Bell & Ross’ replica watches Airborne collection has been joined by a new bronze version of the Skull BR 01
The Skull Bronze is being released as a collectors’ update of the original Skull BR 01, which replica Bell & Ross watches launched back in 2009. While at first glance it might not sit so comfortably within Bell & Ross’s ethos of instrumentation-inspired aviation watches, there is a reason for its existence.
In fact, this particular watch, with the added steampunk feel that changing from black PVD or steel has brought to the Airborne line, sits at the centre of a watch nerd Venn diagram: there are fans of bronze watches; there are fans of skull watches, and there are fans of replica watches uk with obscure links to aviation history. This watch combines all three.
The first two are self-evident: the bronze will soon lose that factory-fresh golden sheen and develop a unique patina, a factor that has seen the likes of fake Panerai watches, Schofield and Zenith release bronze pieces recently. And skull watches come in a surprisingly wide variety, from the Mexican-themed creations of Fiona Kruger to the bejewelled pieces from De Grisogono, via Hublot, Richard Mille, HYT, Corum and many more.
It’s the aviation part that takes a bit more explaining. The fake Bell & Ross watches, like so many of Bell & Ross’s designs, has WWII roots: the skull and crossbones logo was adopted as the symbol of the earliest US parachute regiments in WWII, whose motto was “Death from Above”.
It was an emblem designed to intimidate the enemy and prevent bad luck. A dash of superstition went a long way when parachuting into Normandy during the D-Day landings – exactly what the troops of the 101st and 82nd American airborne divisions who inspired the first Breitling replica watches uk did. Here, the bezel and the screws make up the crossbones, whilst a photoluminescent skull, painted with B-light pigment, grins from underneath the sapphire glass.
The spike-shaped indices have actually been plated onto the back of the crystal, giving clear legibility above the brown and bronze tones of the dial. The gilt sword-shaped hands sit in the middle of the skull, thus requiring the screw-down crown to be positioned off-centre. The automatic Rolex replica watches movement inside is the BR-CAL.302, which is an adapted caliber (either a Sellita 300SW or ETA 2824).
It’s the bronze case, though, that really adds the vintage appeal. Made up of 92% copper and 8% tin, the cheap replica watches red gold colour will acquire a patina over time to match the gently weathered brown calfskin strap. The caseback is light, hypoallergenic titanium, making it comfortable against the skin. Only 500 models will be released, priced at £4,400.