Since Bell & Ross burst onto the scene, their passion for the military world and its codes have been at the fore of their design and brand ethics. Considering those who serve in the military to be heroes, the watchmaker shares the values of performance and excellence with these men and women and has, over the years, enlisted their expertise to develop timepieces with optimal functionality.
This year, the brand has focused on the professionals who rescue those stranded at sea – the helicopter pilots and divers who put their own lives on the line to save the lives of others. To this end, Bell & Ross have created two watches that meet the operational needs of professionals on the high seas – one for the air support officers, and another for the divers: the Garde-Cotes series.
One is a three hands model with date display. The other, a two-counter chronograph. But each are as ruggedly handsome as each other, and we can’t get enough of these action timepieces.
Both are based on the vintage designs of retro Bell & Ross watches, and have inherited the round case – which has been redesigned slightly for a sportier and more contemporary look. Three colours – orange, grey and white – make up the design, and each of the colours has a unique reason for being included.
The metallic grey of the dial recalls the fuselage of the helicopters used by rescuers at sea. The orange on the dial and second hands reflects the visual codes associated with maritime safety, and is also the colour of the suits worn by the divers during missions. Finally, the white numerals and indices are so coloured to ensure readability, even in the darkest of conditions.
Both watches also feature a sapphire case-back to reveal the heart of the mechanism – and are engraved with the symbol of sea rescuers; the buoy and the anchor.
The three hand version comes with a black rubber strap and the sportier chronograph equipped with a satin-polished steel bracelet. This latter watch also boasts a fixed bezel with a black anodised insert, graduated with a pulsimeter – key for those rescuers performing first aid.
But, whichever timepiece in the Gardes-Cotes collection you decide on, rest assured that it is the most hardy of watches – style combined with strength that not only can be relied upon whatever the condition, but also celebrates the heroes of the sea.
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