Bell & Ross Vintage WW1 & PW1 Timepieces

by D Constant on April 10, 2012

in Bell & Ross, Designer Watch Reviews, Latest Reviews, Pilot Watches, Product Information, Sports Watch Reviews

Bell & Ross Vintage PW1 & WW1

Written By: D Constant for The Watch Review Site

Vintage PW1 & Vintage WW1

Bell & Ross has come up with two lovely examples of timepieces from an era gone by the Vintage Pocket Watch 1 (Vintage PW1) and Vintage Wrist Watch 1 (Vintage WW1). The Vintage WW1 also comes in the form of a Vintage WW1-92 as Military or Heritage editions.

Vintage PW1Pocket Watch you say….. Yes it’s the perfect corollation from Pocket Watch to the Vintage Wrist Watch. Bell and Ross have taken the reimagining of those bygone days and resulted in the creation of two types of watch, representing two eras,  A fob watch of rare dignity, the Vintage PW1 which stands for Pocket Watch 1 and the introduction of a wristwatch christened the Vintage WW1 for Wrist Watch 1. First worn by French soldiers during World War 1, these wristwatches were then tested by pilots in the 1920s The Vintage WW1 pays tribute to this era and takes its inspiration from the stylistic designs of the “Roaring Twenties”.

Bell & Ross pays homage to the history of military timepieces by presenting a pocket watch – the Vintage PW1 and its wrist watch version – the Vintage WW1. The brand’s designs have always been influenced by military watch design history.

“We are delving into the past even more in order to round out our collection,” explains Bell & Ross designer, Bruno Belamich. The challenge? To remain faithful to present day watch-making standards while adapting them to Bell & Ross design principles.

Both these watches reflect modern Bell & Ross design and manufacturing with styling of the 1920’s and 40’s. The Bell & Ross Vintage PW1 and Vintage WW1 models stand out as reincarnations of the past that reflect the present.

The two models differ in their finish, movement and functions, they nevertheless share common characteristics being

• Quality Swiss movement.

• Large fob-watch type diameter.

• A grooved crown, inspired by the ones handled by pilots while wearing gloves, is easy to use.

• The domed crystal gives the watch a vintage look.

• The dial, with its clean design, optimizes legibility, a characteristic of all Bell & Ross watches.

Unique to the Vintage WW1 line are the horns, which replicate original wire handles that were soldered to the case which, when combined with the elegance of the straps, evoke the design of the first wrist watches, yet are ergonomically adapted for the comfort demanded by today’s men.

vintage ww1vintage pw1

Both the Vintage PW1 and Vintage WW1 have polished steel cases, combined with a domed, sunburst dial again a classic design that is inspired by the past. The Bell & Ross Vintage PW1 is attached to a long chain. It is immaculately finished and has a  “barleycorn” guilloché caseback which is exceptional. This is obviously one for the Collector and is for the timepiece purists out there, the enthusiasts who will appreciate its manual winding movement will be impressed to say the least by this Pocket Watch.

vintage ww1-96 grande date

With The Bell & Ross Vintage WW1 we find it is available in three movements

The WW1 – 97 with power reserve indicator

The WW1 – 96 with a large date indicator

The WW1 – 90 with both power reserve and large date

Each model comes with an alligator strap and steel pin buckle that set off their timeless elegance.

vintage ww1-92 militaryvintage ww1-92 heritageBell & Ross have also introduced two new authentic and military models these being the Vintage Military WW1 – 92  and Vintage Heritage WW1 – 92 pictured below you can see the differences from the vintage with the Military WW1 featuring a matt grey steel case and a distressed strap. The Heritage comes with a black case and sand coloured index markings. Both models have hours and seconds movements.

The hour, minute and second graduations have been separated to promote legibility and prominently display the minutes on the large dial. This arrangement is inspired by the so-called navigation or observation watches used by military pilots to calculate their direction or speed. The fluorescent triangle at 12 o’clock enabled the pilots to instantly get their bearings, even in the dark.

The Vintage WW1 is directly inspired by the measurement tools of professionals from a bygone era and could have been worn by a 1920s pilot. In the 21st century it will be worn by all those who desire a timepiece inspired by military watch history.


 Technical Details – Vintage PW1

Movement: manual-winding mechanical – ETA 6497.

Crystal: anti-reflective domed sapphire.

Dial: galvanic black, sunburst, domed. Numerals, index and hands covered in a photo-luminescent coating.

“Barleycorn” guilloché caseback.

Functions: hours, minutes, small second hand.

Water resistance: 30 meters.


Technical Details – Vintage WW1

Movement: mechanical automatic.

Crystal: anti-reflective domed sapphire.

Functions: hours, minutes, seconds.

WW1 96: large date. WW1 97: power reserve indicator. WW1 90: power reserve indicator and large date.

Water resistance: 50 meters.

Case: 45 mm diameter. Polished steel.

Strap: black alligator.

Dial: galvanic black, sunburst, domed. Numerals, index and hands covered in a photo-luminescent coating.

Clasp: buckle tongue. Polished steel.


vintage ww1 heritage vintage ww1 militaryTechnical Details – Vintage WW1- 92 (Military & Heritage)

Movement: self-winding mechanical – ETA 2892.

Crystal: anti-reflective domed sapphire.

Functions: hours, minutes, seconds.

Water resistance: 50 meters.

Case: 45 mm diameter, WW1 Military: Shot-peened steel, WW1 Heritage: Shot-peened steel with grey PVD finish.

Strap: WW1 Military: distressed calfskin, WW1 Heritage: natural calfskin.

Dial: galvanic black. Numerals, index and hands covered in a photo-luminescent coating.

Clasp: Buckle tongue.


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