Luxury French watchmaker, Bell & Ross are offering fans of vintage-era watches some chances at owning a piece of history. First, there is their Heritage Photo Contest through their Facebook page, which offers as a prize a 1920s Heritage wristwatch.
The contest, running from February 14th to March 18th, is asking for the most innovative and creative pictures representing the 1920s and early days of aviation. The aim is for shots to outline the full vision of Bell & Ross vintage style.
Now, the prize is a WW1-92 Heritage, which according to the Bell & Ross official site, is a tribute piece to the first wristwatches worn by pilots of the Roaring 20s. The website boasts a “distinctive large fob-watch type diameter, wire lugs welded to the sides of the watch to give the impressions of horns, and a thin leather strap, elegant yet strong.” The watch is clearly meant to evoke images of the past, and aviation addicts will appreciate the watch reading as similar to the navigation military aviation watch model; as opposed to most watch faces, this model emphasizes the minute numbers, making them much larger and clearer than standard watches.
For those interested in the technical aspect, the watch contains a mechanical automatic movement with a case 15 millimeters in diameter. The outer-case is a blasted steel with a PVD (physical vapor deposition) finish designed to be friction and heat resistant for the long-term, everyday wearer. The WWI-92 is also water resistant for up to 50 meters or 164 feet.
Another opportunity for those interested in the watches used by aviators of the past was recently found at the Artcurial Aeronautics Auction in Paris last month. On January 29th, Bell & Ross collectors and aeronautical enthusiasts alike had the unique opportunity to own one of three Pilot Aeronavale watches created for the French Air Force.
Created specifically to withstand high-pressure inside a cockpit, the Pilot Aeronavale, this Bell & Ross watch offers extremely precise timekeeping. When fully wound, the watch will run for 42 hours, and can record short-term periods within 30 minutes and long-term periods for up to 12 hours. Embossed with the crest of the French Navy Air Force, this Pilot Aeronavale is also water-resistant for up to 200 meters, or 650 feet. Hopefully those lucky enough to snatch up these unique and collectable watches understand the true beauty and usefulness these watches are capable of.