bell and ross br 01 laughing skull


Almost ten years after its first Memento Mori watch, the Parisian brand returns with a skull this time featuring unusual animation, bringing a smile to the Jolly Roger.

Introduced at the Couture Show in Las Vegas, which took place from 31 May to 4 June, the limited edition BR 01 Laughing Skull has joined the collection of skull watches launched by Bell & Ross in 2009. This was the year that the Parisian brand, in defiance of fashion, designed its first watch displaying its famous skull on the dial. Later, several other models were produced with a tourbillon (2011), a bronze case (2015) or an engraved and lacquered case (2016). The BR 01 Laughing Skull, however, has a little twist helping it to stand out from its predecessors: here the Jolly Roger comes to life. It opens and closes its jaw in a silent grin when the user winds the watch with the crown.

bell and ross br 01 laughing skull closed mouthThe animation is close to automata art and is driven by the calibre BR-CAL.206, specially developed for this type of timepiece. The hand-wound automatic calibre generates a power reserve of 48 hours and has the curved features of a human skull. The movement is housed in a large-size steel case (46mm), decorated with a Clou de Paris guilloché pattern, and can be seen through the opening on the back of the watch.

bell and ross br 01 laughing skull open mouthThe open-work dial features the metallic Jolly Roger design made using the stamping technique. The forehead reveals the escapement, accentuating the living aspect of the grinning skull. In the nose area, two sword-shaped hands coated in black Super-LumiNova® display the hours and minutes.

500 pieces of this new watch by Bell & Ross have been made. It is also available with a bezel set with diamonds or a case covered in jewels, two models each limited to 99 pieces.

Price: 9,900 CHF (steel version) – 16,000 CHF (jewelled bezel) – 27,000 CHF (jewelled case and bezel)

By Sharmila Bertin