You can be my wingman any time.
Welcome to your fighter pilot flight experience with Bell & Ross and ourselves, the OB. Just so you know, before you sign your waver form.
flying at 1,000 miles an hour is no walk-in-the-park. Standing on earth, we experience gravity at 1G. When you ride a rollercoaster, you may reach 5g if you’re lucky. Ever felt sick after a monster rollercoaster? Lost your legs? Or even fainted? A fighter jet pilot will experience gravity at 9G, to the uninitiated that’s enough force to cause ‘black out’.
So if you do black out, yell out! Just kidding, you’ll be out cold. Thankfully you’ll have us.
It’s safe to presume experiencing a black out at 50,000 feet is a little different to that time you fainted on Movie World’s Wild West ride, where your photo was snapped and now sits on the family mantle piece for all time, so your cousins can laugh at you.
What is HUD aka Head Up Display?
Can you hear us back there? Thumbs up if you can. Okay great. We will start with the basics and glide for a while, so we can explain what everything is in case of an emergency, you signed the waver form before you got in right? Just kidding, okay leave your questions until the end and do not, under any circumstances remove your flight helmet.
Okay… this is the Hud. The Hud features a transparent glass screen that displays all information that are essential to fulfil a mission, in the pilot’s visual field. For optimal effectiveness, its primary function is to keep the pilot focused on his target ahead without having to take the eyes off his line of sight.
Considered as both technological and safety equipment, the HUD takes on the augmented reality concept. With HUDs displaying digital data onto the windshield, pilots can be alerted about everything from the horizon line, altitude or speed to navigation aids such as the flight path vector – indicating the direction the jet is taking. At this point, if you’re not as excited us yet, we know you are the problem!
Back on track, as a result, this high-performance tool (the HUD) puts emphasis on legibility and will guide the way day and night. In case of low visibility for instance.
No matter the conditions, the screen will adjust in brightness and contrast to optimise ambient lighting.
While it was originally used in the military field in the 1950’s, the HUD is now also frequently exploited in civil aviation and the automobile industry.
AN AVANT-GARDE INSTRUMENT, A UNIQUE WATCH
Okay see this watch? Don’t worry, one hand on the controls will be fine at this altitude, we think… you seem nervous, let’s change the conversation for a distraction. If you look down, you’ll notice we have lifted now to 30,000 feet. This timepiece looks just like my HUD right?
The design of this BR03-92 HUD embodies the spirit of Bell & Ross’ instrument watches. With a contemporary style, the black matte ceramic case features the iconic “circle in a square” that refers to the silhouette of an aircraft cockpit clock.
Settling Bell & Ross’ instrumental identity, the design approach of the HUD’s display hides a treasure chest of sophistication. Using technical and graphical tools and tips to translate this display type at the tiny scale of an analog mechanical watch was an innovative exercise at the brand’s creative studio.
An Innovative Display: Analogical yet Mechanical
Arranged in tiers, the BR03-92 HUD is built around superimposed levels. This technical construction was thought and conceived by the designers to create a depth (perspective) that echoes the real HUD instrument.
Thus, the concept of Augmented Reality adapted to a timepiece hinges on 3 layers:
The Sapphire Glass
- On the upper level, the green-tinted sapphire crystal glass gives the illusion of the digital HUD-type display, using the surface of the disc dial and that of the glass.
- 4 brackets are printed on the verso of the glass as a reminiscent to the 4 corners of the HUD line of sight
- On the middle level, the black and green hands reveal the minutes and seconds.
- The hands’ center parts were purposely hidden to further increase the digit analogy and the legibility principles of professional aeronautical instruments.
The Hour Disc and The Dial
- On the lower level, the hours are indicated by a green triangle marker which appears in the center through an independent concentric disc which is not graduated.
- This ultra-light disc was developed to ensure that neither accuracy nor power of the watch were reduced. Furthermore, the disc needs to be sufficiently resistant so as to not become deformed or risk any friction.
Okay my friend, we are now at a comfortable 40,000 feet. How are you feeling back there? Thumbs up if you’re good. Awesome let’s keep at it then.
Green on Green: Intense LUM Legibility
There is more than meets the eye to obtain this uncompromising result. Some special coatings are worth noting on this timepiece.
By using the green colour, Bell & Ross recreates the graphic style of this instrument as closely as possible. The green on the dial mirrors the computer-type display of the HUD, and the case’s anti-reflective matte black background provides a striking contrast. The sapphire glass is tinted and obtained through a green pigment coating technique that is applied on its back side.
Furthermore, the BR03-92 HUD fits perfectly into the family of instrument watches with the objective of optimum readability under any circumstances. To provide an intense green light, the Hours numerals, indices, triangle as well as the minute-circle and hands are coated with green Super‑LumiNova® C3 treatment. The latter is also applied on the 4 brackets underneath the crystal. A true punch of light – at day and night – well suited for ‘Nights Owls’ and pilots. So if we do find ourselves flying in the dark, don’t be alarmed, it ain’t no UFO following us—just my watch over here. Or it may be, guess we will find out! So we are going to make our descent, before we do, you should know we are running out of fuel… only messing with you.
Thanks for flying with the OB. A reminder to keep you arms, legs and watches within the cockpit at all times.