Bell and Ross have been a real surprise for me this year. Yes, there have been some divisive designs, but their other established models have been exciting to browse through, and as a result, I ended up pulling the trigger on this one — the BR 03-93 GMT.
Two checkboxes were a prerequisite for this purchase.
- a GMT movement
- a design that was not like anything else in the collection
After culling down a shortlist, I couldn’t go past the Bell and Ross. It safely covered both.
What did surprise me was for a watch that has plenty of girth, it wears surprisingly comfortably. Only just a tad over 12mm thick and 42mm in diameter, it certainly has a presence on the wrist, but for someone, with 6.5-inch wrists, it wears just as well as some of my smaller sized watches.
The other major surprise was the options of straps and extras you get with a Bell and Ross purchase. Josh and Harry at the Bell and Ross boutique here in Melbourne were most accommodating, and I picked this up with a Leather, Canvas and Rubber strap. (currently, it is on the rubber strap, but this has vents running along the length of it and is extremely comfortable)
As this also has unique hex lug bars, interchanging these is simple with the tool supplied. If you also want to add to your strap options, the amount available online or in-store won’t keep you wanting.
Also, the box these things come in I would go as far as saying would come close to rivaling Omega when it comes to size and packaging.
The case and dial on the BR 03-93 GMT (and the others in this 42mm square range) are excellent. The combination of Brushing and Polishing has a great balance between the two. The brushing of the numerals on the dial (I don’t know what they have done precisely) but these will catch the light just so – even though they are not lumed; it’s not warranted as the shimmer from them is one of the best features of the dial in my opinion.
The GMT bezel is subtle but very easy to read, and the GMT hand (although heavily ‘influenced’ from Rolex’s design) ties in very well with the broadsword hands and overall layout of the dial.
Wearing this watch over the past month, I have never had so many people positively comment on a timepieces design whether it’s been traveling on Public Transport or even friends who aren’t into watches. Its presence on the wrist isn’t subtle, but because the case and dial finishing on the BR03-93 GMT is fantastic. It shows it off with such bravado, why not embrace the bold.
The movement is the BR-CAL.303, which is a modified Sellita SW300 and its price is probably on the expensive side, but I want to end the technical part of the review on this.
Nick from Fears I think said it well about the Sellita – That yes there are more elaborate movements out there. But the Sellita is reliable. It’s well built, cheap to service and considering the finishing of the dial, case design and options available for straps – I think you do get a fair bit for your money.
Speaking of; getting a small percentage discount on the RRP is also an option for most of the boutiques. If you are looking to investigate further keep that in mind.
This review has been on the positive side considering that lately there has been noise with Bell and Ross on the BR-05. Even though the BR-05 isn’t my cup of tea and a lot of their designs won’t be others either. I was surprised with the build quality, service, comfort, and range – that I think that if you are after something that isn’t like anything else out there and is overflowing with wrist presence. Bell and Ross I feel are worth a look into at the very least.