A Week on the Wrist with the Bell & Ross BR-03 – big watch, big personality

The Bell & Ross BR03 is a beautifully finished watch with a unique design

The Bell & Ross BR03 on a grey and blue background
(Image credit: Sam Cross)

The market for great watches has blown up over the last few years. Gone are the days where the middle market was simply Rolex or Omega – these days, those are on the pricier side, with host of more interesting brands emerging in the gaps.

One of the standouts there is Bell & Ross. Offering a unique square case shape, their range is absolutely dripping with personality. Few watch designs are recognisable enough to be certain you know what you've seen, but Bell & Ross watches definitely are.

I got one on the wrist for a week to learn a little more about it.

The Bell & Ross BR03 on a grey and blue background

(Image credit: Sam Cross)

Let's kick things off with the specs. That square case sits just 41mm across, and a staggering 9.65mm thick. That's a really low profile – though the diameter may be a little misleading given the case shape. More on that below.

My review model is the standard BR03 variant, which means it's a nice and simple affair. Three hands adorn the face, all centrally mounted, with a small date window at the 4:30 position. If you do need anything else, be sure to check out the full range – you'll find dive watches, GMTs and a whole lot more.

This unit is the new Copper dial variant. That sees embossed numerals and indices filled with a black varnish for a stark contrast and a gorgeous 3D effect.

Inside, the BR Calibre 302 keeps things ticking away. That's an automatic calibre, with up to 54 hours of power reserve on offer. There's no display case back here, though, so I can't vouch for any finishing level. Still, if you can't see it, that also doesn't matter quite so much.

What is the Bell & Ross BR03 like to wear?

As I alluded to earlier, that 41mm case diameter was always going to be a little bit of a pipe dream. See, the wearing experience of a square case and a round case with the same dimension can be very different.

Here, that square design means that much more of your wrist is covered by the case. The result is a wearing experience which feels much more cumbersome that it really is. On my measly little wrists, it was a gargantuan effort.

The overall experience was very reminiscent of my time spent with the TAG Heuer Monaco, actually. The first few days were filled with feelings of dread, with what felt like a serving tray on my wrist. By the end of the week though, I'd bedded it in and started to feel more comfortable.

Would I rock one of these daily? At this size, probably not, but anyone with even a slightly larger wrist size would probably be fine.

If you can, you absolutely should. There's a certain amount of quality you'd look for at this price point, and the Bell & Ross certainly doesn't disappoint.

The finishing is sublime, with a mix of brushed and polished surfaces which play with the light nicely. Get up close and personal and you'll see just how nice this is, with exquisite attention to detail across the board.

The Bell & Ross BR03 on a grey and blue background

(Image credit: Sam Cross)

Is the Bell & Ross BR03 worth the money?

With a retail price of £3,500, there's obviously a slight caveat to anything I say here. Because yes, obviously, spending over £3,000 on jewellery is a little absurd. But if you're here, chances are you know that, and you don't care as much as the rest of us.

In that case, yes, the BR03 offers exceptional value for money. The quality of finishing is as good as any watch I've seen worth three or four times more, while operation is reliable as every.

The chunkier nature of this watch definitely feels more robust, too. It feels like it's ready to take on the rigors of daily life, making it a really solid pick. You'll need slightly bigger wrists to accommodate it, but if you can you'll get a stellar timepiece.

Sam Cross
Staff Writer

Online news writer at T3.com, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism, with work featured in publications like Metro and Last Word on Sports. After years writing about music and football, Sam now turns his hand to bringing you news about new phones, smart home products, smart watches, laptops and TVs. Sam is a longtime fan and user of Apple products, including iPhones, MacBooks and Apple Watches.He’s also T3’s resident football expert, bringing you everything you need to know about the big games, including how to watch them. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, watch lover and (very) amateur golfer.