Bell & Ross, everyone’s favorite big square watch company, is making waves with their new Instrument De Marine series, a decidedly nautical set of watches including a standard three-hander that Captain Cook would strip off the body of a dead privateer and a tourbillon that would go great with an alternative-Victorian-history-sci-fi submarine.

The BR 01 is the simplest of the group with blued hands reminiscent of older Breguets. The BRX 1 comes in a standard and tourbillon model and features a chronograph.

I’m a sucker for B&R so I’ll forgive the brass and glass steampunkery of these watches. The massive square watch goes far better with B&R’s initial aviation theme but, thanks to the dial choice and colors, I’ll allow this departure from the norm. They are unequivocally beautiful pieces.

Of the BR 01 the company writes:

?A faithful rendering of a ship’s clock as a wristwatch, this model is similar to the iconic BR 01 in its execution. The BR 01 Marine Instrument has a stylish, subtly retro design. This watch has a case, bezel and winding crown made from bronze. Only the case-back features more contemporary titanium. In a final touch, an elegant band of rosewood encircles the dial of the watch.

The BR-X1 is similarly hot-blooded:

?Bold and stylish, this chronograph is equipped with an automatic skeleton movement. This ultra-sophisticated mechanism can be admired through the sapphire crystal dial, which has a slight grey tint like the sea on a stormy day. It is paired with a minute track featuring Roman numerals and gilt applique indices, covered in SuperLuminova. The skeleton theme is continued with the gilt hands. The sophisticated case is a symphony of titanium, rosewood and bronze. It encloses the bezel, push-pieces, crown and crown protector.
The automatic caliber provides a chronograph function, small seconds at 3 o’clock and skeleton date at 6 o’clock. The chronograph minute timer sits at 9 o’clock. Stripped of hands, it takes the form of an aluminum disc with a design clearly evoking a ship’s propeller.

So set sail on the Seven Seas and prepare to drop a few grand on the entry level pieces and a lot on the tourbillon. Bluebeard would have wanted it that way.

By John Biggs

John lives in Brooklyn and has loved watches since he got his first Swatch Irony automatic in 1998. He is the editor of WristWatchReview.

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