January 30, 2013

Bell And Ross Vintage WW1-96 Review

Bell And Ross Vintage WW1-96
Bell & Ross WW1-96 Grande Date Watch
  Bell And Ross sure has come along way in the last 8 years. Continuing to add models beyond the square "BR's" that put them on the map. The Vintage WW1-96 (ref. BRWW1-96) is meant to pay tribute to the first wristwatches worn by by pilots in the 1020's. 
  Bell And Ross calls this version the "Grande Date". No explanation needed, the date window is large and in charge on this beauty. The dial is big and clean, making it very easy to read. B&R nailed the vintage design by using classically styled hands and a vintage looking numeral font. The indices are longer than usual, works well against the large black dial. The hands, indices, and numerals all have luminescent coating. Though, do not expect this watch to light up like your favorite dive watch. The dial is protected by a domed sapphire crystal, that has been applied with an anti-reflective coating. W&R are giant fans of domed crystal, looks killer every time. Rounding out the old school vintage look of the WW1-96 are soldered on wire lugs. On a side note for those curious, the WW1 stands for "wrist watch 1". Keeping the Vintage WW1 strapped to your wrist is a nice black alligator strap. This is an 18mm strap on a 45mm watch? W&R, says "no dice". Visually, this is a big miss, opinion only of course. 
  A standard ETA 2896 automatic movement powers the Grande Date, with a 42 hour power reserve. This watch is also offered in power reserve indicator model, called the WW1-97. Bell And Ross used an onion styled crown, fitting the era of pilot watches the watch was designed around. Would have liked to seen a larger crown used here. Oversized pilot styled onion crowns are a W&R favorite. There is a lot that Bell And Ross did right, but there are a few aspects W&R would have preferred different. 

Pros - Big dial, great vintage vibe
Consideration - basic movment vs price point, 18mm strap

Specifications & Dimensions:
Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 45mm
Strap: Black Alligator
Strap/Lug Width: 18mm
Crystal: Domed Sapphire
Bezel: N/A
Movement: ETA 2896 
Power Reserve: 42 hours
Water Resistant: 50M


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