Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon NEDU Diver’s Watch

Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon NEDU Diver’s Watch

Bal Diver Nedu Chronograph watch-2

Ball released an interesting new diver called the Engineer Hydrocarbon NEDU. The Navy Experimental Diving Unit (NEDU) is the branch of the American Navy that deals with the standards for operational diving and decompression rules for their divers. NEDU is actually the group responsible for establishing the decompression tables you may know from scuba training or, if you're like me, from the rubber strap that came fitted to a Citizen Aqualand diver. These decompression tables allow a diver to know how quickly to ascend, based on the duration and depth of their dive. Use these numbers correctly and you can prevent suffering a case of the bends.

Bal Diver Nedu Chronograph watch-1

Back to the watch at hand. The NEDU is a 42mm titanium diver that features Ball's signature H3 micro gas tubes for constant low-light illumination and is powered by a COSC certified ETA 7750 automatic chronograph movement. The 7750 offers hours, minutes, sub seconds, day and date along with a central seconds hand for the chronograph measure and a maximum resolution of 12 hours. A COSC 7750 is a rock-solid choice for a sports chronograph as the movement has proven to be reliable, capable of excellent accuracy, and generally cheap to repair or service (compared against in-house movements).

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Bal Diver Nedu Chronograph watch-4

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The 21 micro gas tubes, a 3.7mm anti-reflective sapphire crystal, and 600m worth of water resistance do not make the the NEDU a slim watch. With a thickness of 17.3mm, even the titanium construction of the case cannot save this watch from a large and weighty footprint. Unlikely to fit under any cuff, the included titanium and steel bracelet does sport an extension so the NEDU will fit over your wetsuit. Further features include a lumed ceramic unidirectional bezel, 7500Gs worth of shock resistance, and magnetic resistance to 4,800 A/m. Perhaps most notable is that Ball has managed to integrate an automatic helium escape valve into the crown of the NEDU diver. The Hydrocarbon range sports an over-sized crown and propriety locking system, so why not use the available space for an HEV? The spring based system, believed to be a watchmaking first, is fitted into the cap of the crown and allows expanding helium molecules (accumulated during saturation diving) to leave the case of the watch without damaging any components.

Bal Diver Nedu Chronograph watch-7

The Ball Hydrocarbon Engineer NEDU will be available soon with a list price of $4,950 USD. We like Ball for their attractive designs, good build quality and because of our child-like fascination with anything that glows in the dark. While a crown-integrated HEV may not be a considerable improvement over past implementations, we like that Ball is developing new ideas and bringing them to market. The NEDU is yet another example from Ball of an unconventional design (both aesthetically and technologically) that leverages Ball's strengths and innovative spirit.

  • Ulysses31

    A tough looking masculine piece, but not my favourite Ball diver by a long way.  The red accents just look wrong to me.

  • Kris C

    James, you’re reviewing, but Ariel gets to wear it? Raw deal.
    On the HEV, do you take the crown right out of the watch? What’s with the photo where the crown is completely removed?
    I agree with Ulysses in that the red accents were and easy and regrettable choice. This would have looked much more stylish if they chose something a little more off the beaten path, like blue or yellow. The black dial version with lime green accents I bet would be a real head turner.

    • jstacey

      Kris C Raw deal indeed. hahah. Kidding aside Ariel got to see the NEDU in person so we added his photos to the news post. After reading comments from you and Ulysses31, I have to agree that they could have toned down the use of the red accents.

       I haven’t seen the NEDU in person, but I believe that the crown guard needs to be removed to facilitate the auto hev in the crown (judging by the photos). My guess is that the model with out the crown installed is simply a demo.

  • Ryan B

    I agree with Ulysses and Kris, another color other than red would be welcome. It has one of the better looking case backs I’ve seen in a while.

  • droo

    I already own a ball hydrocardon diver chronograph and I see that this new model looses the possibility to use the chronometric functions in the dark. Only the second hand is tritium valve and not anymore the min and hour counters. Furthermore they get this ugly red insert. Why do you want chrono functions in the dark ? I think that was one of the cleaver benefit of tritium tubes to be able to see chrono functions in any circumstances.

  • CG

    Red is not so bad, handsome watch. Other Ball watches have red also, maybe they’re making a more overall brand statement. Nice watch and got me to look at the online catalog! Ball to me, has been the most forgettable watch brand. They make some superb pieces but never are top of mind and rarely see adverts to prompt interest.

  • daottaway

    I think the red on white dial has a good balance, if it is too much it would have to be on the black dial, but to each his own.
    I am a sucker for most any day/date automatic, it’s my downfall.

  • ND

    Apparently, Ball erred on their use of the military insignia on the case back.
    What they intended was the insignia of the US Navy Experimental Diving Unit.
    What they actually executed is the Special Operations Diving Badge from the school that trains Army Special Forces, Air Force PJs and CTTs; not the NEDU, but a completely different unit.
    That’s like making a watch, naming it Top Gun and putting the insignia of the US Air Force Test Pilot School.
    Otherwise, awesome watch.