Well! Very few do a good job of straddling the gender divide equally when it comes to watches that are described as unisex, quite honestly. Sure, there are plenty of women who’ll happily wear hefty, so-called masculine watches, but it’s a rare Aussie bloke who’ll strap into anything involving diamonds and pastels, even if it’s marketed evenly at both the XX and XY camps.
Sound the gender-neutral klaxon then, because today’s watch sits as squarely in the middle as we’ve ever seen – pun fully intended. The latest evolution of the Bell & Ross BR S Rose Gold, which landed in Australian boutiques in December, was squabbled over by everyone at T+T HQ when it arrived last week. Everyone. And you can see why.
The signature Bell & Ross silhouette is in full effect, complete with the usual aviation influences, but in this instance the result is far more elegant – thanks primarily to the materials used. The satin-brushed 18-carat rose gold of the case contrasts nicely with the polished screws. The glossy alligator strap matches beautifully with the moody black starburst dial. In place of the small seconds of previous versions, we see a sweeping second hand that makes for a cleaner, less utilitarian look, and rather than the weightier, leaf-shaped hands, this model’s are slim and elongated gold batons, inset with Superluminova. Meanwhile, though it’s the smallest in the Aviation collection, at 39mm it’s by no means a slight watch, so it works well regardless of whether your wrist is chunky or china-doll.
Flip it over, and the automatic BR-CAL.302 can be glimpsed through the smokey sapphire caseback, safe and sound thanks to 100m of water resistance. Clearly this is not the watch to take surfing, but it’s always reassuring to know it’ll survive if someone throws a drink at you, whether that’s a craft beer or a cosmopolitan.