Bell & Ross and Renault F1: behind the partnership

A producer and businessman Carlos A. Rosillo is the CEO and Co-founder of Bell & Ross, a watchmaking company passionate about the values of military history and now a proud partner of the Renault Formula 1 team. The watch brand has made a substantial impact on the market over the years, so we’ve decided to invite Carlos for a chat about the relevant matters in his industry and the business relationship with Formula 1.

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What’s the situation in your market today?

Within the past few months the global luxury industry, and particularly the watchmaking one, has become a tough environment, with general export figures going down mostly due to a big slowdown of the Chinese market and the fluctuation of the Swiss franc. But there are also encouraging good news such as the growing interest for women watches and for exclusive timepieces.

Carlos, what keeps you passionate about your work?  

I think that the passion for beautiful mechanics is the most important aspect; it drives the existence of our company. We are in a continual quest for innovation and performance, always interested in the latest technologies, from the most advanced manufacturing or military sectors, hence the many partnerships that we’ve concluded with brands from other universes.

We have been lucky enough to be pioneers in the watchmaking industry in terms of utilisation of the Internet. We have been among the first watch brands to launch a website and then an e-boutique and we are active on social media.

Renault is a great team, especially communication-wise. Last time you’ve told us that creative communication plays a significant role in your work. Is this role growing?

Yes, indeed, as I’ve said before, just as we never stop looking for ways to innovate in our watch designs, we will continue to explore and adapt to new ways of creating brand awareness and spreading the word about the brand and our timepieces through beautiful press releases and visuals, big-impact advertising campaigns and successful local events and, last but not least, creative window concepts for our points of sales.

Also, we have been lucky enough to be pioneers in the watchmaking industry in terms of utilisation of the Internet. We have been among the first watch brands to launch a website and then an e-boutique and we are active on social media. Thanks to our products and our communication strategy we have gained a real community of fans with a strong Bell & Ross spirit.

The partnership with the Renault Formula 1 team is very interesting for us as Renault has admirable creative communications qualities, in which are included their social media management. They have a fun and creative outlook to their social media platforms and use it to communicate in a more casual way with their fans and consumers, something that we have started to emulate more in regards to Formula 1 Grand Prix coverage and related events.

What do you get to experience inside the Formula 1 world as a partner?

Formula 1 is certainly the pinnacle of motor racing and the business sectors surrounding it, so entering this new territory is a form of reconnaissance of our know-how that we are very proud of. Besides this, we are very happy with this partnership that is offering us absolutely limitless creative opportunities and inspirations.

As a partner, we get an inside look at how the Renault Formula 1 team plans and organises around each Grand Prix. This year we’ve had the opportunity to attend 12 of the most important Grands Prix and to enjoy a real paddock experience. We are very grateful to be able to discover the insights of this exciting universe together with our guests.

Besides discovering the circuit events, I have noticed the strong outreach to the local markets in each country. It has been rewarding to see the symbiotic relationship between racing and time-keeping in action as an official watch partner, particularly when it comes to seeing how fans of both worlds come together and are excited about the partnership and the limited-edition BR-X1 RS16 watch we’ve created.

How would you shortly describe your relationship with the Renault Formula 1 team to those who don’t know much about it yet?

Well, it’s quite an interesting partnership arising from the passion for mechanics, speed and precision. We share the same quest: the race against time.

For me, it is an exciting relationship in which we collaborate on a daily basis in spreading awareness for both teams – the Renault Sport F1 Team and the Bell & Ross community. We collaborated in releasing a special edition of our “ultimate utility watch” that both drivers have been seen wearing, theirs have an added unique touch in having their names and number engraved on the back, and have since worked together on multiple events around the world that strengthen our partnership and our bond with our clients.

How do you look at your competitors then?

I would say that I think that the watchmaking industry is going through a somewhat normalisation of its situation as the industry’s figures couldn’t grow exponentially forever. Therefore, for the upcoming years we are facing new challenges that will demand the watchmaking industry actors to adapt but at the same time to remain cautious and vigilant.

As for the competition, we do not examine what our competitors do, what we always look for is to stay true to our DNA. All our creations are based on a key principle – “every detail has its own meaning and function”. The essential is never compromised by the superfluous. This motto embodies the values of our brand’s identity: legibility, functionality, reliability and precision. These four creation principles became our DNA and with this vision, we became a brand with a solid face. The most important thing for us is to focus on innovating while keeping with our image and the coherence of our products. This is, in my opinion, the key to success in today’s challenging and fast-changing watchmaking universe.

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