Bell & Ross has released a new high-tech BR-X1 watch in Paris this week. The price of the new watch has increased significantly, and it is aimed at completely different target customers, thereby leading the brand’s development to one. A new direction.
In a luxurious showroom at the headquarters in Paris, Carlos Rosillo, CEO of Bell & Ross, showed the media a clip from the 1983 movie ‘The Right Stuff.’ The film adapted from Tom Wolfe’s novel of the same name in 1979 begins with Chuck Yeager’s breakthrough sound speed driving. It is Bell X-1 that helped him achieve this feat. The reason why the new ‘Supersonic’ chronograph gives the same name-Bell & Ross hopes to break through the ‘sound barrier’ of its own watchmaking.
From a business perspective, the new limited edition BR-X1 chronograph costs 15,000 euros, breaking the key psychologically expected price of 10,000 euros. The ‘sound boom’ caused by the release of this chronograph will definitely shake the entire watch industry, which means that Bell & Ross will abandon its familiar field of price positioning of thousands of yuan, and Audemars Piguet, Hublot and even Richard M. Le began a positive competition.
‘This watch we are launching will face fierce competition from Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore and Hublot Big Bang Skeleton,’ Mr Rosillo said frankly, ‘but I believe that customers interested in this type of watch will choose Bell & Ross, because it is specifically designed for this type of customer, they already have this type of watch, but still want new models of different brands. This watch will even bring us a new type of customer group.’
But how to break through the ‘sound barrier’ of watchmaking? Mr. Rosillo explained that “both precious metals and gemstones can be used, and hope can be placed on the application of high-end technology.” Apparently, Bell & Ross chose the latter. The light grade 5 titanium alloy with rubber and high-tech ceramics makes the case lighter but more robust. What’s more, Bell & Ross specially equipped it with a movement co-developed with Dubois Dépraz, with an ‘X’ style black DLC bridge structure.
The technical design of the case has obvious ergonomic considerations. For example, the red rubber on the case allows the wearer to hold the watch more comfortably for chronograph operation. Compared to other push-button timers commonly found on other chronographs, the rotation type operation is also easier and more comfortable. Although the diameter of the watch reaches 45 mm, the application of titanium alloy makes it not heavier to wear between the wrists.
The release of this BR-X1 watch will start a new era of brand development. In the future, Bell & Ross will have more high-priced technical limited edition watches. 750 points of sale around the world compete for 250 limited-edition watches, Bell & Ross also took the opportunity to practice the marketing strategy of the franchise.
The new BR X1 limited watch continues the brand’s signature square case design. This structure provides possibilities for countless changes in the future. For example, a simple change in rubber color on the case will create a new watch. Mr. Rosillo said, ‘(This case design) is like Lego, it is a highly inclusive and modular architecture, and it is very flexible to operate.’
Finally, Mr. Rosillo concluded that, from the present point of view, the future series will still continue the brand’s square case design. However, this may also be a limitation and obstacle to the brand’s ‘supersonic’ ambition.