Ball Watch Company, recognized for their tritium gas vial-illuminated sports watches, announces a preorder campaign for a limited edition version of one of their most popular pieces. The new Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Airborne II was designed in collaboration with and to commemorate the US Air Force Pararescue community.

Given the elite special operations environment for which the new piece is designed, the Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Airborne II is meant to be robust and features a 42mm stainless steel case and tapered bracelet with Ball’s durable buckle design. A ceramic unidirectional bezel, illuminated with Super-LumiNova, rounds out the no-nonsense concept and adds another measure of hardiness.

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The case is also adapted to give extreme protection to the crown, a traditional weak point in watches. Rather than traditional crown guards, Ball employs a hinged steel guard for the screw down crown which protects it from impacts that might affect the movement. An anti-reflective and scratch-proof sapphire crystal protects the dial.

In addition, the Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Airborne II sports no fewer than 24 micro gas tubes that are 1mm each for Ball’s signature enhanced nighttime legibility. The watch is resistant to 120m of water pressure, 4,800A/m of magnetism, and 5,000G shocks thanks to Ball’s patented SpringLOCK anti-shock system. SpringLOCK employs a cage that limits the unfurling of the coils in case of any external impacts and decreases the risk of breakage to the link between the balance spring and the balance.

Ball’s Engineer Hydrocarbon Airborne II is completed by the inclusion of a COSC-certified BALL RR1102-SL (ETA 2836-2) caliber which guarantees excellent accuracy in a piece designed to time high-stakes military operations. Protecting the movement is a caseback engraved with the US Air Force Pararescue emblem and with the option of adding a personalized engraving. Note that the maker of tritium gas tubes MB-Microtec, who we visited here, is also credited on the caseback.

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The Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Airborne II, limited to only 1000 pieces, will be available with either a black or blue dial and with the option of a stainless steel bracelet or a rubber strap with a pin buckle. Pre-order pricing, available through the brand’s site until November 15, 2017, is $1,699 on a rubber strap or $1,799 on the stainless steel bracelet. Pre-ordered Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Airborne II watches are expected to ship between February and March of 2018 with general ordering to open in April at full retail prices of $2,999 and $3,199, respectively.

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