BR V2-94 Bellytanker: When a machine is a key source of inspiration

The Parisian watchmakers from Bell & Ross pay homage to the Bellytanker vintage racecar.

BR V2-94 BELLYTANKER watch2017collection

Speed provides the one genuinely modern pleasure. Originating in the forties and fifties, the term “Bellytank” initially referred to the emergency drop tank fitted in the belly of fighter planes. “Bellytanker” is now mainly used for the high-speed race cars manufactured directly from these spare tanks. This Fall, Bell & Ross, the luxury French watch company headed by the French and Swiss designer Bruno Belamich and businessman Carlos A. Rosillo, imagined their own racing machine.

The Bellytanker range comprises two timepieces – one time-and-date and one chronograph: the Bell & Ross Vintage BR V1-92 and the BR V2-94 Bellytanker.

The more classic BR V1-92 fitted in a compact 38.5 mm case in brushed steel features the self-winding calibre BR-CAL.302 movement with date function. The size of the case and the dial finishing are a nod to watches made in the 1940s – 1950s.

BR V2-94 BELLYTANKER watch-2017-

The sportier BR V2-94 with 41mm polished steel case is equipped with BR-CAL.301 calibre with two symmetrical chronograph counters: a 30-minute counter at 9 o’clock and a central 60-second counter. We also have the date sitting between 4 and 5 o’clock.The dial features the contrasting black counters against a gold dial.

“Both watches use the greatly redesigned Vintage cases, introduced at Baselworld 2017. Slimmer, more elegantly shaped thanks to shorter lugs and more curved lines, and more toolish too in the decoration and mainly smaller than the previous VIntage collection, these new iterations were welcomed by collectors,” commented monochrome watches.  

BELLYTANKER watch2017collection

Faster, Faster, Until the Thrill of Speed Overcomes The Fear of Death

“The watches are inspired by the Bellytanker race cars. This is most obvious in the dial of the watches.Noticeably, the two timepieces are fitted with a gilt metallic copper dial, with a black minute track that covers the circumference of it,” commented deployant in their review.

“In terms of design, we feel that both pieces have done rather well in this aspect. However, we have a slightpreference for the chronograph. We really like the contrast between the dial and sub-dial, and we feel that itreally brings out the intended characteristics beautifully. Having said that, we think that the V1-92 is atimepiece too – ideal for someone who is looking for a simple watch, without any fanciful complications,”added deployant.

This year, Bell & Ross also pays tribute to professionals who rescue at sea and, more specifically, to its helicopter pilots and divers, with two instruments designed to support them in their missions.

Bell & Ross has created two watches that meet the operational needs of professionals on the high seas.These military and civil units operate with helicopters in extremely risky and many times, spectacular tasks. The historic Bell & Ross Vintage collection is the basis of the Garde-Côtes series. These two new watchesinherit the round case, which has been redesigned for a sportier and more contemporary look. They also feature a trio of colors: grey, orange and white.

BR V2-94 BELLYTANKER watch-2017

  • Movement: calibre BR-CAL.301. Automatic mechanical.
  • Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds at 3 o’clock. Date. Chronograph: 30-min timer at 9 o’clock,central chronograph seconds.
  • Case: 41 mm in diameter. Satin-polished steel. Steel bezel with tachymeter scale. Screw-down crown and push-buttons. Sapphire case-back.
  • Dial: gilt. Metal applique numerals and indices. Metal skeletonised Superluminova®-filled hour and minute hands.
  • Crystal: ultra-curved sapphire with anti-reflective coating.
  • Water-resistance: 100 metres.
  • Straps: satin-polished steel or brown calfskin.
  • Buckle: folding. Satin-polished steel.
    BR V1-92 BELLYTANKER watch bell & ross


  • Movement: calibre BR-CAL.302. Automatic mechanical.
  • Functions: hours, minutes, central seconds and date.
  • Case: diameter 38.5 mm. Satin-polished steel.
  • Dial: gilt. Metal applique numerals and indices. Metal skeletonised Superluminova®-filled hour and minutehands.
  • Crystal: ultra-curved sapphire with anti-reflective coating.
  • Water-resistance: 100 metres.
  • Strap: brown calfskin.
  • Buckle: pin. Steel.

BR V2-94 BLACK STEEL - an all-steel version designed to ensure excellent legibility. BR V2-94 BELLYTANKER BR V2-94 BELLYTANKER watch-