Cack­ling Cra­nium —

WatchTime - - Watch talk -

— Bell & Ross has been one of the watch brands at the fore­front of the “skull dial” trend since its 2009 re­lease of the BR 01 “Skull,” and its lat­est con­tri­bu­tion to the niche but in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar cat­e­gory: the new BR 01 Laugh­ing Skull fea­tures an au­tom­a­ton skull dial and is pow­ered by an all-new, pro­pri­etary Bell & Ross move­ment. The watch’s 46-mm square case is made of mi­cro-blasted steel with sur­face ar­eas en­hanced with an en­graved clous de Paris guil­loché de­sign. As with the four pre­vi­ous Skull mod­els from Bell & Ross, the cen­tral dial fea­tures a sculpted pho­to­re­al­is­tic me­tal ap­pliqué skull; how­ever, this skull is not sta­tion­ary be­hind the hour and min­utes hands but it ac­tu­ally comes alive. In the great horo­log­i­cal tra­di­tion of me­chan­i­cal jaque­marts, the skull’s mandible moves up and down as the wearer winds the move­ment, giv­ing the il­lu­sion that it is laugh­ing.

The new BR Cal­iber 206, which Bell & Ross de­vel­oped with the high-com­pli­ca­tion move­ment spe­cial­ists at Con­cepto, is also notable in that it is ac­tu­ally skull shaped. In an ex­ten­sion of the skull-and-cross­bones mo­tif, the move­ment’s four bridges an­chor the main­plate to the case and come to­gether to form a sin­gle assem­bly that floats in the cen­ter of the watch, with the move­ment’s rear side vis­i­ble through a clear case­back. The Bell & Ross BR 01 Laugh­ing Skull is avail­able in full steel, a lim­ited edi­tion of 500 pieces, for $9,900; steel with “light di­a­monds,” a lim­ited edi­tion of 99 pieces, for $18,000; and a “full di­a­monds” steel model, a lim­ited edi­tion of 99 pieces, for $30,000.

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