Bell & Ross BR 03-94 Phantom Chronograph ¶
Having seen it at Baselworld 2010 and not having the time to go back to the Bell & Ross booth to take a picture of it, I have been awaiting this moment impatiently. Finally Bell & Ross has released official images of this awesome little number, the BR 03-94 Phantom.
Perhaps "little" is not a fair adjective to be used when describing the Bell & Ross BR 03-94 Phantom. Its stainless steel case, coated with the manufacturer's proprietary black carbon finish, is 42mm wide. While not a particularly large size, the case's square shape makes the watch feel a lot larger than what a round one with 42mm diameter would. At the same time, the BR 03 case size is not exclusively for those who love oversize watches. No client at the Matt Baily boutique has ever accused a BR 03 of being too big or too heavy on the wrist.
The all-black or Phantom style has become quite well known over the past two or three years. Bell & Ross, is one of the companies to pioneer the style. It has since been emulated by dozens of other manufacturers. The allure of the all-black design occurs in its stealth and oddity. Apparently not telling time at all, it takes many by surprise at first. Thanks to the size of the hands and hour markers, as well as the markers having a light relief over the dial, the time is easily legible during the day. The relief of the hour markers is due to copious amounts of paint that are applied carefully to the dial. The paint used is phosphorescent, which makes the Phantom look even more remarkable at night when the hands, numerals, and indexes emit their strong green glow.
The BR 03-94 Phantom will not be produced in limited numbers like its bigger, older brother, the 46mm BR 01-94 Phantom. What will probably be the case is that the yearly production numbers will be limited. The non-chronograph version released last year is limited to 500 pieces per year, so it would be safe to assume that the same will apply to the BR 03 Phantom chronograph. The downside of such low production for such a desirable watch is that it can be get somewhat difficult to get your hands on one. The exclusivity of owning one, however, assures that you will have a watch that is even less common than the others in the Bell & Ross collections.
As with all other BR 03-94s, the Phantom runs on an automatic winding ETA 2894-2 calibre and is made at Bell & Ross' manufacturing facilities in Switzerland. More models and specifications are available on the BR 03-94 collection page on MattBaily.ca. The BR 03-94 Phantom is indicative of Bell & Ross. It encompasses some of the company's most important design principles such as the legibility, strength, and the stealthy, all-black Phantom dial.
Marco will be visiting the Bell & Ross headquarters in Paris at the end of May. Keep an eye out for exclusive images and videos of this and other Bell & Ross watches on the Baily Blog. You can subscribe to the Baily Blog RSS feed to be sure not to miss any novelties from our brands.