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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have uploaded a few photos. Stay tuned for full review this week!

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Part 1

So I bought my dream piece- the Bell & Ross BR02 Steel Fibre 44mm tonneau-shaped diver...hereafter referred to as the BR.
Well, my dream piece is a Panerai Luminor with 1950 case. But the BR was my dream piece on this side of Panerai price range. For me, this was my all out, no compromise, ultimate piece. Here is my review.

The Brand
BR have a cool and young history that began as a university project in Paris 1992. You can google br for more history. For me, the brand is critical. I must love a brand before buying a piece. BR have always been about military/professional spec pieces which are simple, legible, functional, and robust. I just love this philosophy and the BR brand suits me to a T.
I realize that BR is not a Blancpain or Audemars-Piguet or Breguet, but in my circles, a BR is serious business and allows me top bragging rights.

The BR02
So BR make many gorgeous pieces. Why this particular model?
I had been shopping for a "statement piece" for almost a year and had originally zeroed in on the square BR instrument piece. As a tried it on at the store, I noticed the BR02 and just asked the price for the helluvit. And my sales guy told me I could have it for less than the instrument piece! The BR02 is larger, and has a carbon fibre dial, although it is less recognizable than the square piece. I thought it was better value and I spent the next few weeks looking at it online. The BR02 ticked all the boxes for me- high end (according to my standards), large, impressive, high tech materials....it had it all.
My local dealer gave me a great deal and I went home with the BR02.


Part 2

The strap
The strap was a big selling feature for me. BR rubber straps are big and wide and have a huge, modern buckle. I think they are awesome. Now, I bought my BR to wear to work with a suit. Is a 44mm diver with a big rubber strap appropriate to wear with a business suit? Yes!!! It really looks amazing with a suit, or with short sleeves. A good watch looks good witn anything.
The BR comes with a nylon strap as well as rubber. And for the first few days, I wore the BR with the nylon strap. It is superb. So so comfortable and it looks great. But it is too bulky to wear with some shirts and I preferred the rubber, so the rubber went back on. But after a while, maybe for the summer, I will switch the strap again.
I was skeptical about the comfort of rubber. But BR use a new, synthetic material and the result is an extremely soft and comfortable strap. Maybe on hot summer days it will get annoying, but for now it is just great. It fits great.

The case and the piece
For my tastes, and for my criteria on this purchase, the BR just nails every point. 44mm is large but not enormous, but the overall effect is stunning. The case is very thick, which gives it serious presence. There are black case variations but mine has a gorgeous stainless steel case which really stands out and gives it that OOOOMPH that I was craving in a piece. I won't comment on the helium valve because I don't even know what it does! The top crown moves the inner bezel, but I like to leave it centred at 12:00 all the time.
Despite the size, I am able to wear this piece with almost any shirt, except the tighest French cuff shirts. So I really do wear it work with business suits.

The dial is amazing. It is actually steel coated with carbon fibre and the effect is superb. The large white numbers really stand out against the dial and it has almost a 3D effect- super cool. The inner bezel, like most dive pieces, slopes upward toward the outside and adds some nice detail. The overall effect is high tech and modern and purposeful.
The hands are cool- they are large and wide. The only problem is that, with the ends being so wide, it is not easy to perfectly align the hand with the minute marker. The second hand is perhaps a little too thin. But overall, the look is so cool.
At night, the lume is incredible. I should post some photos of that!
The back of the case is pretty cool- all stainless steel with a huge & amersand logo engraved into it. Real diver stuff.

The movement
The BR02 uses an ETA movement. Mine is gaining 10-12 seconds per day. This is acceptable, but not great. My Longines Legend Diver gains 12-15 seconds per day, but my TAG Aquaracer loses only 4.5 seconds per day, wherease my Hamilton King Pilot gains only 4 seconds per day. In practical terms, the BR02 is fine. I set it about 45 seconds slow and then it's OK for 1 week or so before it needs adjusting. I keep it on Orbita winder when not wearing it, so it's always ready for action.
People trash BR for using mostly ETA movement. It doesn't bother me. Read up on the history of Panerai and you may feel differently about using "borrowed" movements. After all, the BR02 is not in the same price range as a Rolex or a Breguet.

The box
My BR02 came with a military-spec Pelican case. My sales guy loved this feature, but I don't really look at the box much. Read up on Pelican cases, if you like. It's said to be worth over $500 alone.


The recap / summary
So now, we've covered the brand, the purchase, the strap, the dial, the movement and the box.
So how do I like the BR02 after a month? Is it good value? Is it enjoyable?
For sure, any time you spend so much money an item, you question yourself. But I actually think that BR02 provides superb value for the price. It's distinctive, impressive and a lot of watch for the money.
Now, this is a large, sporty, bold, diving piece. It's not for everyone. But in this case, the BR02 has delivered on every single point of my criteria. It just nails it.
I really enjoy it. It gets attention- I have been in many meetings where the other guys are just drooling over my BR. It feels great. And I find it to be very comfortable.
And that is my summary! Happy shopping!


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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Part 1

So I bought my dream piece- the Bell & Ross BR02 Steel Fibre 44mm tonneau-shaped diver...hereafter referred to as the BR.
Well, my dream piece is a Panerai Luminor with 1950 case. But the BR was my dream piece on this side of Panerai price range. For me, this was my all out, no compromise, ultimate piece. Here is my review.

The Brand
BR have a cool and young history that began as a university project in Paris 1992. You can google br for more history. For me, the brand is critical. I must love a brand before buying a piece. BR have always been about military/professional spec pieces which are simple, legible, functional, and robust. I just love this philosophy and the BR brand suits me to a T.
I realize that BR is not a Blancpain or Audemars-Piguet or Breguet, but in my circles, a BR is serious business and allows me top bragging rights.

The BR02
So BR make many gorgeous pieces. Why this particular model?
I had been shopping for a "statement piece" for almost a year and had originally zeroed in on the square BR instrument piece. As a tried it on at the store, I noticed the BR02 and just asked the price for the helluvit. And my sales guy told me I could have it for less than the instrument piece! The BR02 is larger, and has a carbon fibre dial, although it is less recognizable than the square piece. I thought it was better value and I spent the next few weeks looking at it online. The BR02 ticked all the boxes for me- high end (according to my standards), large, impressive, high tech materials....it had it all.
My local dealer gave me a great deal and I went home with the BR02.


Part 2

The strap
The strap was a big selling feature for me. BR rubber straps are big and wide and have a huge, modern buckle. I think they are awesome. Now, I bought my BR to wear to work with a suit. Is a 44mm diver with a big rubber strap appropriate to wear with a business suit? Yes!!! It really looks amazing with a suit, or with short sleeves. A good watch looks good witn anything.
The BR comes with a nylon strap as well as rubber. And for the first few days, I wore the BR with the nylon strap. It is superb. So so comfortable and it looks great. But it is too bulky to wear with some shirts and I preferred the rubber, so the rubber went back on. But after a while, maybe for the summer, I will switch the strap again.
I was skeptical about the comfort of rubber. But BR use a new, synthetic material and the result is an extremely soft and comfortable strap. Maybe on hot summer days it will get annoying, but for now it is just great. It fits great.

More to follow........

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It's always interesting to read about people's decision process and how they ended up with a certain watch, thank you.

I definitely like this model better than the square ones.

That said, I certainly do not agree with your opinion about wearing this watch with a suit! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
see conclusion above.
 

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I like the BR02 with khakis and a tweed blazer, on an ammo strap. Not for diving, but general office wear....

Now, I'm just learning to make straps, so the quality is not pro grade at all, but I do like the flexibility of the watch head, to go with so many styles.

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That's pretty sweet !

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Your BR02 has different hands than mine- very cool.
Those large numbers really POP!
Great stuff

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br02 is one of my favourite model ,, i almost bought it when i was tore between br02 and br01. ...i end up with br01-96 though, but you couldnt get wrong with br02 as for sure
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
BR01 is square instrument piece? That's very cool and recognizable.
But for sure I am enjoying BR02.

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