How about a big bronze skull on the wrist? Bell & Ross helps you

Ah yes, the skeleton watch. While not exactly what I would call a "staple," watches with skulls have been popping up in modern watch collections for years. Most notably, we can count independent watchmaker Fiona Kruger as a specialist in skeleton watches, but other brands have also gotten in on the skeleton action. From the Invicta (the Invicta, of course) to the Richard Mille, there are skull watches for every taste and budget. In fact, one of my favorite watches from last year featured a skull in an unconventional way. However, we can't talk about skull watches without talking about Bell & Ross, who have released a variety of such watches in their relatively short history. Their latest release, the BR 01 Cyber Skull Bronze, is one of the strangest offerings yet.

First, let's answer the question many of you may be asking yourself by now: Why? While different brands may have different reasons for making a skull watch, we can at least be sure that the skull itself, as a symbol, is in some way generally considered to be dealing with the concept of death. The memento mori is a reminder that every living thing dies, a theme that has existed in art for centuries. This is the watch's nature-themed playground, dealing with the passage of time. Also, they look cool. I'm reminded of a heavily tattooed friend who was asked about the symbolism behind the artwork on his body (including, you guessed it, the skull) and his short answer indicating that he just liked the way it looked and nothing more about it than that.

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The BR 01 Cyber Skull Bronze is, you guessed it, a massive bronze skull that uses the brand's traditional square, aircraft-instrument-inspired shell as its canvas. The watch doesn't have much to do with flying, though. Instead, it's an ultra-modern take on the skull's aesthetic, with an edgy, faceted bronze skull inside, connected by four-cornered bridges to an equally angular bronze case. The dial is largely open, with an exposed balance wheel inside the "brain" of the skull, and plenty of negative space to accentuate the complexity of the design as well as the partially exposed movement.

The movement is the hand-wound BR-CAL. 210, which performs a neat party trick: when wound, the jaws of the skull appear to move up and down. Bell & Ross said it was meant to symbolize the idea of laughing in the face of death. It undoubtedly adds a level of personality to the watch, clearly designed to garner some kind of emotional response from its owner. It's not just an empty technical achievement, though. The way the movement and dial are integrated into the case is clever, using a pair of sapphire bridges with the skeleton sandwiched between them. This makes the skull and hour markers appear to float within the dial.

The BR 01 Cyber Skull Bronze measures 45mm x 46.7mm and is 13.7mm thick. The case is mounted on an integrated rubber strap and is water resistant to 50 meters.

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