Skeleton in Ceramic: Introducing the Bell & Ross BR 01 Cyber Skull
French-founded Bell & Ross is known for its creative designs and unique takes on the aviation-influenced, square-cased style that the company pioneered with the BR 01 collection. The BR 01 Concept Skull series, in particular, has showcased some of Bell & Ross’s most playful offerings in recent years, and its skull-and-crossbones motif has become a signature look for the watchmaker. In 2018, Bell & Ross also created a signature movement for the series, debuting in the original Laughing Skull and appearing in the multiple iterations unveiled since.
Recently, the brand continued to revitalize its reputation for creativity, unveiling the avant-garde BR 01 Cyber Skull. The new watch — a futuristic, 3-D take on the Skull series — is Bell & Ross’ latest dip into haute horological watchmaking and works to present a sci-fi-esque take on the now-familiar family, first unveiled in 2009.
The Cyber Skull’s polygonal, faceted case feels fresh off the 3D printer. It measures 46.5 mm by 45 mm and is constructed from matte-black ceramic. The case on its top side features eight stark facets, with a similarly faceted right-side crown. It is connected to a black, BR-signed rubber strap and secured to the wrist via a black-PVD-coated steel buckle.
The eight-sided sapphire crystal covers the Cyber Skull’s namesake and centerpiece, the skeletonized skull-motif dial. On the sapphire itself we find black, printed tick hour markers at each position except at 12 o’clock, which features a printed Bell & Ross logo with its ampersand symbol sitting directly over the open-heart balance wheel.
The dial’s central skull, like the case, is made of sandblasted ceramic and secured to the case via four prominent screws at each corner of the dial. At its center are baton-style hands for the hour and minute and no additional seconds pointer. Like all the most recent Skull-family watches, this one also has a simple automaton capability, with the skull’s lower “jaw” moving vertically when the mainspring is wound via the crown — a result of the jaw being coupled to the barrel ratchet wheel of the movement.
Powering the BR 01 Cyber Skull is the BR-CAL.206, a hand wound movement developed in partnership with Concepto, a movement specialist that develops unique calibers such as this. As a result of its specialized construction, the movement itself is produced in a skull shape and, while it it features skeletonized styling, hides most of the mechanics behind the floating skull head. The movement still can be viewed, however, through the sapphire caseback, showing off its sandblasted ceramic elements as well as various polished-finished parts. On the technical side, the movement has a frequency of 28,800 vph (4 Hz) and features a 48-hour power
The Bell & Ross BR 01 Cyber Skull will be limited to 500 total editions, each currently marked by the brand at $10,900. The watch is available now, both directly through and Bell & Ross and via authorized dealers.