabric, with a stainless steel “BR” signed pin buckle.

Lug width: 24mm

WR: 300 metres

Antimagnetic

RRP including GST: S$5,300

 

For more information on the BR03-92 Diver, visit bellross.com

“Omega
What's your reaction?
I Love It
69%
Cool
11%
It's OK
9%
What?
3%
I Hate It
9%

Leave a Reply

powered by gf
Translate »