Prolific publisher and founder of both The Rake and Revolution magazines, Wei Koh, has teamed up with Bell & Ross to produce two limited edition Bellytanker Chronographs. Based on the original watch that launched at Basel in 2017 as a part of the brand’s growing vintage collection, the Revolution marked ‘Dusty’ and ‘El Mirage’ Chronographs were designed to be the ‘ultimate aged’ version of the Bellytanker, having imagined what they would look like after 70 years of wear on the wrist of the belly tank racers who inspired the original release – think patina, tropical dials and aged leather.
In his own article about the collaboration, Wei Koh says, “Let’s create our ultimate tropical inspired watches that people can wear in any situation, on a boat, even water skiing without worrying about their (fragile/vintage) timepiece.”
Carrying across the same design influences of military and aviation codes, stylised with thin hour indices, recessed counters, a stepped seconds track and retro typography, Wei Koh and Bell & Ross Founders Bruno Belamich and Carlos Rosillo settled on the Dusty and El Mirage. The watches are inspired heavily by legendary Californian hot rodder and pioneer of the Belly Tank racing scene Bill Burke, with the El Mirage being the dry lake he used to race on and the Dusty inspired by his bright yellow Bellytanker racer.
In the interest of keeping the price accessible, Belamich and Rosillo counter-proposed Koh’s desire to do the Dusty watch in yellow gold by using a special stabilised bronze – the first time the brand has used the material.
The Bell & Ross ‘Dusty’ Chronograph is fashioned in a 41mm stainless steel case with a satin-brushed finish. The central brown dial is contrasted with black small seconds and minute counters, with a matching minutes track. Framing the dial is a caramel anodised tachymeter bezel, dressed in a brown calfskin strap. It is powered by a modular Sellita SW 300, visible through a sapphire caseback with ‘REVOLUTION’ across the back and is limited to 100 pieces.
The Bell & Ross ‘El Mirage’ Chronograph, is fashioned in a 41mm specialised bronze case with a satin-brushed finish. The central champagne dial is contrasted with brown small seconds and minute counters, with a matching minutes track. Framing the dial is a light brown anodised tachymeter bezel, dressed in a brown calfskin strap. It is powered by a modular Sellita SW 300, visible through a sapphire caseback with ‘REVOLUTION’ across the back and is also limited to 100 pieces.
Both watches are an exclusive collaboration with The Rake and Revolution and are available to purchase from The Rake online with the Dusty and El Mirage being priced at £4,596 and £4,152 respectively. Head to The Rake to read Wei Koh’s article about the collaboration and to purchase the timeless examples.