Stealth reconnaissance: Bell & Ross BR126 Blackbird
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  1. #1
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    Mar 2011

    Stealth reconnaissance: Bell & Ross BR126 Blackbird

    Name:  Bell & Ross BR126 Blackbird.jpg
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    Unveiled at Baselworld 2013, the Bell & Ross BR126 Blackbird, limited to just 500 pieces, is a watch which takes its inspiration from the Lockheed SR-71 stealth reconnaissance aircraft commissioned by the USAF in the 1960s.

    Described by Bell & Ross as a “highly contemporary vintage watch,” the Blackbird features a black PVD finish and anti-reflective domed sapphire crystal while its flyback chronograph movement offers pilot-friendly time saving functions activated by pushing the dedicated ‘flyback’ button. This stops the watch and returns the hand to zero, which restarts upon releasing the button.

    Name:  Lockheed SR71.jpg
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    The Lockheed SR-71 “Blackbird” which was developed from 1964 and was in service until 1998, carried out photo-reconnaissance missions for the US Air Force throughout the Cold War. The 33m long aircraft, with a wingspan of 17m, was constructed mostly from titanium. Its flat design and matte black colour made it hard to identify, while its capacity to fly at speeds of up to 2000 mph at an altitude of 85,000 feet put it beyond the reach of any interception: 2500 missiles were fired at it without ever reaching any of the 32 planes built.

    Details of its missions are still a military secret, but it's known that the US spy plane did photograph all the most sensitive sites in the former USSR, earning the SR-71 “Blackbird” a definitive role in the annals of aviation.

    Name:  Bell & Ross BR126 Blackbird soldier.jpg
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    Accordingly the Bell & Ross BR 126 BLACKBIRD is matte black in colour, giving more contrast to the indications displayed in orange, the colour reserved for the most essential information.

    The 43mm watch, larger than most Bell & Ross 126 models which are normally 41mm, is encased in a 316 L stainless steel case and with water-resistance to 100 metres. The B&R Blackbird also features a flyback complication. This complication was developed for aircraft pilots before the Second World War. It allowed them to instantly stop and restart their chronograph on receipt of radio or visual signals indicating the moment to change course or release bombs. Unlike standard chronographs, requiring successive pressing of buttons to stop, reset and restart the stopwatch function, the Flyback system allows the stopwatch to be stopped and restarted in a single movement. This makes the Flyback complication the best instrument for calculating short time periods.

    Name:  Bell & Ross BR126 Blackbird orange strap.jpg
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    The watch is powered by a Swiss ETA 2892 movement with a special module produced by Dubois Depraz that recreates the functions of the vintage Lemania 5100.

    Legibility of on-board instruments is vital in aeronautics, so two colours dominate in cockpits: matte black for its anti-reflective properties and white for its extreme legibility. Orange, which is for essential information, also has an important presence and is a signature colour present on Bell & Ross Vintage collection watches. Orange makes all the indications linked to the chronograph function stand out in contrast against the matte black.

    To further enhance the watch’s legibility, the chronograph’s central minute and second functions are displayed across the full width of the dial.

    The watch will ship later in October and comes with both an orange canvas strap and a black rubber strap. The watch will retail for around $7000.

    Visit the Bell & Ross website
    red_dave likes this.

  2. #2
    Member red_dave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Bris Vegas, Australia

    Re: Stealth reconnaissance: Bell & Ross BR126 Blackbird

    Love it!
    BELL & ROSS - BR01-96 | CASIO - G Shock G-7900A-7 | ORIS - Oris Divers Small Second, Date | TISSOT - T Race-MotoGP | TIMEX - Indiglo Reef Gear

  3. #3
    Member Cybotron's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
    New England

    Re: Stealth reconnaissance: Bell & Ross BR126 Blackbird

    Awesome watch.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Re: Stealth reconnaissance: Bell & Ross BR126 Blackbird

    I just now noticed the existence of this a fan of the old Lemania 5100, I really dig this watch! Huge kudos to Dubois Depraz for another great variant of their chrono module!
    Last edited by tempus edax rerum; April 3rd, 2014 at 11:12.

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