Bell & Ross BR 05 Sincere Green – A Steal?

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(courtesy sincerewatch.com)

Admission: I haven’t gone hands on with the new Bell & Ross BR 05 Sincere Green Steel. My information comes from deployant.com and familiarity with the BR 05 – a bland timepiece with a mostly meh movement that tries to be B&R’s Nautilus – and fails. Commercially? That I don’t know. This much I do know . . .

Our man Klossoff explained the popularity of verdant dials back in 2021. Like the bronze watch case fad, the green dial’s moment has passed. And yet sure, why not a green dial?

Because it takes a special watch to pull it off. As stated above, the Bell & Ross BR 05 Sincere Green Steel doesn’t move me.

The movement is the BR-CAL.321, wound by a 360° oscillating weight, open worked which is visible through the open case back. This is a movement which is based on the somewhat industry standard Selitta SW300, but with special finishes.

The balance wheel and hair spring is “chronometer type”, according to the specifications sheet. The rotor is also reworked into a circular oscillating weight, and completely covers the movement but at the same time allows peeks to view it through the skeletonized design.

Aside from mis-spelling Sellita, Deployant’s Peter Chong isn’t wrong. The SW300 powering the BR 05 Sincere Green Steel (a.k.a., the “Greenback”) is somewhat of a Swiss watch industry standard.

If by “somewhat” he means the farrago of mid-market watchmakers modding the movement for fun and profit, spot on. IWC, for example, produces 70+ models running off their re-jigged and rebranded caliber 35111.

BR-CAL.321 (courtesy watch-it.be)

Does it matter? B&R’s modded Sellita – slotted into all 39 of its current BR 05 models – is a more-than-merely-adequate engine in terms of durability, power reserve (38 hours), water resistance (100m in this case) and accuracy (no official data but +1 – +8 seconds per day).

As far as we know, the ETA 2892-2 clone is Swiss made from Swiss parts in Switzerland. Anyway, does anyone care?

Most consumers who purchase a watch at the $8k price point are buying based on movement type, the watch’s style (including size) and the brand’s status. They assume the thing will keep reasonable time and not die.

Whole lots of logos goin’ on (courtesy sincerewatch.com)

Hang on. While Bell & Ross’ [sold out] BR 05 Blue Gold costs $34k, you can buy a brand new bog standard BR 05 Blue Steel for $5100. Other than the Sincere Green’s green dial – complete with”extra” indices and a dial embossed with dozens of ampersands – what justifies the $2800 price bump (to $7900)?

B&R’s limiting production to 111 pieces, echoing the three-tower landmark in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, home to the new B&R boutique responsible for the model.

How great is that? “For a 111 piece limited edition, with a special dial, it strikes us as a very reasonable ransom to pay,” Mr. Chong opines. While plenty of people have enough greenbacks to buy the Greenback, I’m not seeing it. Speaking of visibility . . .

(courtesy sincerewatch.com)

“As is expected from BR and in this price category,” Mr. Chong prevaricates, “the movement finishing is adequate and judged at a level demanded by competent engineering.” Huh?

What he already said but isn’t saying here: the big *ss oscillating rotor saves B&R the cost and hassle of hand-finishing the BR-CAL.321. And, IMHO, makes the BR 05 a lot less special, especially at that price point.

Bell & Ross BR S Matte Black

B&R made its bones producing solidly constructed, square, hugely-legible, sensibly-priced, aviation-themed tool watches. Like the $2500 quartz-powered super-cool BR S Matte Black (above) or the $3800 automatic BR 03-92 Black Matte. It’s a remit the BR 05 doesn’t fit, in any of its forms.

And there you have it: another BR 05, only green with an embossed dial.

I’d sure like to know why they call it “Sincere Green.” It strikes me as a way to trumpet the fact that the dial color and limited production make the Bell & Ross BR 05 Sincere Green Steel worth the extra money. Sincerely. If so, that word doesn’t mean what Bell & Ross want it to mean.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Really like the aesthetic and legibility of B&R’s watches, and I actually dig the ampersand pattern on the face of the green version above.

    But the newer watches have a pencil-shaped minute hand, which drives me a little nuts because they used to have the oblong sword/mace theme that the hour hands do, and I prefer the latter. So I’ve been keeping my eyes on used. Another design quirk is the BR text on the straps… which makes me think Baskin Robbins (lived behind one back in the day… you try not getting fat!) and ruins the cool aviation vibe.

    But the biggest problem is I have teeny-tiny wrists and big modern watches just make me feel like I’m trying too hard.

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