In our opinion neither the Airborne or Ceramic XV have “nicer” dials, but are rather two equally nice flavors. Having said that, in our experience more people will be drawn to the design of the Airborne because of its more uniform textured dial, hint of red, and increased functionality with the day of the week window (in addition to the date). Both are very legible with those fantastic sword-style hands.
Ball also changes the rotating bezel insert for this new model. Both the Ceramic XV and Airborne have black ceramic bezel inserts, but the design is slightly different. The new bezel further has six slightly raised sections, while the Ceramic XV has a flatter bezel. Both bezels have SuperLumiNova painted inside of them.
The rest of the case and bracelet in the new Airborne is (mostly) the same as in the Ceramic XV – which isn’t a bad thing. I loved that case for its style and comfort. The case is 42mm wide with Ball’s distinctive crown protection system and attractive finishing. You’ll love the steel bracelet, which has a butterfly style deployant clasp and diver’s extensions. You can read more about the bracelet on this watch via the Ceramic XV review link above. There is also a rubber strap that seems to come with the watch, which is a good thing.
I mentioned that the case is “mostly” the same as the Ceramic XV because of one confusing difference. Ball expressed to us that the cases are the same, but if you look at the technical specs you’ll notice that the Ceramic XV is water resistant to 300 meters while the Airborne is water resistant to 120 meters. There isn’t an apparent explanation for this difference, though for most wearers this is a minor detail that won’t really affect their wearing experience with the watch. Look for the Airbone a bit later this year at a price of $3,599. ballwatch.com
Tech specs from Ball:
Model Number: DM2076C-S1CAJ-BK
Movement: Automatic caliber ETA 2836-2, chronometer certified COSC
– Patented SpringLOCK® anti-shock system
Functions: 31 micro gas tubes on hour, minute, second hands and dial for night reading capability
– Shock resistant to 5,000Gs, Anti-magnetic to 4,800A/m
– Water resistant to 120m/390ft
– Hours, minutes, sweep seconds, day and date
Case: Stainless steel, Ø 42mm, height 13.85mm
– Top ceramic luminous unidirectional rotating bezel
– Anti-reflective sapphire crystal
– Patented crown protection system
Band: Tapered stainless steel bracelet with patented folding buckle & extension system and rubber strap with standard buckle in a special box set