Bell & Ross is out with a couple new pieces in its “Vintage” collection, the PW1 & WW1 Argentium. These watches feature a new, oxidant-resistant alloy of silver called Argentium. The PW1 Argentium (pocketwatch) harks back to the first timepieces with its pocket watch form, and is fitted with one of the most coveted complications in watchmaking: a minute repeater. The WW1 Argentium — in two versions, Silver and Ruthenium dials — echo the design of the PW1 and don a classic elegance to the wrist with their alligator straps. These are all beautiful pieces, with an even more refined look than the first PW1/WW1 that we I reviewed in 2011. More looks and specs, below.
49mm argentium case
the complication is activated by pressing the button on the left-hand side of the case
Alongside the tourbillon and perpetual calendar, the minute repeater is one of the three finest complications in watchmaking, a masterpiece of excellence and expertise demanding complete mastery of the art of watch-making. The Bell & Ross PW1 (pocket watch) minute repeater marks time like the clocks of the past: the hour is not read, it is heard. The complicated caliber also indicates the hours and minutes musically on request — a low-pitched sound for each hour, followed by a series of double low-pitched and high-pitched sounds for every five minutes elapsed. The caseback is finished with a barleycorn guilloché pattern and opens to reveal the caliber.
Dubois Dépraz manual winding movement with minute repeater (56 hours power reserve)
41mm argentium case, manual wind ETA 7001 (Peseux)
Turning now to the WW1 Argentium watches, we see that these two versions retain the characteristics specific to the WW1 collection (domed sapphire crystal, manual wind movement, wire lugs), though they are a bit smaller (41mm vs. 45mm) and of course have the unique luster of their argentium silver case and their sunburst dial finish.
Beautiful watches, all of them.