Ball has something different on the blocks; a moon phase dress watch. Rather than another variant on the dive/tool watch theme, this one has a classic style dial, plenty of gas tube lume, plus a day/month feature near the top of the dial that gives it that old school Swiss watch look.
It is still quite tall at over 13mm, so you won’t get that slimline feel and it has recessed pushers for the complications, bit like an early 80s digital watch, so you might find that a bit fiddly to operate.
At over £1800, it’s an expensive deal, even on pre-order. Limited to 1000 pieces but we can’t see this becoming a collectors item in the future.
Lovely see-thru caseback by the way, beautifully decorated movement.
Verdict; a Frederique Constant Moonphase Slimline does much the same basic moonphase job for £695, although it lacks the day/month features. An Oris Artelier Complication has an elegant appearance, does the month, day, date stuff and retails at £1240 – has that Swiss made kudos too.
Or you could buy a beautiful 1950s Hermes triple date from Japan that we spotted on eBay for under 800 quid – import tax on top. Yes, it’s an old vintage watch, but arguably will hold its value better than a new Ball. Just saying.
Ball Watch has a new Engineer model, here’s the press info;
The originator, pacesetter, visionary. In 1891, Webb C. Ball created the official railroad standard of accuracy using stricter criteria than the modern COSC. On our 130th anniversary, our legacy of precision becomes even more exacting with our new in-house movement: Chronometer Manufacture Caliber RRM7309-S.
Powering the new Engineer M Pioneer, this watchmaking achievement takes BALL’s standards even further with an accuracy range of -2/+5 seconds per day. New technological advancements, highlighted by an ingenious silicon balance spring, withstand magnetic fields up to 2,500 Gauss and deliver superior shock resistance. Even in the dark, its precision is on full display thanks to our revolutionary micro gas lights. Once again, we are forging ahead with belief that excellence always moves forward. Limited to 1,000 pieces each, the Engineer M Pioneer is available for pre-order at a special price until 26th May 2021.
In Engineer M Pioneer, our designer has taken a bold step with the design of the dial, featuring large Arabic numerals formed by micro gas tubes at every hour. When it comes to the colors of the micro gas tubes, the Engineer M Pioneer offers 2 choices that are vastly different in styles: the standard classic version with the green and yellow gas tubes creating a harmony of light or the special version with 6 different gas tube colors mimicking the rainbow, a hidden gem that is only revealed in darkness.
All three hands are also outfitted with the micro gas tubes, with the added luminosity from the Super LumiNova coating.
SILICON BALANCE SPRING
The balance spring, the delicate part within a caliber that regulates its accuracy, is particularly susceptible to the effect of magnetism. A magnetized movement will run abnormally fast or worse, will stop running at all.
In the creation of the RRM7309-S, our watchmakers combined new material with traditional watchmaking and created something truly marvelous. As a material choice, silicon offers high anti-magnetism and corrosion resistance, it also offers enhanced stability to temperature fluctuations. Extremely lightweight and yet harder than steel, turning silicon into a delicate balance spring that is finer than a human hair requires a next-level expertise. However, as accurate oscillations – and therefore a precise movement – depend on the balance spring, silicon is an ideal material selection with these increased levels of efficiency.
We believe longevity is one of the core attributes that make mechanical timepieces more than a mere object. Thus, while we use silicon balance spring that works in combination with a new escape wheel and lever that are made in nickel-based material to deliver enhanced performance, our watchmakers have decided to retain the classic structure of the components to ensure that the fine-tuning of the remarkable precision and the serviceability in the long run is never a concern.
Ball Watches has a new twist on their Engineer III, the Marvelight Chronometer. Now we love the bright lights of Vegas here, but the rainbow tubes dial just isn’t dinging our bell, and we are big fans of Saturday Night Fever. The power reserve feature is very cool though, we love it and you can choose a conventional gas tube lighting variant. Here’s the word from Ball;
Superior corrosion resistance, virtually indestructible strength and brilliant polish. The new Engineer III Marvelight Chronometer is forged from 904L stainless steel – a material unlike any other in watchmaking, resulting in the ultimate explorer’s watch built to withstand extreme conditions. Design ingenuity is the name of the game.
Not only have we employed a unique technique to set the micro gas tubes, the incomparable luminosity also comes in 2 different colorways: a classic glow or a rainbow motif. Inside, the C.O.S.C. certified movement with 42-hour power reserve has been expertly modified by our watchmakers, the power reserve hand is seamlessly integrated into the central pivot, while the indication scale is located at the six o’clock position. With patented protection guarantees flawless performance, the watch that once ran America’s railroads now empowers world explorers to live freely and fearlessly.
Encased in toughness, the movement and its precision ensure that exploration never stops. And thanks to testing by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (C.O.S.C.), the timepiece is a certified mechanical chronometer built to deliver perfect time keeping in the most imperfect conditions.
Featuring a 42-hour power reserve when the watch is unworn, the in-house modification of the movement allows all 4 watch hands originating from the center, creating a wider angle perspective and ensuring easy readability of the power reserve hours.
Available exclusively online, the latest addition to the Engineer III Marvelight Chronometer series is limited to 1,000 pieces each.
It’s on pre-order until 21 April 2021 at an exclusive price.
Ball have another twist on their Engineer III model, and this one is a slimline dress watch that you can wear every day. On a special pre-order pricing deal at just £1420 – though you need to add on UK import duty/VAT of course.. Here’s the word from Ball;
The Engineer III Legend II is built for conquering adversity with bright, multi-coloured micro gas tube luminosity and extreme resistance technology. The 40mm chronometer is a slim 11.5mm in height – providing ultimate versatility and strength in the most challenging conditions. Its robust engineering and expert craftsmanship are perfectly suited for your pursuit of greatness. Limited to 1,000 pieces each. Pre-order now at a limited-time price until 7 April 2021.
TWO LUME OPTIONS
Completely self-powered, the tubes are available in either a multi-colored lightshow or solid motif. But no matter the choice, the incomparable luminosity shines automatically from the first sign of darkness to the last, ensuring easy time-reading in all low-light conditions. Unlike any other form of luminescence used in watchmaking, the tritium tubes adorn each hour marker and all three hands. In total, 19 tritium tubes adorn the dial and hands with double tubes used at the 3, 6, 9 and 12 hour markers.
Measuring 40mm in diameter and only 11.5mm in height, the Engineer III Legend II delivers versatility and comfort for every occasion. The remarkably thin size fits exceptionally well under various gear as well as dress attire, while the stainless steel material excels in harsh environments. Under the anti-reflective sapphire crystal, the solid dial is available in black or blue in unapologetically utilitarian design. Only a practical date window has been added at 3 o’clock, magnified by a cyclops lens for easier reading.
The Engineer III Legend II runs on the automatic BALL RR1101-C movement – based on the renowned ETA 2892-A2 caliber – and features high-quality components, superior engineering and exceptional finishing. Its precision has been tested and certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) over the course of 15 days in different positions and temperatures. To achieve chronometer certification is no easy feat. The average daily rate on the first 10 days of testing must be from -4 sec to +6 sec., or up to 10 seconds per day – an extraordinary requirement achieved by the Engineer III Legend II.
On the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, BALL Watch proudly presents the all new Engineer Master II Waco Glider, an officer’s watch that combines vintage style with modern technology. Limited to 1,943 pieces each to commemorate the year that the Waco CG-4A gliders went into active service, the Engineer Master II Waco Glider features a manual winding movement, plus micro gas tube luminosity and 1,000 gauss (80,000 A/m) anti-magnetic protection.
From now on until 13 January 2021, pre-order your Engineer Master II Waco Glider at an exclusive price of £1450. Your order will include a complimentary green NATO strap for a change of look.
Legibility is of upmost importance in any military timepiece, thus we have opted for a minimalistic approach for the Waco Glider. The 3, 6 and 12 o’clock numerals, as well as hour batons and hands are equipped with micro gas tubes; the design is clean yet eye-catching. In dark and low-light conditions, our industry-leading technology delivers incomparable brightness.
The centre of the case back is left entirely blank and serves as your canvas for customization. Engrave your name, commemorate a special moment, or add a short personal message – it’s your opportunity to re-enact the practice that was often seen on vintage timepieces.
We love the Ball watch mindset; make high spec watches that compete with the best Swiss prestige brands, but retail them for about £2300, rather than 10K.
Good news for fellow Ball fans, the new 2021 Roadmaster Pilot GMT is equipped with two remarkable timekeeping functions. When travelling, simply push the quick-set buttons to jump the local 12-hour hand to its desired position without stopping the second hand. Then turn the crown to jump the date correctly into position, eliminating the need to circle the dial with the hour hand. OK , it’s no effort to set a GMT hand, but you have to admire the jump hour function feature as a little bit of extra tech that adds value to the Roadmaster.
Complete with a virtually-scratchproof ceramic bezel, amazingly bright micro gas lights and chronometer-grade precision, the Pilot GMT is an ingenious everyday watch for the modern explorer, say Ball.
Limited to 1,000 pieces each. Now available for pre-order until 6 January 2021 at an exclusive price of just under two grand, which is a very decent saving on the 2600 list price.
We have a lot of time for Ball watches here at The Northern Watch Co magazine, as they offer great build quality for the price, plus those superlume gas tubes. This luminous touch makes them useful tool watches. Or just stand out at night like a Jean Michel-Jarre concert.
This is what Ball are telling us; The new Engineer II Timetrekker is a professional tool for mavericks, challengers and outliers. Those who take risks because it makes an impact. Break boundaries with the ingenuity patented quick-set push buttons and a day-night indicator. Endure frozen terrain with the strength of 904L steel and defy darkness with the unstoppable glow of micro gas tubes. In the face of challenge, charge forward with toughness engineered to outlast.
Powered by our COSC dual time movement module built in house, the certified chronometer reveals the time in two zones. The secondary hour hand in blue indicates local time, operated by simply pressing the quick-set buttons. The button at 8 o’clock moves the hand backwards while the 10 o’clock button moves it forward. With an intelligent lock system, the buttons are protected against unintentional adjustment.
When only one time zone reading is preferred, the blue hour hand can be positioned underneath the main hour hand. To further aid travellers, the window at 6 o’clock serves as a day-night indicator: White for daytime, blue for night.
Limited to 1,000 pieces each. The Engineer II Timetrekker series is now available at Ball watches, for pre-order until 28 October 2020
Ball watches are marking the 110th birthday of Lt Richard Best, who sunk two Japanese aircraft carriers at the battle of Midway. The battle was regarded as a crucial turning point in the Pacific theatre and Best’s part in sinking two out of the three carriers that the Japanese placed in the battle has been well documented.
Here’s the word from Ball;
BALL presents the Engineer Best series – a trio of vintage military inspired timepieces. The Engineer M Best Bronze model is fortified by a bronze case and powered by the Caliber RRM 7309-C, while two stainless steel models run on COSC precision. With creative engineering, all three models feature micro gas tubes integrated above and below the dial – illuminating all 60 minutes.
The automatic delivers certified COSC precision with an 80-hour power reserve that still beats at 28,800 bph. It’s housed inside an aluminum bronze alloy case that offers incredible impact strength and superior corrosion resistance. The bronze patina will age beautifully based on your experiences – resulting in its own unique story to tell.
Limited to 1,000 pieces each. The Engineer Best is an online exclusive series and is now available for pre-order until 18 November 2020 at an exclusive price.
Ball has launched a new variant on their Engineer Hydrocarbon dive model, called DeepQuest II. With a depth rating of 1000 metres, they are serious about the deep bit.
Made from titanium, this 42mm case sized watch is a high spec watch. The usual brilliant set of tubes illuminate the hands, bezel indices, plus 12 and 6pm position numerals. It’s a COSC certified, in-house Cal 7309 movement, with an 80-hour power reserve. It’s something Ball can be proud of as many watch brands use modified Sellita or ETA 2824 movements.
There’s also a neat twist on the usual helium escape valve; the DeepQUEST II features a patented diving innovation.
An automatic helium release valve is directly incorporated into the crown, which allows helium gas that develops underwater to safely escape during decompression. A standard helium release valve, is an extra opening on the case, which might compromise water resistance. So, Ball’s crown-integrated helium release valve, which they note as a world-first in watchmaking, gets around that issue.
A super-tough clasp is another Ball trademark feature that we love too. Those links are something Brunel would be proud of we say. This is an expensive watch at £3000, but you are getting something truly over-engineered, down to the last screw and pin.
The only question mark is on resale values. How popular would a three year old Ball Engineer watch be with collectors? Compared to an Oris Aquis Carysfort, or a Blancpain Fifty Fathoms you might find the percentage depreciation a bit higher.