Bell & Ross BR 01 is the brand's first ever automaton
Watchmaking is a traditional game. That much is obvious. But tradition is as essential to the actual making of a watch as it is to the marketing: artisans in Le Locle rely on centuries of accumulated knowledge to get the job done.
Tradition needn't read stuffy, though. Thanks to Bell & Ross' latest release, the envelope has been firmly pushed to the left—and without sacrificing on the craftsmanship part.
The BR 01 Laughing Skull is Bell & Ross' first-ever in-house movement and automaton, continuing the macabre, memento mori-inspired aesthetic from previous releases. What's more, the kit inside—an impressive hand-wound movement—stands toe-to-toe with the horological greats, but pivots from the norm with an abstract skull dial.
A niche piece for sure, but also one that proves Swiss watchmaking can be just as experimental as any fashion or streetwear release. And it's something that's got us excited for further releases ahead.