Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Spacemaster X-Lume Watch

Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Spacemaster X-Lume Watch

Ball Watch Engineer Hydrocarbon Spacemaster X-Lume

This is the star new Ball watches of the year in my opinion. This timepiece is a smooth evolution of the Hydrocarbon watch design. It combines so much of what I like about Ball watches and presents it in a nicely refined package that I certainly feel has the quality of a new classic for the brand. No doubt there will be spin-offs on this design for a while to come. I recently discussed some Ball watches that I like when I was visiting with Ball in Las Vegas here. Enough of you commented positively that I realized I was not alone in appreciating this brand. Which means that I think enough of you will agree with me on this watch.

The new watch is the Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Spacemaster X-Lume. Think of it as the astronaut-themed version of the Hydrocarbon watch. Most watches of this caliber really don't need and special enhancements to be good for use is space, but some new branding won't hurt. The watch uses a Swiss automatic ETA caliber 2836-2 movement that has the time, day, and date. The movement has also been COSC Chronometer certified. The case is thick, and in steel, but not very large at 41.5mm wide. Being curved and with a domed sapphire crystal gives the watch a larger look on your wrist though. The case is water resistant to 333 meters.

Ball Watch Engineer Hydrocarbon Spacemaster X-Lume side

Ball Watch Engineer Hydrocarbon Spacemaster X-Lume clasp

There is new stuff all around aside from the smoothly polished design of the ultra readable case. Ball uses a mix of grade 316L and N 1.4435 steel to achieve a durable and lasting case. Ball also boasts about how precision milled the watch and its components are. Pieces are cut to 1/100 of a millimeter precision via their CNC machinery (for cutting precision sized metal parts). The case of the Spacemaster X-Lume has a familiar look that you recognize as being a Hydrocarbon watch, but here you see Ball designers really starting to get comfy with the design, solidifying it at a true icon of the brand. Kept are the distinctive crown and surrounding elements with the slide up guard piece. The case looks better rendered, and the bezel has a new treatment that is a good mix of rugged, functional looks, and a reduction in its complexity. What is left in the bezel are only four "claws," place two at the top and two at the bottom. They help keep the bezel from feeling too wise. I like the special style of coined-like edging around the bezel as well, and there is lume built into it. All of these elements are improvements over previous designs.

You'll get a new style of bracelet for the watch as well. Aside from a slightly new and improved look, the steel bracelet has a brand new, sophisticated clasp. The extremely secure butterfly clasp has two diver's extensions in it, that can be operated with one hand, and without taking the watch off. They offer something like 20mm of extension (or less) to fit over all sorts of equipment.

Luminant all over the watch is a serious of different color tritium gas tubes that Ball utilizes so well. The small tubes glow by themselves for 20 years or so without the need to be charged by light. Ball uses them all over the dial, and in a bevy on inviting colors such as green, blue, and orange. This is one easy to read watch in the dark. Large hands make the dial easy to read. While the dial design is totally functional, it has a certain nerdy tech polish to it that I think will appeal to all men who enjoy using their minds while at work. It is like a thinking man's sport watch. Overall I am really excited about this timepiece. I would guess price to be between about $2,000 - $3,000 and for it to be released soon.

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  • mako

    I think that Ball watches are one of the best built, best bang for the buck watches in the marketplace. I have a Master Diver II and it has practically become my everyday “beater”. Incredibly accurate and regardless of what I put it through it still looks perfect.

    This model is certainly destined to become a classic and I particularly like it in the PVD(DNC?) finish.

  • http://thefilmnest.com The Rake

    When Ball sent me the press release for this watch, I was duly impressed. Havent held it yet, but the specs and pics look strong. Is it COSC?

    BTW, Mako,

    I have an EMII Diver too, how accurate is yours? I am +15-20 a day as a guess. Seems too fast.
    The Rake

  • Brian

    To The Rake,

    Both the Spacemaster and Spacemaster X-Lume (also known as the Spacemaster Glow) are COSC certified. The difference between the two models is the X-Lume has the tubes on each minute marker vs. the every 5 minute tubes on the “standard” Spacemaster. The “standard” Spacemaster also has guilloche around the outer part of the dial.

    The SM comes with white or black dials, and the SMG comes in a choice of black or blue dial.

    The reviews so far are glowing just like the tritium tubes on the watch. The SM and SMG have more dial real estate than previous Hydrocarbon series watches, and the side-by-side photos I’ve seen show a remarkable difference. The bezel is also lower profile.

    I’m looking forward to seeing this watch in person. It is certainly on my wish list.

    Brian

    +++-

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  • Nik Shafuan

    very like ball watchers

  • breitlingsource

    Was just reading up on this as someone asked me about the X-Lume and noticed the remark about the 316L steel and DIN 1.4435 Steel… They are the exact same kind of steel, 316L is just the AISI name for it. If you go that information from Ball, they must have pulled a quick one on you.

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