Ball Watches For BMW Cars

Ball Watches For BMW Cars

Ball Watches For BMW Cars   watch releases

A few months ago Ball Watches & BMW jointly announced that they would enter into an agreement to produce high-end watches from Ball for BMW. I got to see some prototypes and pictures a few months ago but was not allowed to discuss them until now. The relationship marks yet another watch brand plus car maker looking to make cool timepieces to appeal to both watch and car lovers. Will this be a success?

Design-wise these are modest departures from the standard classic and sporty Ball watch fare that we tend to like. I personally am a fan of many, but not all Ball watches. The good news is that each year Ball releases enough new pieces such that there is something fresh and appealing for everyone. The Ball BMW watches are original, but have designs that closely look like a combination of modern IWC Ingenieur pieces and sporty Jaeger-LeCoultre sport watches like the Master Compressor and AMVOX collection. This isn't really an accident given that the pieces are supposed to be sporty, automotive-themed, and of course modern. There is nothing retro about the majority of BMW car designs. Plus, we hear that some of the same designers that worked on those Jaeger-LeCoultre watches worked on the Ball BMW watches.

Ball Watches For BMW Cars   watch releases

Ball Watches For BMW Cars   watch releases

At launch there will be many Ball BMW watches available, with one being a limited edition. Pictured in this article are just a few. Most of the watches use base Swiss ETA mechanical automatic movements with a range of basic features in addition to the time. You can see models here with a power reserve indicator for example. There will also be a GMT model and others in addition to a basic three-hand model. The limited edition version (of 1000 pieces) will feature Ball's special "TMT" mechanical thermometer module that it has used on some other watches in the past.

The most basic model will be a 40mm wide Ball BMW watch with a simple dial that includes a large BMW logo. This model to me looks the most like IWC's Ingenieur timepieces. Other models add in colors and textures to the dial for a look that is meant to go with the sportiest BMW car models. One thing that I really like about this watch and car maker relationship is that the watches are priced to be affordable by owners of the cars. We have seen situations where car watches cost as much or more than the cars themselves. I always thought that was quite silly. Reports indicate that there will be over two dozen watches including variations of the Ball BMW watches available by the end of 2012.

Ball Watches For BMW Cars   watch releases

Ball Watches For BMW Cars   watch releases

Ball Watches For BMW Cars   watch releases

Ball specially designed the watches to harken to design elements on many BMW cars both inside and outside of the vehicle. Curves on the case represent the same design ethos as the sharp yet deliberate lines on the outside of today's BMW automobiles. You can look at the unique lug angles as well as sides of the cases which on some models is meant to look like the front grill of a BMW. The steel cases will have some contrast finishing as well which ought to look quite nice.

Depending on the model, the BMW branding is either subtle or large. In my opinion the most popular models are going to be those with "BMW flavoring" as opposed to blatant branding. A tiny BMW logo with a spice of the Bavarian automaker's design DNA is sure to attract much more earnest buyers than a large BMW logo taking the place of what should be Ball's name. The idea here is to have a watch that fits into the BMW lifestyle versus one that passes itself off as a wrist BMW. Thankfully, many of the watches we see here seem to have figured that out.

Ball Watches For BMW Cars   watch releases

Ball Watches For BMW Cars   watch releases

Ball Watches For BMW Cars   watch releases

Like all Ball watches, these models will feature tritium gas tube illumination on the hands and hour markers. Many of the models will also feature COSC Chronometer certified automatic movements. You can see that the Ball BMW watches will come both on metal bracelets and straps. These pieces have a good combination of BMW cache and familiar modern designs to make them stand out a bit from the brand. Similar pieces from IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre are going to be much more expensive. Quality should be good as Ball tends to offer a lot of watch for the money. I look forward to getting more details and a hands-on experience with the Ball Watches for BMW cars in the near future. Prices will range from about 3,600 - 5,100 Swiss Francs and the watches will be available by the end of 2012.

Ball Watches For BMW Cars   watch releases
BMW Watch Z4 Roadster LIMITED EDITION Swiss Quartz 2003 Model
$145.00
Time Remaining: 18h 57m
Bid now
Ball Watches For BMW Cars   watch releases
Brand New Genuine Mens Stainless Steel Black Dial BMW Watch FREE SHIPPING
$233.00
Time Remaining: 1d 3h 31m
Buy It Now for only: $233.00
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Ball Watches For BMW Cars   watch releases
Brand New Genuine Ladies Stainless Steel BMW Watch Light Dial FREE SHIPPING
$208.00
Time Remaining: 1d 3h 48m
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Ball Watches For BMW Cars   watch releases
Ball For BMW Watch GMT On Stainless Steel band Retail 439900
$3,199.99
Time Remaining: 2d 21h 31m
Buy It Now for only: $3,199.99
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Ball Watches For BMW Cars   watch releases
Ball for BMW Watch Classic on Croc Band 369900 Retail
$2,549.99
Time Remaining: 2d 21h 32m
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Ball Watches For BMW Cars   watch releases
BMW Watch Face White face
$229.99
Time Remaining: 3d 22h 44m
Buy It Now for only: $229.99
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8 comments
phillipchouzenoux
phillipchouzenoux

Destined for failure this concept is a marketing blunder although I would enjoy have to eat crow. PCFC  

HuguesCholet
HuguesCholet

@nightangeldotfr magnifique la black , début 2013 tu dis :))

HawaiianHorology
HawaiianHorology

I am not sure how these partnerships are ever supposed to work.  On the one hand, they could go in the direction of really breaking out of the standard Ball look and do something like the Perrellet turbine but in a theme that has something to do with BMW?  Putting a big BMW logo on the dial is just silly.  Maybe a black background with white numerals to emulate the look of a BMW speedometer?  Somehow with a red glow that BMWs I have owned sport for night driving?

cluedog12
cluedog12

The core designs are attractive. I'd consider ditching the dates and replacing the BMW logo with a subtle "logo guilloche" pattern.

I recall a wise individual suggested that the Panerai Ferrari partnership failed because

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

Ugh - this is terrible. Nothing about these say "Ball" to me. When I think of a Ball watch, the numerals are constructed from tritium tubes. The seconds hand has a big and deliciously intricate counterweight logo. They have an identity.

These watches are a platform for advertising BMW, and they look like crap while doing it. Hideous ballistic straps to reminds me of what? A seatbelt? Or a bracelet that looks like it came off a Sinn. These look little better than the BMW branded watches shown in your eBay feed above these comments - chinese quartz affairs for $20 or less.

Also, lol @ GINA. What a joke.

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

They all look pretty fine, if a little restrained.  I'm not liking the white date discs on the black-dialled models but the designs themselves are handsome.  I have a preference for the silver/white/blue combo.  Seems like they are aiming for Porsche-like designs but don't quite get there.

cluedog12
cluedog12

....because...er...

The partnership allegedly failed because the assumption that Ferrari owners would buy the watch was fundamentally wrong - Panerai wasn't exotic enough for their tastes. For non-owners, why drop $15k on a watch that says, "I can't afford the car."

Is history repeating itself here? Ask yourself how BMW owners and BMW aspirationals will approach these timepieces. I really like both BMWs and Ball watches, but I question the fundamentals of this marriage.

Down the road, who do you see as BMWs "Hublot" when they're on the rebound? Let's assume Hublot doesn't pull a Tiger Woods - Perkins waitress.

D

cluedog12
cluedog12

Addendum: Looking back at Ball's pricing strategy - aim at the price BMW owners want to pay for a watch - I think they've done their homework. Now they just need a Biver to magically conjure up the supporting brand identity.

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