In 2016, Bell & Ross is firmly focusing on the motoring world, another one of its designer’s favourite fields. The brand has designed the AeroGT, an avant-garde concept car and GT grand sport with bodywork as streamlined as a fighter jet. This unique car, created by the watchmaker’s design studio, was not created by chance.
“The AeroGT concept car is an extension of our field of expertise, which demonstrates the creative ability and strength of our brand. I thought that it would be interesting to combine the iconic Bell & Ross features with a car directly inspired by aeronautics,” explained Bruno Belamich. “This concept car is in actual fact an amalgamation of an aircraft and a GT.”
This spectacular vehicle adopts the major principles of Bell & Ross watches: form in response to function, a passion for mechanics and, of course, a strong aeronautic overtone. Alongside the presentation of this unique prototype, two exceptional watches with a strongly car-inspired character are being released.
Since the very beginning, Bell & Ross has used aviation’s iconic features in the design of its watches. Belamich therefore spends a great number of his working hours studying jets, fighters and bombers. However, this mechanics, style and performance enthusiast also loves to burn rubber on the roads.
“The design of this concept car took just over one year. To obtain optimal results, we worked with specialists in car design,” said Belamich. “It was very important for us to create a high-performance car with realistic characteristics. Ultimately, this stunning super car, as streamlined as a jet, shows what a Bell & Ross car might look like.”
The 4.7-metre long AeroGT is extremely low (1.10 metres) and very aerodynamic. Its pointed forms with sharp angles and cutting overhangs are reminiscent of some stealth jets. All it needs to take off is a pair of wings. When seen from above, the drop-shaped glass roof recalls the glass cover of a jet cockpit. Meanwhile the razor-thin wing mirrors are inspired by the small wings called ‘canards’ placed on the nose of some jet fighters. The two unusually sized exhaust pipes evoke turbojet engine exhausts, while the turbine-style rims imitate the vanes of supersonic aircraft engines.
But the most impressive detail is the rear longitudinal aileron, which is reminiscent of an aircraft’s vertical stabilizer. The role of this element is to stabilize the racing car when performing quick turns. Ultimately, the Bell & Ross AeroGT concept car combines motoring and aviation to the greatest possible degree.
When it came to considering the powerplant for the AeroGT, Belamich imagined it being propelled by a 4.2-litre V8 twin-turbo engine, combined with the latest 8-speed automatic gearbox. This engine would boast an output of 610 bhp and rocket the car from standstill to 100 km/h in less than 3 seconds – and on to a maximum speed of 315 km/h.
For this reason, the concept car has a pitot tube installed at the top of its right wing. This type of probe, which can be found in many flying craft, measures very high speeds. Meanwhile, the heat-resistant ceramic brakes provide the necessary braking power to stop this road-borne missile which has rear-wheel drive, of course.
The latest Bell & Ross BR 03 AeroGT watch duo is directly inspired by the AeroGT concept car. The automotive and watchmaking industries share a lot of similarities as both are concerned with motors and performance as well as time and precision. They both function using gears, escapements, screws and cams. There is also a very old tradition of making watches for car drivers, mainly chronographs intended for professional track drivers. It therefore seemed only natural to combine the two with the AeroGT concept car and the BR 03 AeroGT watches.