Agent 007 needs several things from his watch. It must be able to withstand high levels of abuse. Whether it be escaping villains on skis, or evading armed guards by diving bellow water, Bond’s watch must endure. Once the wetsuit comes off to reveal the tuxedo underneath however, his watch must suit the style. The final necessity are buttons, pushers and other features that can be used to disguise the gadgets crucial to the mission’s success. The Bell & Ross BR-02 Pink Gold offers all the aforementioned features and in arguably larger doses then the Omega Seamasters and Rolex Submariners of James Bond’s past.
The BR-02 was created by Bell & Ross to be a submersible cousin to the other BR Instruments. It boasts extraordinary water resistance ratings. Features such as an escapement valve and thick rubber strap increase the watch’s resilience in the face of extreme conditions. The 18 karat pink gold version is rated to withstand pressures up to 30 ATM (found at a water depth of 300m). While this rating is lower then the 100 ATM for the steel BR-02s, it is still very respectable and considered by professionals to be enough for diving. This sacrifice allows the watch case to be slightly slimmer and therefore more elegant. Also the Pink Gold version retains the pressure escapement valve and rubber strap, which are important performance features.
The style of the BR-02 Pink Gold is definitely Bond-worthy. The “tonneau” case is a classic style, but with the addition of elements like the rubber-clad crowns and the four visible structural screws, it remains sporty and modern. Carbon fiber has roots in sport performance, but its use on the watch’s dial actually adds a sleek, elegant touch. In the case of Panerai, for instance, carbon fiber dials have been dubbed “tuxedo dials” due to the material’s unique elegance and shininess. Some other details that fans of formal wear will appreciate are the pink gold applied hour markers and the solid pink gold tang buckle.
When it comes to gadgets, MI6 engineers can exploit plenty of the BR-02’s features to hide their inventions in. The primary crown, which is protected by two solid gold shoulders, is screw-locking to improve water resistance. Once unscrewed it can be used to change the time and date and to pull out a diamond coated steel cord capable of cutting through flesh, bone, and metal. The secondary crown found on the watch case at two o’clock is also screw-locking and is used to set the precisely graduated inner bezel for the purpose of timing a dive. Push it twice and the watch becomes an explosive set to detonate once the second hand reaches the marker! That would be a waste of a great watch, but the US$ 22,000 price tag would never deter Bond from blowing stuff up.