The new Ball for BMW TMT Chronometer watch incorporates the mechanical thermometer seen on some other Ball timepieces while remaining very consistent within the Ball for BMW family. It also shows in various ways how Ball is responding to the details and specs enthusiasts want, as well as adapting to the online retail reality. With a very cool looking piece that’ll please fans, Ball is sweetening the pot with an early preorder that allows you to get the limited-edition Ball for BMW TMT Chronometer watch for almost 50% of its eventual retail price.


Ball’s Temperature Measurement technology (TMT) refers to a proprietary module added to, we believe, the ETA 2892 automatic movement for this watch, now called the BALL RR1601-C. Ball explains that its system which uses a “spiral bimetallic thermometer” is more accurate than thermometers on watches that came before it, and claims to be able to measure the environment’s temperature from –31°F to 113°F (–35°C to 45°C), with an accuracy of 97%, or a “precision range of within +10°F.” Ball notes the engineering challenge of keeping the movement 5.1mm thick with the addition of the module’s temperature-measuring coil. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like this part of the movement is viewable through the display caseback, though it makes sense that you would want it closer to the dial and away from the wrist.

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We have seen this technology (and layout, including the date window at 1 o’clock), for instance, in the Ball Trainmaster Kelvin watch (reviewed here by Patrick Kansa). Temperature always seemed like a cool thing to be able to reference from one’s wrist to me, but I have wondered how it might be affected by body heat. It should at least be fun to see the hand move as you go inside or outside, as well as to point to your wrist as you complain about the weather.


aBlogtoWatch has been enthusiastic about the Ball for BMW line from early on, and it is nice to see a well-executed design continuity develop across the range. I consider it to be successful at evoking a sleek, modern automotive vibe. There have been a chronograph, a power reserve, a GMT, and a couple of basic three-hand-plus-date watches, all limited editions and all COSC chronometer-certified, just like this one.


Anti-reflective sapphire crystal up front, of course, and the caseback is also sapphire, which seems only appropriate for viewing a certified chronometer movement. For durability, the Ball for BMW TMT Chronometer Ball also includes the brand’s patented anti-shock “Amortiser” system and is antimagnetic to 4,800A/m. It would hardly be a Ball watch without the use of glowing tritium tubes they are known for – here, 14 of them in use. That’s a lot of enthusiasts’ boxes checked.

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This Ball for BMW TMT Chronometer watch comes in a black DLC-coated, 100m-water-resistant, 44mm by 13.25mm steel case on a latex strap. While some other BMW models came with a couple variations of dial color and case finishing, the Ball for BMW TMT Chronometer has a black dial with blue accents and a grille-like dial texture, consisting of only two references: one for Fahrenheit and one for Celsius. Happily, though, among some other available customizations, you can order with or without the BMW logo on the dial as part of the promotion.

Ball For BMW TMT Chronometer watch options with and without the BMW logo on the dial.

Ball for BMW TMT Chronometer watch options with and without the BMW logo on the dial.

We are accustomed to seeing small independent brands and startups using crowdfunding platforms with preorder discounts to fund projects. Retailers that have exclusive limited editions from larger brands use the preorder model sometimes also, but this approach from an established Swiss company like Ball seems very progressive. When Ariel discussed the Ball for BMW GMT (hands-on) recently, he referred to Ball’s retail strategy as the future of the watch industry (see that article for further discussion).


Limited to 1,000 pieces, the Ball for BMW TMT Chronometer is available for preorder until August 31, 2016. When ordering, one can opt for a dial with or without the BMW logo, choose from available production numbers, and personalize the caseback with an engraving. Preorder price is US$1,999, and full retail price will be US$3,699. We look forward to more like this from Ball.

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