The MA-1 flight jacket has been around in more or less the same form since the mid-1950s. It’s the flight jacket of choice for the US Navy and US Air Force, and a number of other countries air forces. The classic jacket is olive drab green, lined with orange, equipped with brass zippers, snap closure pockets, and originally had features specific to flight, like wool-knit collar, waistband and cuffs for protection from the cold, and a tab to attach an oxygen mask to. It’s with this in mind that I get the privilege of telling you about the Bell & Ross BR 03-92 MA-1.
For years, Bell & Ross has been all about aviation, whether it’s the square-cased watches that resemble airplane gauges, or the round-faced watches that pay tribute to the earliest aviation watches. With that in mind, it’s fitting that they would choose to show respect to one of aviation’s greatest flight jackets, the MA-1. The MA-1 is so well-regarded, that it crossed into civilian fashion. How popular is it? I own two, one of which my kid has stolen and wears to school.
The Bell and Ross BR 03-92 MA-1 is a similar olive drab color, which B&R call a “dark khaki”, with an orange sandwich dial to trigger the memory of the lining on that coat. The strap is a nylon affair, or a reversible khaki / orange leather calfskin strap that honestly looks very good. About that dark khaki, B&R would like you to know that the case is made from ceramic in this color. It’s lightweight, scratchproof, and the color is through and through – it’s a pigment added before the crystalline structure of the watch is fired, still in oxide powder form. It’s 42mm in size, and water resistant to 100 meters.
The movement used here is the calibre BR-CAL.302. Cal 302 is an automatic movement that seems to be based on the Sellita SW-300, an ETA 2892-type movement. What’s important to know here is that this is a well-regarded movement, for what appears to be a really well-thought out watch. The BR 03-92 MA-1 will be limited to 999 pieces. Pricing and availability were not available at time of publication. www.bellross.com
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