Bell & Ross, the French watch company, is known for making timepieces that try to replicate and revive early watches which influenced history. In the 2011, this company brought back the first wristwatches worn during the First World War: the Pocket Watch 1 (PW1) and its wristwatch development, the Wrist Watch 1 (WW1). The watches show a parallel between the history of aviation and watch-making. Bell & Ross have created the PW1 and WW1 Argentium, a new oxidation resistant alloy, to create watches that is unique and deep in its look as well as its vintage appearance.
In the Vintage WW1 Argentium, Bell & Ross bring back the high-quality design and feature of early wristwatches. It pays tribute to the first wristwatches worn by pilots in the 1920s. One way this watch differs from the other WW1 models is that it has a smaller diameter (41 millimeters) compared to the others, which measure 45 millimeters in diameter. The silver case, which is made of a more striking and resistant silver alloy, further has a unique luster not seen in the others. Lugs welded to the side of the watch give impression of horns and are attached to thin leather straps, all of which work together to give the watch an authentic, vintage look. Inside the case is a manual winding movement.
The silver version of the Vintage WW1 Argentium has a sunburst dial with opalescent reflections. The hands, numerals, and index marks are in applique metal. The ruthenium version has a deep-gray sunburst dial that contrasts nicely against the silver case. Covering the dial of these watches is a dome shaped glass that is made from sapphire.
Vintage WW1 Argentium Technical Specifics:
Movement: mechanical manual
Case: 41 mm diameter, made of argentium, a sterling silver alloy that has high tarnish resistance
Functions: hours, minutes and small second hand.
Dial: Comes in two versions – silver or ruthenium finish, sunburst,
Small seconds subdial at the 6 o’clock position
Applique metal numerals and index
Crystal: anti-reflective sapphire, dome shaped
Water resistance of up to 30 meters
Strap: grey alligator leather
Buckle: pin, argentium
As the press release by the brand points out, “The WW1 Argentium models are the perfect embodiment of Bell & Ross’s mission: to turn back time in order to add new treasures from the past to its collection. The firm is restoring silver to its rightful place. And by improving the properties of the metal, Bell & Ross ensures its new models are of a unique quality. Charismatic, bright and precious: the latest Vintage inspirations from Bell & Ross are born.”