The “Watch_Brotherss” are a duo of actual watch designers from Hong Kong who have done something artistically interesting and worth talking about. What they do is use their Photoshop and design skills to merge various watch models they like to form hybrid designs which range from cool and desirable to really weird and thought-provoking. I interviewed them in order to share a bit about yet another mysterious set of personalities on the often anonymous world that is social media – and because what they are doing is particularly neat.
Considering that most dive watches are primarily used now to tell the time on dry land, I’ve often felt that the deemphasized hour palms found on several are kind of a sacrifice of real-life usability for the sake of being taken seriously as a “real” diver. Part of the ISO standards, however, stipulate that the minute hand should be more legible than the hour hand since the minutes are somewhat more critical when diving. For your Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver, legibility is not hampered by the orange lume for the hour hand, but it’s really deemphasized in the dark using a (much) fainter glow whilst every thing else (hands and mark) glows brightly green with Super-LumiNova. Also familiar — and demanded for dive watch specifications — would be the unidirectional rotating bezel. It’s a 60-click one in the instance of the Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver having a aluminum fit, and it is somewhat stiff to turn but using a good sound and texture. Bell & Ross also notes the BR 03-92 Diver’s shock immunity to specialist specs, and the thicker caseback and gentle iron cage help make the watch anti-magnetic to ISO 764 criteria. The angular crown guards are just another durability-emphasizing feature. Even though Bell & Ross has not provided the official dimensions, as a dive watch, this is going to be significantly thicker than other BR 03 cases together with the prominent bezel, thicker caseback, and thicker sapphire crystal. And it’s about as heavy as it looks. There is no practical reason that the Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver case has to be square, but since it works so nicely in the long run, there’s also no reason it shouldn’t be, right?
The Watch_Brotherss aren’t real brothers (even though they actually do have the same last name) and share their work on Instragram under the @Watch_Brotherss name. I will refer to them as “L” and “J.” For not actually being brothers, these two talented guys have a lot in common ranging from both being trained industrial product designers to working for the same watch design company. Given the nature of the industry, they prefer to keep their identities (as well as their employer) confidential for now. According to them, the watches they design (which go into production) typically retail for a couple hundred dollars to about US $1,000.
The tagline on their Instragram page pretty much says it all, but their process and goals are worth exploring since they aren’t that obvious. The duo seeks to explore “what if the watch brand mixed,” and that is more or less what they do. Currently, they only have 60 images or so on their page, but each is an interesting work unto itself. The various watches and other designs they come up with typically combine 2-3 popular watches and seek to come up with something new. You’ll see a lot of repeating themes such as use of elements from brands like Rolex (they really love Rolex bezels), but this isn’t because they are being lazy. In fact, the use of repeated visual elements is done intentionally, and for a few reasons.
The expressed reason is very practical, and that is to gain attention from as many people on social media as possible. The average person on social media spends perhaps a second looking at each picture, so it is important to catch people’s attention right away. Thus, the Watch_Brotherss are intentionally using the most identifiable elements from the most identifiable brands such as Rolex, Hublot, Panerai, and others.
What I think people should stop and consider is what elements they are choosing and how those elements make certain watch designs more distinctive than others. You might ask yourself what makes a Rolex so identifiable, but not really be able to come up with an answer outside of, perhaps, “the name.” Well, a good answer according the work of the Watch_Brotherss is clearly the rotating bezel. In fact, looking at their work, one can immediately see just how important elements like bezels and crowns are when it comes to brand identification.
Take Panerai, for example, with their Luminor locking crown guard. They use this element to help people identify their watches. In fact, there is a form of trademark Panerai has registered for this design element. It’s no longer even close to being patent-protected, so what Panerai did was take the clever step of tradmarking it as part of the “dress” of the product which helps consumers identify its origin.
Such elements which are part of how we identify popular watches aren’t always obvious, but seeing the design combination work of the Watch_Brotherss really helps one understand that. What I particularly like about the duo’s efforts is the mostly refined and very skillful integration of parts. Not all of these are watches I would want to wear, but each is immediately interesting and thought-provoking.
Considering that most dive watches are primarily used now to tell the time on dry land, I have often felt that the deemphasized hour hands found on many are kind of a sacrifice of real-life usability for the sake of being taken seriously as a “real” diver. Section of the ISO standards, however, stipulate that the second hand should be more legible than the hour hand since the moments are more crucial when diving. For the Bell Ross Watch Forum Replica BR 03-92 Diver, legibility is not hampered from the orange lume for the hour hand, but it’s indeed deemphasized in the dark with a (much) fainter shine while everything else (hands and mark) shines bright green using Super-LumiNova. Also familiar — and required for dip watch specifications — is the unidirectional rotating bezel. It is a 60-click one in the case of this Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver having a aluminum insert, and it’s somewhat stiff to twist but using a solid sound and texture. Bell & Ross also notes the BR 03-92 Diver’s shock immunity to specialist specs, and the thicker caseback and soft iron cage help to make the watch anti-magnetic to ISO 764 criteria. The angular crown guards are another durability-emphasizing feature. Even though Bell & Ross hasn’t supplied the official measurements, because of dive watch, this will be considerably thicker than other BR 03 cases together with the prominent bezel, thicker caseback, and thicker sapphire crystalclear. And it is about as significant as it looks. There’s no practical reason that the Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver case needs to be square, but since it works so nicely in the end, there is also no reason it shouldn’t be, right?
Both watches have a gilt metallic copper dial — a somewhat unusual but quite appealing color and finish. It reminds me of the color of faux-patina lume that we see on a lot of classic re-issues but much warmer and warmer. Both watches have a steel case with a simple, familiar case layout. The case has a brushed finish that gives it a pragmatic look, like a field watch or something you’d wear to the racetrack — very suitable for the circumstance. The watches are rated to 100m of water resistance, and the V2-94 chronograph is even equipped with screw down pushers, a screw-down crown, and crown guards to optimize durability.The differences between the cases of the two watches are case size, caseback, and also the tachymeter bezel on the chronograph. The Bell & Ross Watches South Africa Replica Vintage V1-92 Bellytanker time-only includes a metal screw-down caseback and is at a classical 38.5mm case size, which I believe makes it appropriate for multiple wrist dimensions and all genders.
In China and other parts of Asia, original design is observed far less than what I call “curated selection design” and replication. One reason for the popularity of fakes coming from China isn’t just economic, but rather cultural. The notion that someone can copy something else perfectly is actually rather valued. In this sense, many watch designs from China, Hong Kong, and Japan in particular often look like hybrids between popular looks in high-end European watches. To Westerners, this doesn’t always look great, but my understanding is that there is a lot of artistic and creative merit in these parts of Asia not just in coming up with original designs, but also original curation and merging of existing design elements from around the world. I’m saying this as a way of explaining one possible reason why the duo was drawn to this type of artistic expression.
About those dimensions: Appearing at the Bell & Ross Watch Model Br03-92 Replica BR 03-92 Diver about the wrist, an individual might not guess that it measures just 42mm wide. It might be a weird or abstract thing to state, but I’d explain the Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver as sporting more like a 44mm-wide watch. Square instances are going to wear larger than their dimensions would suggest — if you are familiar with watch dimensions and have a tradition of guessing how a watch may fit you based on pictures and specs prior to seeing it in person. Perchance a corner-to-corner dimension is a great way of evaluating the extent of a square watch because that may better represent how much wrist property it occupies. I truly made an attempt to portray in some of the photographs how well it wears on my 6.5″ (17cm) wrist — though I probably could not pull off even a millimeter larger.Dive watches are normally chunky, and water-resistance of 300m is more or less standard nowadays for “professional dive watches” — even though some manufacturers eliminate calling a 100m water-resistant watch a diver, and others take it much farther to 1000m and more (Bell & Ross’ Hydromax in 1997 was rated into no less than 11,100m). Water-resistance is frequently understood by consumers as a shorthand for or way of measuring general durability. The Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver is rated to 300m and matches all of the other ISO dip watch specifications, and the brand highlights how those specifications influenced the layout.
The growing tendency of vintage-inspired watches was noticed throughout the market, and one of the brands to react is Bell & Ross. The company — which was founded in 1992 and thus has no authentic vintage watches of its own — has nonetheless always positioned its bits as militarily and historically motivated. The brand’s hallmark square instances, seen on many of its watches, are themselves an homage to the dashboard instruments on military planes, and past year Bell & Ross Watch Case Replica introduced a wood-and-bronzed BR 01 motivated by classic marine clocks. This season the new took its inspirations to a different level with the launch of the BR V1-92 Army, portion of its renewed “Vintage” collection, now in its third generation (graphic below, courtesy of our friends at Monochrome Watches). The opinion itself cites no specific era or reference number for its inspiration, but it requires on style details from a number of different time periods to make its distinguished appearance. Including characteristics from an array of styles from the 1930s through the 1950s, and of course also with many contemporary flairs, the watch seems to get remixed many fan-favorite features seen in vintage military watches and placed them in a straightforward, 38.5-mm satin-polished steel case.
In their own words, the Watch_Brotherss said they began playing with and merging watch designs in order to impress each other. Each design takes anywhere from a few hours to a day to complete, and much of the time is simply spent trying to figure out what to actually do. Given that the two spend a large amount of their time looking at watch designs as it is, doing this type of work is not a particular stretch, and I think they do it pretty well.
The Classic V1-92 Bellytanker is powered with the Bell & Ross Watch Problems Replica grade BR-CAL.302, which is basically a Sellita SW300-1 (or ETA 2892-2). Having a 42-hour power book and beating at 4Hz, this really is capable, dependable modern motion found in much more watches than I will list out here. I discussed this motion in the Tissot Heritage 1948 Hands-On article here, but it’s a modular movement based on the ETA 2892-2. Bell & Ross has slightly modified it to remove the next sub-dial but mechanically it delivers the same 42-hour power book and stays equally as dependable. The sapphire crystal of this display caseback is printed using a silhouette of this Bellytanker concept car. Unfortunately, Bell & Ross has not shared caseback images of these watches, but you probably get the idea.The Bell & Ross Vintage V1-92 & V2-94 Bellytanker watches will be generated in a limited run of 500 watches every single. They’re sized and designed conservatively enough to be everyday wearers also. The Bell & Ross Vintage V1-92 Bellytanker ships on an aged brown leather strap for $2,300 and the Bell & Ross Vintage V2-94 Bellytanker can be obtained for $4,400 to a brown calfskin strap or for $4,700 with a stainless steel bracelet. My personal preference are the V2-94 on the bracelet.
Even though L and J bulk their work together, you can easily tell their individual work as each design thus far is produced by only one of them. When they aren’t designing watches, L is an avid cyclist (uphill riding) and designs his own riding jerseys. J’s hobby is leather goods, and he produces wallets and other items he likes for the satisfaction of completing something tangible all by himself. They also have different watch tastes and design preferences. When you look at their Instagram, you can tell L’s work because the “@” symbol on his pictures is squared in the signature, while J’s “@” symbol is more traditionally round.
J also happens to really like the Apple Watch, and some of my favorite things he’s designed are “Watch What-If” versions of the Apple Watch. In fact, I’ve basically gone ahead and offered the Watch_Brotherss the role of leading the next series of aBlogtoWatch Watch What-If design projects, and if you agree, let them know in the comments. What fuels them? It’s really about the feedback from the community and passion that they can share with people who also care about watches. I think it is also safe to say that as watch designers they’d be pretty happy to start their own watch brands someday. Thanks again to L and J for chatting with me, and be sure to check out their Watch_Brotherss Instagram page here.