Bell & Ross BR01 Laughing Skull Watch

Some find the notion of the memento mori to morbid and macabre. Indeed, it is morbid in that it reminds one of mortality – “memento mori” translates from Latin to “remember death.” But horologists and historians would tell you that the memento mori is not meant to depress, but to refocus perspective, perhaps to remind the wearer of another Latin dictum: “carpe diem,” seize the day. Taking a cue from the popular, “death’s head” timepieces from the 1800s, Bell & Ross has crafted a beautifully grim watch, and you can reap the rewards.

Far from “bare bones”, this marvelous memento has a modern and ornate design. The case is forged from micro-blasted steel with “Clou de Paris” design – a checkered pattern that forms tiny pyramidal shapes between lines – and is wide at 46 mm in diameter. The Applique metal skull serves as the dial, and cackles sinisterly when would by hand. The watch crystal is constituted of sapphire with anti-reflective coating (so you don’t see your own faced superimposed on the skull). Superluminova hands will glow brilliantly over those barebones, lighting up your watch face like a gleaming jack o’ lantern. For an extra $20,000, you can bedazzle your bezel with diamonds.

Purchase: $9,900

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