French luxury watch brand, Bell & Ross and Singapore’s famed Rolex and Patek Philippe retailer, Cortina Watch have partnered on a new, limited-edition version of one of B&R’s rare dive models that is well worth an overseas journey to acquire. Limited to just 100 pieces, the 42mm Bell & Ross Cortina BR03-92 Diver Bronze “Demiurgus” is not a radical departure from the brand’s flight-instrument inspired timepieces; however it has been adapted to cater to the requirements of scuba divers. Water resistant to 300 meters / 1000 feet, the “Demiurgus” celebrates the 15-year partnership between Bell & Ross and Cortina, an early adopter of their idiosyncratic watch brand founded in 1993.
The watch has been given the nickname “Demiurgus” – meaning ‘creator of the universe’ in some belief systems, though this personage tends to be more of an artisan than arbitrary deity. The drab olive dial features gold-plated appliqué indices with Super-LumiNova inserts, while the case and bezel are made from satin-polished CuSn8 bronze – a patented alloy made of 92% copper and 8% tin. The unidirectional bezel has a 60-minute scale, and the watch is powered by Bell & Ross’s calibre BR-CAL.302 automatic movement. The aesthetic inspiration is a vintage bronze diving helmet, though B&R have cleverly adopted it to fit their own design ethos.
The addition of tin in the bronze alloy allows the Swiss-made watch to acquire more patina than bronze of the more common, bronze-aluminum variety that is used for most watches of this style. Panerai also uses CuSn8 bronze for dive watches, which will show age and wear, taking on reddish brown and grayish green hues over time, and thus enhancing the timepiece’s character, though the look isn’t for everyone. The strap is made of weathered leather backed by black rubber, while the caseback is engraved with the image of a vintage diving helmet and the specifications for this limited edition watch from Bell & Ross and Cortina.