Sunday, August 17, 2008

Precista 300 metre Automatic Diver

The Precista 300 follows the tradition of paying homage to military and military-style wristwatches of the past, in this case it follows and improves on the specification of British Ministry of Defence Standard 66-4, Part 1 Issue 2. This revision is dated 1 January 1971.

This is arguably the most popular military dive watch today and good examples are keenly sought and command a high price.
This edition bearing the Precista name has been faithfully manufactured to the original specification, improving on it where appropriate. The most significant improvement is the addition of an anti-magnetic movement cover, movement holder and soft iron dial giving the watch anti-magnetic resistance to 80,000 A/m (Amp metres), the same as modern day IWC and Sinn watches. This has increased the thickness of the watch by 3mm over the original.

Solid stainless steel case with brushed steel sides, polished top and back. Unidirectional bezel with luminous numbers in the bezel insert sealed with hardened acrylic. Screw back and screw down crown; the crown assembly is identical to that employed in the "Dreadnought" and has been tested to 2000 metres. Domed acrylic crystal in keeping with the original design. The dial is soft iron anti-magnetic and the polished steel sword hands are filled with Super Luminova, as are the indices.
Each watch has its own unique serial number, which also identifies the date of manufacture, engraved on the case back.

40mm diameter across the bezel and 46.6mm to the tip of the signed crown. 47mm lug tip to lug tip and 14.3mm thick tot he top of the domed crystal. Lug spacing is 20mm and the watch head without strap weighs 90 grammes.

ETA 25 jewel automatic, calibre 2824-2 (standard). Supplied in box with 12 months guarantee and choice of Time Factors Aviator, Rally or Carbon strap. Also supplied with a spare crystal and tube of Polywatch.

for a very good review, check

Precista watches available at

Monday, August 4, 2008

Watch Brands History - Article 12 (Bell & Ross)

1993 • Bruno Belamich and Carlos A. Rosillo, two boyhood friends, joined forces for one of the most beautiful adventures in watchmaking of the late 20th century. They decided to launch a simple idea: “function shapes form.” Efficiency, legibility, and reliability were the three words that would define the Bell & Ross brand.
Indisputably the most brilliant idea of the two young inventors – when they started out as watchmakers – was, from the start, to closely collaborate with Sinn, a highly reputable manufacture. Sinn specialised in the production of dashboard meters.

Space One and Hydro were the fruit of this collaboration.

The second key idea was to get the adventure off the ground by giving the brand a strong identity as an efficient chronometer, to meet the needs of the most exacting user. Immediately adopted by NATO and the Air Force, Bell and Ross also found takers within the French security service’s bomb disposal squad. To make the point, they created Hydromax, the most reliable watch in the world, for deep underwater work, with the world abyssal record for water resistance to 11,000 meters. They also managed to restore with great success the taste for pilot watches that had flourished in the 50s and 60s, but which had since been forgotten.

1994 • Bell & Ross re-issued the Space 1, the first automatic chronometer to be worn in space, by the German astronaut Reinhart Furrer on the Spacelab mission in 1983.

1996 • Creation of the Bell & Ross Bomb Disposal Type, ordered for use by the bomb disposal unit of the French Security Services. The watch had an anti-magnetic, A-magnetic case, and the legibility, reliability and precision to meet the very special needs and constraints of bomb disposal operations.

1997 • World water resistance record awarded to Bell & Ross for the Hydro Challenger (11,000 meters in Guinness Book of Records).

1998 • The Space 3 chronograph brought together all of Bell & Ross’ know how. It is equipped with a screwed down, telescopic retractable winding crown, known as the T-Crown system, which enabled the winding crown to be fully incorporated within the depth of the case. Chanel Horlogerie took a shareholding in the capital of Bell and Ross.

2000 • Second increase in the Chanel stake, but Bell & Ross retained a majority holding.

2001 • Bell & Ross unveiled the modern multifunction men’s watch Function, combining classic style with the modern movement’s analog and digital display.

2002 • First jumping hour hand watch with power reserve indicator. The Vintage 123 Heure Sautante was the fruit of cooperation between Bell and Ross and the Swiss master watchcraftsman Vincent Calabrese. Equipped with an automatic movement, this grande complication offered an easy, original way to tell the time. End of the collaboration with Sinn and autonomous production at Chatelain in Chaux des Fonds.

2003 • Bell & Ross paid timely homage to the ladies with the Mystery Diamond, that magically concealed the secret mystery of its weightlessness: A diamond floats and turns between the crystal and the dial to show the time.

2005 • Introduction of the BR 01 Instrument, the wristwatch born of an airplane clock.

(model on photo: Pilot 10th Anniversary Limited Edition)