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Bell & Ross Vintage Bellytanker

Marina Milojević | 09.20.17 | 09:24 PM

FThe famous Swiss watchmaker Bell & Ross is also known for developing retro-futuristic racing vehicles. In 2014, Bell & Ross developed the B-Rocket motorcycle, in 2016 they created an avant-garde aircraft-inspired supercar named Aero GT, while this year the retro-influenced Bellytanker racecar enters into the spotlight. The new racing machine is built using a fuel tank from a fighter plane, fitted with an engine and four wheels. The history of the bellytankers dates back to the forties and fifties, when , an American speed enthusiast, wanted to build an ultra-fast car to take part in the races being held on the salt flats.

Bell & Ross Vintage Bellytanker

„At the end of the war many military components were sold off cheap. In 1946, he bought a drop tank from a North American P-51 Mustang for $35. He used it to build a bright yellow mini hot-rod. He fitted the tank that formed the bodywork, on a chassis, powering it with a powerful V8 engine. He took his prototype to the Bonneville salt lake races to test it. Without realizing it, he had created the world’s first Bellytanker.“

Bell & Ross Vintage Bellytanker

Taking later versions of the Bellytanker as its inspiration, Bell & Ross have designed its own vehicle and the new Bellytanker watch to match! The horological interpretation of the vintage-styled racer arrives in three different versions. The most elegant is the BR V1-92 Bellytanker, a classic self-winding three-hander with a discrete date indicator at 4:30. The watch is presented in a small 38.5 mm case made from brushed stainless steel, a nod to the cockpit of the P-51 Mustang.

Bell & Ross BR V1-92 Bellytanker

Bell&Ross BR V1-92 Bellytanker – limited to 500 pieces
BRV192-BT-ST/SCA - 2,300 €

The metallic copper color of the dial matches the Bell & Ross racer, while the reverse side of the watch reveals a solid medalion with an engraved profile of the Bellzyanker. The metal skeleton hands are filled with Superluminova, while the curved sapphire crystal evokes the look of round windows in classic plane cockpits.

Bell & Ross Vintage Bellytanker

A bit more complex BR V2-94 Bellytanker is available in two distinct versions, distinguished by different strap options: the retro-inspired dark brown leather, and a sporty metal bracelet. The BR V2-94 Bellytanker is powered by the chonoraph movement designed to help measure short periods of time. The model is presented in satin-finished polished steel case, measuring 41mm in diameter, and fitted with a metallic copper Panda dial with two black counters: a 30-minute counter at 9 o’clock and a central 60-second counter. The date indicator appears in its traditional position, at 4:30 o’clock.

Bell&Ross BR V2-94 Bellytanker

Bell&Ross BR V2-94 Bellytanker – limited to 500 pieces
BRV294-BT-ST/SCA – leather strap - 3,900 €

The vintage-inspired color of the dial echoes the color of the racer’s wheel rims, while the black of the minute track can also be seen on the car’s nose. The metal indices and numerals are appliques, while the skeleton hands are filled with Superluminova. The aircraft-shaped counterweight on the second’s hand is one of the new Bell & Ross stylistic signatures. The case-back reveals yet another - an engraved profile of the B&R Bellytanker.

Bell & Ross Vintage Bellytanker

Bell&Ross BR V2-94 Bellytanker – limited to 500 pieces
BRV294-BT-ST/SST – metal strap – 4,300 €

For more information about Bell & Ross Vintage Bellytanker watches, please visit bellross.com.

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