A special timepiece by Bell & Ross to mark the return of Formula 1 to France
After a decade of absence, the French Grand Prix made its return to the Formula One® calendar at the Paul Ricard circuit last Sunday. It was most definitely a moment to celebrate for the French fans in a country with such rich motorsport history. As the official watch partner of the Renault Sport Formula One Team™, Bell & Ross marked the occasion with the launch of the BR V2-94 R.S.18—the brand's first Vintage timepiece created for the partnership.
The BR V2-94 R.S.18 draws bold parallels with the world of motor racing with the use of distinctive Formula 1 racing codes and design tributes to the Renault Sport Formula One Team™. In line with the previous creations linked to the collection, it features black and yellow in reference to the colours of the Renault Sport Formula One Team™, which also allows the time to be read quickly and accurately. The carbon fiber dial and chronograph complication are housed in a 41mm case in satin-finished steel, with a sapphire case-back that sports a metallised depiction of the Renault car and its serial number.
One can arm the sporty timepiece with either a micro-perforated calfskin strap, or a satin-finished polished steel bracelet. It is limited to just 999 pieces.
To better understand Bell & Ross' affinity with the motoring world and the significance of this exclusive timepiece, we sought the expertise of Fabien de Nonancourt, General Manager of Bell & Ross.
Tell us about the BR V2-94 R.S.18 and its significance.
"As we are entering into the third-year partnership with Renault Sport Formula One Team™, we are happy to learn that Grand Prix of France at Le Castellet is back. Hence, we think that it is a great opportunity to launch a special watch that could embodies that attractive event. It is true that Formula 1® is essentially a male universe, however it is a sport that is expanding and a lot of women appreciate this kind of sport. The new vintage model was designed to please all the racecars aficionados but also these women in question."
What technical or design aspects would you highlight about the BR V2-94 R.S.18?
"This watch is a nod to many aspects from the world of motor racing. My first thought goes to chronograph function, or simply the embodiment of the notion of speed. This was invented to measure short periods of time and is considered as the most important one, in the race world. It enables the performance of the vehicles on the track, to be measured with great accuracy, turning these timepieces into indispensable tools for drivers and timekeepers. Then, to ensure readability, we have used the "Renault" iconic yellow and the racing red colour code to highlight the chronograph information. Finally, we've borrowed a material often used in Formula One™ car—the carbon fiber—that you will observe on the dial and it goes with a Racing Carbon Fiber finishing calfskin."
What are some of the qualities or values that Bell & Ross share with the Formula One world?
"The collaboration with Renault Sports Formula One Team™ was born out of passion for mechanical engineering, speed and precision. Both Bell & Ross and Renault Sports Formula One Team™ truly value this partnership. We share an interest in small details and the conviction that every millisecond counts."
Bell & Ross is now known for its strong affinities with the sky, land and sea. Which of these worlds do you personally connect with the most?
"All of them, even though I do have great sympathy for Formula 1®! We constantly work with professionals from these territories to ensure that we have a watch that perfectly meets their expectations. Our aim is not only to make a watch that serve as a tool to assist heroes from sky, land and sea on their missions, but also one's constant ally."