Created in tribute to Bell & Ross’ new BR-Bird racing plane design (shown below), the new BR V2-94 Racing Bird Chronograph translates the plane’s concept and livery into a handsome and distinctive pilot’s chronograph. Following Bell & Ross’s in-house designs of race cars and motorcycles, the brand has designed a racing plane meant to compete in the Reno Air Races. It’s a sleek design with a rearward cockpit sitting well behind a broad set of wings. While only a conceptual design study, the BR-Bird has inspired a pair of handsome watches from Bell & Ross, this V2-94 chronograph, and the BR V1-92 three-hander.
Like its three-handed sibling, the BR V2-94 Racing Bird Chronograph is a distinct departure from the more vintage-inspired aesthetic of other models in this range from Bell & Ross. While the Racing Bird retains its 41mm steel case and two-register, 30-minute chronograph layout, this limited edition model opts for a more modern use of Arabic numerals set on a legible white dial with blue, grey, and orange accents. The typical date at 4:30 has been replaced by a “three-day” date display sunk into the base of the running seconds sub dial. The effect is sporty, fun, and undeniably connected to Bell & Ross’s aviation designs.
To get to the point, the more I look at the images, the more I like the BR V2-94 Racing Bird. I like the white dial, I like the blue and orange accents on the subdial at nine, I like that they have replicated the silhouette of the BR-Bird in the counter balance of the bright orange chronograph seconds hand. Oddly enough, I think I might like the date display too, which is a first for me. I like how it conforms to the shape of the register and that the date wheel is color matched to the dial. I’ll reserve final judgement until I get to see it in person at Baselworld, but BR-Bird or not, I think the Racing Bird chronograph looks really good. Limited to 999 units, the BR V2-94 Racing Bird is powered the ETA 2894-2 (which B&R calls the BR-CAL.301) and is available on a blue leather strap or a steel bracelet.