Watch as live animation pulls the mandible back for the skull to flash you an especially metallic grin – it’s a first for Bell & Ross.

One of Bell & Ross’ most iconic timepieces has been revived, and it has got a life of its own.

We’re talking about the automaton-equipped BR01 Laughing Skull – designed to animate when winding, the mandible of this metal skull move back to flash you a wide grin.

The history of horological automation traces back to the 14th century – when mechanical clocks were just becoming a thing. They were often Jaquemart animations of a mechanized human figure that ‘strikes’ the hours on church bells. Bell & Ross brings that little bit of magic to your wrist for the first time with BR01 Laughing Skull.

It is the fifth version in the Skull series, which was launched nearly 10 years ago.

Related: Bell & Ross BR01 Burning Skull Bronze is a fierce military ode

At first glance, we’re attracted to the elegant tone in which this rugged piece is present. The square 46-mm steel case is micro-blasted and decorated with Clous de Paris guilloche finish. In the middle of it all, the metal-applique skull is embossed to create a relief pattern seen in coins and medals. Its skeleton work creates the interesting impression that this skull is floating above the case.

Finally, a skeleton watch with an actual skeleton.

BR-CAL.206

The hand-wound BR-CAL.206 inside is shaped like a skull, too. It was made specifically to fit perfectly in the skeleton case.

Look closer and you’ll find the signature sword-hands indicating hour and minute. This time, they’re coated in SuperLuminova to stand out from the sea of grey.

Throughout history, the skull motif has been claimed to symbolise bravery and vulnerability. Pirates believe they were a symbol of courage and intimidating power, while the military saw it as a reminder of human vulnerability.

BR01 Laughing Skull is water-resistant for up to 100 meters, complete with black rubber strap in place of its brown alligator strap – if you intend to bring it underwater.

Only 500 models are available, so head on over to the official website for more information.

Images: Bell & Ross Malaysia

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