The Bell and Ross A521 watches come amidst the French GP race weekend, which saw Alpine’s veteran driver (and 2-time world champion), Fernando Alsonso, take P8 after starting in P9. The team also announced a new contract for their young French driver, Esteban Ocon (who finished P14) this week, assuring him a seat in the Alpine through the 2024 season. In light of this, I’d say B&R have picked an opportune time to release their Alpine F1 collection, which gets its A521 name after the cars competing on track. Quick tip of the hat to Red Bull and Verstappen on the win. The three A521 watches fall within the V3, 03, and X1 families, and while the cases are all different, they share the same dual register chronograph layout and black, blue and white colorway. The V3 and 03 models are both limited to 500 examples, while the X1 will see just 50 made.
Bell & Ross has dropped a trio of limited edition twin-register chronographs to mark the 2021 debut of the Alpine Formula One team.
The French watchmaker has been associated with the Renault F1 team since 2016, but when Renault relaunched famous French marque Alpine, and later decided to rename its Formula One team after the sporty brand, Bell & Ross needed to go back to the drawing board to take into account Alpine’s more restrained signature blue, black and white colors and its “A” logo, which serves as the counterweight on each watch’s chronograph second hand.
The Bell and Ross A521 watches trio of watches, named after Alpine’s new F1 car, include the BR V3-94 automatic normally found within Bell & Ross’ Vintage collection. Limited to 500 pieces, the watch uses a 43mm stainless steel case, black dial and bi-directional rotating tachymeter bezel. Its sub dials take the shape of spoked wheels by using cut-out sections to reveal the BR-CAL.301 movement underneath, while the watch is available on either a polished and satin-finished steel bracelet or a perforated carbon-fiber effect calfskin strap.
These styling queues are carried across to the square-cased 42mm BR 03-94 with its distinctive cantilever chronograph pushers, for another limited run of 500 pieces.
Bell & Ross’ high-end BR-X1 also gets the Bell and Ross A521 watches treatment in a more limited run of just 50 pieces. The 45mm grade 5 titanium watch’s open dial reveal the inner workings of the skeletonized BR-CAL.313 automatic movement and its X-shaped upper bridge, while rubber-coated titanium paddle-style chronograph pushers reflect the motorsport-inspiration behind the design.