Rarely has the term sports watch been as appropriate as when applied to the BR 03-94 Multimeter from Bell & Ross. This nifty chronograph displays five different scales on the dial to measure various things. In that sense, it is a modern-day version of the vintage chronographs with “snail scales” that did a similar thing, though not in such an elaborate way.
Which makes makes me wonder why it took so long for a modern watch brand to play with the concept and give it a contemporary twist.
Bell & Ross BR 03-94 Multimeter: thought through design
While we can debate that, the fact of the matter is that Bell & Ross took the jump and created what is, in my humble opinion, one of the most desirable watches in this brand’s current collection. Bell & Ross has always had a knack for design, and the BR 03-94 Multimeter is a prime example.
Integrating five different scales into a single watch is quite a challenge, in particular if things are to remain legible. Bell & Ross succeeded above all by placing the different scales in the correct order.
Some, like the scale for measuring speed (when running, biking, or driving for example) need to encircle the full perimeter, while that isn’t necessary for the pulsometer (measures heart rate) and asthmometer (measures breathing rate). This creates room enough on the dial for Bell & Ross to even include a legend explaining the different color-coded scales, which is particularly handy.
It is those colors that also give this Bell & Ross creation a unique appearance. With the exception of its case, the BR 03-94 Multimeter is nothing like its peers. Among sports watches, it is even a breath of fresh air despite the brand’s familiar square case with its four screws.
The colorful dial offers a pleasing contrast against the matte black ceramic of the case and bezel, whose uniform coloring increases legibility as the eye is naturally drawn to the center of the timepiece. Bell & Ross fortunately forgoes playing even more with colors, even keeping even the strap clean and black. This is a smart move, as it ensures that the watch maintains its serious character and doesn’t become gimmicky.
Bell & Ross BR 03-94 Multimeter: playing second fiddle
As Bell & Ross was dedicated to the true purpose of this watch, which is to measure five different sporting-related events, the rest had to play second fiddle.
The hour and minute hands are slender so as to interfere as little as possible with the scales. The same goes for the running seconds subdial and chronograph minute counter. I enjoy the fact that Bell & Ross gave all these details so much thought and I think it makes the BR 03-94 Multimeter a better watch.
The date window is in an unusual position between 12 and 1 o’clock because it doesn’t interfere with the scales at that location.
What is also remarkable is that Bell & Ross was able to pack all of this into the 42 mm version of the BR 03. Particularly in combination with the pleasantly light ceramic case, this ensures a great deal of wearing comfort while all functions remain easy to read. It is a functional design statement as much as it is a true sports watch, underscoring the versatility of the BR 03 design as well as its staying power.
For more information, please visit www.bellross.com/our-collections/Instruments/br-03-42-mm/br-03-94-chronographe/BR-03-94-MULTIMETER.
Quick Facts Bell & Ross BR 03-94 Multimeter
Case: 42 x 12.8 mm, matte black ceramic, water-resistant to 100 m
Dial: brass with applied numerals and hands coated in Super-LumiNova
Movement: automatic Caliber BR-CAL.301 (base ETA 2894-2), 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency. 42-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date; chronograph with pulsometer, asthmometer, and tachymeter scales
Limitation: 500 pieces
Price: €5,600 / $5,800 on a rubber strap
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