Bell & Ross may not be the most popular watch brand in the market. When you look at the rankings of the most well-known watch manufacturers, you would most likely see Bell & Ross in the lower middle or on the lower part of the list. But while it does not get the same attention as bigger watch brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe, it could surely match the giants when it comes to two things: Reliability and robustness.
Compared to most watch brands in the market, Bell & Ross is a relatively young company. And many consider it as a newcomer in an industry defined by fierce competition. But while this is the case, Bell & Ross has proven itself to be an excellent producer of professional watches. Yet there are more things about this company that you should know.
- The Company Was Founded as a University Project
You might think that Bell & Ross is an American brand the moment you hear this name for the first time. After all, when you dissect the name of the company, it sounds English when you hear or see it so many will assume that it is an American or even a British firm. But this is not the case. In fact, Bell & Ross is a French company founded by two childhood friends, Bruno Bellamich (who puts the “Bell in the company name) and Carlos Rosillo (who adds the “Ross” to it). It sure sounds creative. But no one would believe that Bell & Ross was founded as a university project.
For most of the history of the watchmaking industry, most watch manufacturing companies were founded by experienced and well-trained watchmakers and industrialists who want to bring something new to the market. Swiss watch companies also dominated the watch market back then and continue to do so today. But while Bell & Ross has a manufacturing center in La-Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, the company has a headquarters in Paris, France. As for the roots of the company, while there aren’t many details about how Bell & Ross started out as a university project, the two founders of the company were childhood friends pursuing different professions. Bruno Bellamich was a graduate industrial designer while Carlo Rosillo was a business manager. Bruno also started his career as an intern at Sinn, a German company famous for making tool watches. This collaboration proved useful, as the two were able to move out of Sinn and produce their own watches after that.
- Bell & Ross Watches Were Made for Professional Use
Most watches produced by different manufacturers have different purposes. Some were dress watches that could be paired with a nice dress. Other watches were tool watches that could be used for racing, diving, and other sports. As for tool watches, many of them have complicated and sophisticated designs that could also function as dress watches. But Bell & Ross had something different in mind. And they were set to change the watch industry by focusing less on fashion and focusing more on function and design.
If you have seen Bell & Ross watches before, chances are you have noticed the unique designs of these timepieces. Most watches from this French company have a square watch case and a round watch dial. This is because Bell & Ross watches were inspired by cockpits commonly seen in fighter planes and these timepieces were not made for celebrities, royalty, or athletes, but for professionals in the aviation, military, and other related industries. If you visit the official website of Bell & Ross, you will see that they describe their beginnings as a collaboration between aeronautical control panel specialists and watch designers. With that being said, many of their watches were made to withstand extreme situations that pilots, soldiers, divers, and bomb disposal experts experience. It has always been the mission of Bell & Ross to create utilitarian watches that were robust, useful, and stylish.
- Their Watches Have Made Records
Bell & Ross was established in 1992, which makes this company younger compared to most watch manufacturers. But in spite of its age, this company has already made various records and achievements throughout its history. And many of these feats were achieved during the company’s partnership with Sinn. One of the first records that Bell & has garnered is when it made the Space 1 Model. This was the first-ever automatic chronometer to be worn in space in 1994. Bell & Ross also takes the credit for creating the first jumping hour watch with power reserve in 1992, which was the Bell & Ross Vintage 123 Heure Sautante.
But the most impressive achievement that Bell & Ross got was when they released the Bell & Ross Hydro Challenger. This watch was marketed towards professional divers and swimmers. This watch had a more stylish look compared to other Bell & Ross watches, but its most notable feature is its water resistance, which could go as deep as 11,000 meters! This timepiece was even recognized by the Guinness Book of Records in 1998 for such a record. Truly, this company has made waves even when it was established only recently.
There’s no doubt that Bell & Ross has made history for prioritizing sturdiness and functionality over fashion and sophistication when it comes to its watches. If you are looking for a more stylish watch that will fit your tuxedo or long dress, Bell & Ross may not be the best watch for you. But if you are a professional and you need a reliable, tough watch that you can use, then you can expect Bell & Ross to deliver. Read more about Franck Muller Watches.