Bell & Ross unveiled at the Pirelli Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai the BR-X1 RS16 and the BR-X1 RS16 Tourbillon. These two black and yellow instruments, the name and colors of which directly evoke the Renault RS16, will be worn by drivers and members of the Renault team and will be sold only on the paddock at the various Grand Prix.
Bell & Ross, the ultimate reference in aeronautical watches, has now added racecar drivers to its list of professional users. As the Official Watch Partner of the Renault Sport Formula One™ Team, Bell & Ross continues to celebrate this partnership debuted on March 18 in Melbourne, at the Formula 1 Pirelli Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.
The 5.4 km Shanghai International Circuit, famous for its demanding changes of acceleration in winding turns and high‑speed straights, will be an exciting arena for the release of a new limited edition pair of watches: the BR‑X1 RS16 and the BR‑X1 RS16 Tourbillon, named after the team’s new R.S. 16 race car for the 2016 season and exclusively available for retail at selective Grand Prix.
The Grand Prix race week in Shanghai is the perfect place to officially present Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer, with their engraved BR‑X1 RS16 Skeleton Chronograph watches. On the event organized by Renault to be held on Wednesday, April 13, at Bar Rouge Shanghai, Fabien de Nonancourt –Bell & Ross’ Global Sales Director– will be on stage to equip the drivers with their personalized timepieces, featuring their names and numbers in “Renault Life” typography.
The BR‑X1 RS16 Skeleton Chronograph and the BR‑X1 RS16 Skeleton Chronograph Tourbillon were created to withstand extreme conditions. They are armored, ingenious, robust and technical watches that stand out thanks to the innovative design of its 45 mm multi‑material case. Using materials like grade 5 titanium and Carbone Forgé® –a high‑tech composite material– the BRX1s are very lightweight, yet incredibly strong watches prepared for the impacts of this extreme field.
Carbone Forgé® is a material obtained using a unique, patented conversion process. The technology behind the process involves compressing carbon fibers with a thermosetting resin at high temperature in a steel mold. To meet watchmaking quality criteria, the engineers have reworked the carbon fibers and the composition of the resin. The result is a non‑porous, water‑resistant single‑unit case with clean edges, in a deep black, which is the color of the carbon fibers. The marbled appearance of each piece is unique thanks to the random way the carbon fibers are mixed. The matt finish reduces reflection for better legibility and makes it soft to the touch.
Made from grey‑tinted sapphire crystal and featuring appliqué metal indices with photo‑luminescent inserts, the dial forms a clear window through which the exceptional movement can be admired. The faceted, Superluminova®‑filled hands and appliqué indices offer perfect legibility. A yellow rubber grip has also been integrated to the case to ensure better handling when activating the chronograph’s functions, even when wearing gloves.
As a subtle reference to the color associated with Renault Sport’s Formula 1 Team and the racing car field, both timepieces display yellow rubber inserts on the crown and the rocker push buttons.
Embodying the very essence of the “automotive watch”, the BR‑X1 RS16 Skeleton Chronograph, a high‑tech chronograph with a sporty yet sophisticated design, is perfection when measuring short time intervals. Its innovative rocker push buttons, used to activate the chronograph functions, are made from high‑tech ceramic with ergonomically designed yellow rubber inserts Essential for calculating speeds, the tachymeter scale appears on the dark grey flange. To improve legibility, the hands of the chronograph are brought out in yellow: it is an indispensable tool for driving.
In a more luxurious and high‑end version, the BR‑X1 RS16 Skeleton Chronograph Tourbillon is a celebration of a grand complication that is faithful to the inspiration of speed, strength and performance: the values that are shared with Formula 1. Limited to 20 pieces, this extraordinary timepiece combines the extremely virile aesthetic codes of both Bell & Ross and Renault Sport Team with the technical refinement of Haute Horlogerie.