Pilot’s watches are cool. They let you calculate positions, flight distances, and intermediate times on top of providing high levels of protection against magnetism, so you’re protected from any supervillain with Magneto-like superpowers. Or something. While the Bell & Ross Red Radar Ceramic won’t do any of those things, it does pilot watches one better while coming with an aircraft monitoring radar straight on the watch face.
No, it’s not a real radar like air traffic controllers use to direct traffic in the skies. That would be one cool tech to have on your wrist, if it did. Instead, it uses a radar-like watch face for timekeeping, so you can check the time while pretending to keep tabs on the aircrafts flying all around your airspace.
The Bell & Ross Red Radar Ceramic is actually an updated model of the Red Radar timepiece from 2011, which first leaned in on the aircraft radar aesthetic. For this iteration, they retained the concentric range marks and flight-like indicators based out of flight instrumentation from the cockpit of old warplanes, albeit reinforcing them with aircraft silhouettes showing up right on the radar. That way, your watch looks like it’s monitoring a couple of aircrafts doing donuts at a very slow pace in the sky in 1949. Or something. Yes, we would have loved to have one of those Pentagon UAPs (unidentified aerial phenomena) flying around there, too, but maybe they’ll add that for the “alien invasion” model sometime in the future.
It’s analog, by the way, so those range marks are actually concentric discs that rotate to show the time. The outermost disc keeps the hour, the one inside it keeps the minutes, and a long hand that spans the radius of the watch face keeps the seconds, similar to that sweeping line on old radars you’ve probably seen in various films over the years. To tell the time, you watch the position of the planes, with the outer plane’s spot showing the current hour and the inner plane showing the minutes.
The Bell & Ross Red Radar Ceramic comes with the outfit’s square 42mm case cut in a matte black ceramic, topped by a red sapphire crystal with red indicators painted directly underneath, so the labels stay in place while the discs and their planes spin endlessly with the passing of time. It’s water-resistant to 100 meters, so you can pretend to monitor the airspace even while you’re rowing on a kayak, chilling in a hot tub, or running in the rain. The timepiece uses the BR-CAL.302, an automatic movement that the outfit has used pretty liberally in many of their watches.
Does it make telling time hard? Not that much. The planes, basically, serve as the hour and minute hands, although we’re not sure whether it uses the nose, the tail, or the wing of the plane to point to the exact indicator. Either way, it should be close enough that it won’t matter for anything other than precision timekeeping.
The Bell & Ross Red Radar Ceramic is now available for preorder, with a July ship date. Price is $4,300.