Bell & Ross likes to break the mold and think outside the box. Since its inception, the brand has been launching concept watches that are now an integral part of its DNA.
In this vein, the BR 01 “Skull,” launched in 2009, was one of the first to ride the wave of the trend for Skull watches. On the back of this success, Bell & Ross revealed two new limited edition models in 2011, including the famous BR 01 Tourbillon Skull.
A third revisited series was released in 2015. This collection adopted a bronze case, which would develop a patina over time, transforming each watch into a unique piece. In 2016, Bell & Ross showed innovation with its BR 01 Burning Skull concept that featured an engraved case decorated with black lacquer, reminiscent of the ink used by tattoo artists.
Today, Bell & Ross is going one step further with a new Skull watch, this time equipped with an automaton movement. It includes a surprise that will make you laugh: the mandible moves and the skull grins back at you! The Bell & Ross Skull family has become an iconic collection and is now approaching its 10th anniversary.
Watchmaking Automaton: With its new BR 01 Laughing Skull watch, Bell & Ross is venturing into the field of automata for the first time. These autonomous mechanisms, which feature an animated display, appeared in Europe in the 14th century at the same time as mechanical clocks. They often take the form of a jaquemart, an animated mechanized figure of a person, fitted to a church clock tower to strike the hours on a bell. The original Laughing Skull concept is therefore a kind of direct descendant of these elegant animation systems.
Manufacture Movement: The new Bell & Ross watch conceals a powerful character. The skull’s mandible is animated during winding. To create it, the brand developed the BR-CAL.206: a caliber entirely produced by the manufacture that is also skull-shaped, so that the mechanism fits the case perfectly. In the extension of the four bones, the four bridges secure the main plate to the case and come together to form a single assembly floating in the center of the watch.
Bold Design: This bold timepiece is made from micro-blasted steel. The 46mm case is decorated with a Clous de Paris finish. This type of guilloché pattern requires special machining. The marriage of the Skull dial and its guilloché case adds to the character of the whole piece.
Naturally, the skull on the dial is the key feature of this watch. It has been made from metal appliqué, which has been embossed to create a relief pattern. This process is usually used to mint coins or make medals. As an added bonus, the skeleton work gives the impression that the skull is floating weightless in the center of the case. The sword-shaped hands are similar to those on the earlier Skull collections, but on this model they are skeletonized and coated in Super-LumiNova.
The BR 01 Laughing Skull has been created for those who love original timepieces. It is symbolic in more ways than one, making it a powerful statement piece. Its automaton movement places it in the category of exceptional watches. Produced in a limited edition of 500, this model will appeal particularly to collectors of haute horlogerie watches. The BR 01 Laughing Skull model sees the brand take the Skull concept one brave step further.