This New Trio Of Alain Silberstein x Bell & Ross Watches In Black Ceramic Gets Seriously Squiggly
— Updated on 1 February 2023

This New Trio Of Alain Silberstein x Bell & Ross Watches In Black Ceramic Gets Seriously Squiggly

— Updated on 1 February 2023
Randy Lai
Randy Lai

Having re-ignited widespread interest in Franck Muller with its series of 1990s inspired ‘Tribute’ chronographs, Grail Watch – co-founded by everybody’s favourite horological media mogul, Wei Koh – has settled on much more contemporary fare for its latest project; bringing together two unlikely collaborators in the form of Alain Silberstein and French watch brand Bell & Ross.

In actual fact the second time that Silberstein has worked on a Grail Watch release, the ‘Master of the Squiggle’ has matched his trademark mixture of kooky geometric shapes and primary colours to the last canvas you’d probably think of – that of the Bell & Ross’ BR 03.

An evolution of the brand’s iconic BR 01 (again, a square-cased watch inspired by the look of instrumentation in aviators’ cockpits), the BR 03 turned out to be a really effective vehicle for exploring the essential elements in both Silberstein’s and Bell & Ross Creative Director Bruno Belamich’s respective designs.

“We immediately decided to make the three watches in black ceramic, because of the purity of the case and dial, which serve as a canvas for the primary colours of my hands.”

Alain Silberstein

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That idea of the ‘canvas’ is consistent across all three Alain Silberstein x Bell & Ross releases, consisting of a time-only model (Klub 22), chronograph (Krono 22), and dive watch (Marine 22) – all of which we’ll cover off in short order below.

The time-only ‘Klub 22’ (individually priced at $6,700)

The Klub 22 is the most logical point of entry, being both the simplest (in terms of mechanics) and most accessibly priced of the bunch. For design obsessives, this is where the work of Silberstein and Belamich really shines in its purest and most unadultered light. Three large geometric shapes – an arrow, circle, and S-shaped squiggle – mark the hour, minute(s) and seconds respectively. These details are all hyper-visible thanks to the sandblasted black titanium within which they’re framed and, just for good measure, Silberstein opted to decorate the cardinal positions (i.e. 12, 3, 6, 9) in a pop of sunshine yellow that is contiguous with the date and minute hand. 200 examples of the Klub 22 have been made.

The ‘Marine 22’, sporting a unique handset and coloured ceramic bezel (individually priced at $8,600)

Moving on, the Marine 22 plays the role of the Alain Silberstein x Bell & Ross collab’s resident divewatch, a brief it lives up to admirably despite the appearances of a whimsical ‘artistic timepiece’. On closer inspection, you might even notice that the handset favoured here is unique – what Silberstein refers to as his “Maxi” hands owing to their large, lume-heavy design. In particular, the blue lollipop-esque hour hand is a new innovation of Silberstein’s – complete with a lume plot hovering in high-contrast suspension when you wear the Marine 22 in the dark.

Much like the Klub 22, this model is powered by one of Bell & Ross’ own BR.CAL-302 – a self-winding movement that comes with a date wheel and a 42-hour power reserve. 100 examples have been made.

The Krono 22 chronograph (individually priced at $10,200)

For visual gluttons – and I certainly count myself among them – the Krono 22 is likely to hold the strongest appeal. Unsurprisingly the chronograph of the set, it is the most riotously detailed of the BR 03 variations – owing to the enlarged suite of surfaces Silberstein had the opportunity to work on, courtesy of the complication. You’ll count five of the designer’s kooky, Bauhaus-inflected hands on the dial: including a neat little triangle that serves as the means for reading the Krono 22’s 30-minute register.

At an angle, you’ll also quickly glean the pushers: chunky black extremities that blend with the rest of the watch’s form factor rather neatly, except for the two lacquer inlays in yellow and blue. Along with the crown, topped with a red lacquer triangle, the effect is enjoyable rather than jarring – something that could be said for all three of these watches and certainly, no small feat.

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Randy Lai
Following 6 years in the trenches covering consumer luxury across East Asia, Randy joins Boss Hunting as the team's Commercial Editor. His work has been featured in A Collected Man, M.J. Bale, Soho Home, and the BurdaLuxury portfolio of lifestyle media titles. An ardent watch enthusiast, boozehound and sometimes-menswear dork, drop Randy a line at [email protected].


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