If the success of the B-Rocket motorbike in 2014 proves anything, it’s that Bell & Ross is its own best muse. So when the time came to create new watches for motorheads, rather than looking to existing racers, the brand designed a supercar concept to serve as its inspiration. The AeroGT is an avant-garde aeroplane-car that combines aeronautics and grand tourers in spectacular fashion – its drop-shaped glass roof calls to mind a cockpit’s canopy; twin exhaust pipes evoke turbojet engines; and turbine-style rims resemble aircraft vanes. Performance-wise, the two-seater is imagined to be crafted in carbon fibre monocoque and propelled by a 4.2-litre V8 engine, matched with an eight-speed automatic transmission, for an ample 610 horsepower. All said, it’s pretty amazing – not to mention realistic – for a hypothetical vehicle.
While not a precursor to any production model, the AeroGT instead provides the blueprint for a pair of timepieces. The BR 03-94 AeroGT is a direct expression of the concept car, equipped with the archetypal driver’s chronograph, while the BR 03-92 AeroGT is a simplified version with a classic three-handed time display. Both tickers are housed within a fuselage-style steel case, with skeletonised dials to reveal the mechanical motor within (the same reduction is also seen in racing cars). The touches of red serve to encourage action, from the indicator triangles and aluminium crowns, to the start push-button and counter hands on the chronograph variant, while black quilted leather straps with red topstitching point to luxurious car interiors. Like the retro-futuristic B-Rocket before, Bell & Ross once again demonstrates its creative strength by articulating the mechanics of time through a cutting-edge concept vehicle.
This article was originally published in Men’s Folio June 2016