Bell and Ross BR-X5 Green Lum
Every so often, a watch brand will unveil a timepiece with a dial that’s entirely luminescent, such as the Citizen Promaster Full Lume Divers or the TAG Heuer Monaco Night Driver that came out earlier this year. This isn’t just practical for superb visibility at night but looks rather spectacular as well. However, a fully-lumed case? That’s a novelty that’s certainly unprecedented, but also a head-scratcher when it comes to construction. Well, Bell & Ross, whose BR-X5 Green Lum series launched in 2017 and has featured some fully-lumed dials in its own right, has now debuted a radical version of the BR-X5 Green Lum with a case that glows bright green. For starters, let’s look at the case composition, for which Bell & Ross has employed a luminescent fiberglass composite material called LM3D. This material sandwiches a DLC-finished micro-blasted grade 2 titanium in between for extra sturdiness. The top part of the composite also sports the titanium material for the bezel insert, screw-down crown, crown guard, and caseback. At 41mm, the case boasts 100m of water resistance and is integrated with the openworked rubber strap. While the case glows green at night, the matte black dial also features a nice dose of lume, including on the skeletonized hands, hour markers, and power reserve indicator subdial. Like the other BR-X5 Green Lum , there’s a wide date window at the 3 o’clock position and a minute track on the outer flange. Bell & Ross’ Kenissi-based BR-CAL.323 automatic movement powers the watch, which features a 70-hour power reserve and can be viewed through the exposition caseback.
I’ve long been on record as an appreciator and fan of the wilder designs from Bell & Ross. Few watch brands, in fact, have a wider design purview than B&R, which has fairly traditional aviation inspired watches at one end of the spectrum, bronze skull watches on the other, and their standard square case instrument watches right in the middle. The BR-X5 Green Lum series, an ongoing collection of watches that use luminescent material in a manner that can only be described as Maximalist, sits somewhere near the skulls, I think. Watch enthusiasts, of course, are notable in that we tend to love inventive applications of lume, but bold designs centered around the stuff still feel fairly niche. The new BR-X5 Green Lum takes the brand’s experiments with lume to a new level, giving the case itself the full lume treatment.