Luc Virginius / Chronopassion


Bell & Ross

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By its very nature, time is a relative concept that man has always wanted to punctuate with markers. The development of watch mechanisms has enabled it to be measured precisely.

With the creation of the BR Twelve O’Clock timepiece, Bell & Ross is rewriting the rules of traditional watchmaking by doing away with minutes and seconds.

Designed as an objet d’art, the BR Twelve O’Clowck is an artistic interpretation of the Bell & Ross disk-based display. Primarily conceptual, it is a constantly evolving animated piece of art, only indicating the exact time for a fl eeting moment.


An original and, fleeting reading of time


The BR Twelve O’Clock is a clock made up of 12 display watches.

• Each watch has a number on it corresponding to an hour of the day: 1, 2, 3, etc. up to 12.

• Each number is drawn on three concentric disks. As the disks rotate, the numbers become fragmented making them illegible. You must wait until the disks are correctly positioned to be able to read the time.

• The exact hour is indicated by the only watch that displays a number in a vertical position.


For example at three o’clock, the third watch shows the number 3, while the images on the other watches remain fragmented. At four o’clock, the number 4 is shown on the fourth watch and so on.

As time passes, the twelve watches create an abstract picture with a fascinating movement.


Technical performance


The twelve watches use the disk-based display technology developed by Bell & Ross. The display is in the form of three separate concentric disks on single plane.

As they rotate, an adjustment to the nearest micron ensures that the disks are constantly parallel. The technical challenge lies in the design and production of the three disks and in the accuracy of their assembly. It requires all the expertise of the master watchmakers.

The twelve automatic watches come in a box with twelve battery-powered winders with push button operation. This system guarantees a constantly changing montage.


A timepiece and an objet d’Art


In modern- day society, where every second is accounted for, the Twelve O’Clock timepiece is a demonstration of our inability to control the sands of time. The animated display that gives the time in a split second is the perfect illustration of the elusive nature of time.

With just 12 pieces produced, the BR Twelve O’Clock looks at time in a totally new way. A truly animated objet d’Art, its complex mechanism and its continually changing image will not fail to amaze. It will delight both watchmaking enthusiasts and collectors of art.


Technical specifications

  • self-winding mechanical
  • ETA 2892.
  • Disk display system.
  • Functions: hours, minutes, seconds


  • 46 mm diameter.
  • Steel with black PVD* finish.
  • Screw-in crown.
  • Crystal: anti-reflective sapphire.
  • Water-resistance: 100 meters.


  • the numeral of the hour is printed on three concentric disks, which, when lined up in the vertical position, indicates the exact hour.


  • rubber.


Who's who

The first time we met? A quarter of a century ago!

They say that all good things improve with time – and that’s definitely the case for the relationship between Bell & Ross and Chronopassion. Laurent Picciotto and Carlos Rosillo have been acquainted ever since Rosillo co-founded Bell & Ross, with a very clear vision of aviation watchmaking right from the outset. The pair get along well: Rosillo likes the quality of the “dissident” selection on offer at Chronopassion, while Picciotto appreciates the clarity of Rosillo’s positioning, his message – and his creations, which have never once strayed from their flight path.

But here’s the thing: Bell & Ross is a rather unique case. Alongside highly exclusive models for lovers of complications, the brand also offers everyday watches for aircraft buffs – and in the end, Laurent Picciotto has decided to make room for them all.

It’s one of the rare brands capable of guaranteeing complete consistency across all its collections, with the same attention to detail and the same passion for beautiful mechanics,” argues Picciotto. So for once, the Rue Saint Honoré boutique will feature the most iconic standard Bell & Ross models too, rubbing shoulders with the special-edition box sets and ultra-limited complication timepieces reserved for experienced collectors. Isn’t that a bit of a gamble? At first glance, coming from a store that’s renowned for its stringent selection criteria, it is indeed.

That said, on closer inspection, it becomes clear that the plan is to preserve the brand as a whole and maintain its overall coherence. “Bell & Ross has changed enormously,” notes Laurent Picciotto. “It’s always just as much a pleasure for me to discover their latest horological-mechanical piece of craziness as their specialist diving watches with their vintage feel or supersonic cockpit look.

That pleasure has been renewed, day after day, for a quarter of a century now. After 25 years of living together, it’s high time to solemnise the union between Bell & Ross & Chronopassion at the Rue Saint-Honoré shrine!

Jpurnalist : Olivier Müller



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