Ball Trainmaster Celsius And Fahrenheit Limited Edition Watches Hands-On

Ball Trainmaster Celsius And Fahrenheit Limited Edition Watches Hands-On

Ball Trainmaster Celsius And Fahrenheit Limited Edition Watches Hands-On Hands-On

Ball watches' 2011 offerings are mixed between modern and traditional looking timepieces. One of the interesting classic looking ones is this limited edition retro-inspired Trainmaster with a thermometer that will come in two forms. One will be the Ball Trainmaster Celsius, and the other will be the Ball Trainmaster Fahrenheit. Each is meant to honor the inventor of the respective temperature scale and uses one of Ball's unique movements.

While thermometers in mechanical watches aren't at all common, they aren't new either. Back in the days of Breguet you saw some pocket watches with thermometers in them. Today the mechanical thermometer is very rare in timepieces. Customers who wants this feature tend to opt for "ABC" (altimeter, barometer, compass) digital watches such as the Protrek from Casio. These and similar watches usually have thermometers built in to them. As is the case with wrist mounted thermometers, you really need to take your watch off for about 10 minutes to get an accurate reading of the ambient temperature as the watch will be highly effected by your body temperature.

One version of this watch is the Ball Trainmaster Celsius - being done for Anders Celsius that created the world's most popular temperature scale. On this watch the temperature scale is of course in Celsius, and there is a sort of imprint/image of his face on the back of the watch.

Ball Trainmaster Celsius And Fahrenheit Limited Edition Watches Hands-On Hands-On

Ball Trainmaster Celsius And Fahrenheit Limited Edition Watches Hands-On Hands-On

Around 2006 Ball released its Caliber 9018 automatic movement. Contained in these Trainmaster pieces, the caliber 9018 has been in a few other watches since. It has the time, date, and thermometer (not digital). I believe it is built on a base Swiss ETA 2892 automatic movement with a thermometer module. Ball also liked to point out the that movement can withstand 5000 Gs of shock. I wonder if that is actually shock or just velocity. Oh, and the thermometer can pretty well tell the temperature from -35 Celsius to 45 Celsius.

The Celsius watch comes with a lovely silvered dial and attractive face with applied Arabic hour numerals and (of course) tritium gas tubes for illumination. There might also be a black dialed version available as well. Ball will offer 310 of the Trainmaster Celsius pieces.

Ball Trainmaster Celsius And Fahrenheit Limited Edition Watches Hands-On Hands-On

Ball Trainmaster Celsius And Fahrenheit Limited Edition Watches Hands-On Hands-On

Then there are the almost identical Ball Trainmaster Fahrenheit limited edition watches. The press release information is silent to these, but as you can see I did see them hands-on (so they do exist). Here the temperature scale is in Fahrenheit and the image on the back of the watch is of Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit. This one will be limited to 120 pieces. Why less pieces even though Fahrenheit is older than Celsius? I think it is because less of the world uses Fahrenheit (even the the US is big). It is funny actually, because as an American I have a deep sense of Fahrenheit loyalty. Yes, I know that the Celsius scale makes more sense and is much more commonly used, but I just like the quirkiness of our US measuring systems. That and I probably subconsciously block out how to interpret Celsius temperatures. I think 30 degrees is hot, but it just doesn't sound that hot.

The Trainmaster Celsius and Fahrenheit watches come in 41mm wide steel cases that are 12mm thick. So really, while they are classic in shape, not very classic in size. The cases are brushed with nicely polished bezels and the sapphire crystal is AR coated. In addition to the welcome tritium  gas tubes, I've always appreciated the high level of legibility in the Trainmaster collection of watches. Look for these nice limited edition pieces about now.

What do you think?
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  • Tarak

    I found it interesting that Ball peddles its 5,000G shock resistance marketing while ETA comes with the same amount of shock resistance. Actually, it’ll be hard to find a modern watch these days without a shock-resistance mechanism.

  • JeffB

    5000G’s is a measure of “shock” or more precisely, acceleration/deceleration. It is not a measure of velocity, as objects cruising at constant velocities are not experiencing acceleration. 5000G’s is actually quite a lot of shock. For example, it is the amount of shock experienced by decelerating from 1800 km/h to rest in one one-hundredth of a second. In a real world situation, what this kind of impact would do to the case and crystal is anyone’s guess, but supposedly the movement would keep working.

    • You make some good points. The idea is that the watch is meant to survive if you are traveling really fast in say… an airplane. But if the watch is thrown at the ground, the impact could easily break it.

      • Jason Dunn

        Another thing to remember is that “shock” ratings listed for objects are only valid for very short periods of time. It’s doubtful that the movement could withstand a continuous acceleration of roughly 50,000 m/s per second. Usually this equates to the peak of applied force in an impulse curve. e.g. A human will die if continually subjected to 50 G’s, but can survive a very short duration shock of 100 G’s.

  • Maverick

    You tell old man celsius to bring his watch back when it can pull just 4 G’s in an inverted dive with a Mig-28……

  • Ulysses

    Overall I like the style and the thermometer is an interesting and potentially useful feature, even if the accuracy isn’t likely to be good. To nit-pick, it looks like the dial is a lot smaller than the case and as a result the proportions look wrong. I’m also a bit tired of seeing the tritium tubes glued on to the hands in this manner; they really stick out like a sore thumb and the square ends on pointed hands hardly suit the style of a “classic” looking watch. There seems to be no attempt at better integrating these tubes into the designs like embedding them in the hands or tapering them. On a positive note I like the design of the date window but it would have been better positioned at the 1:30 position where it wouldn’t have to cut in to the 1 o’clock hour marker.

  • PJ

    I want this watch the most of all I’ve seen to this point.

  • yoel

    First, I love this blog and the great reviews. Thank you
    Second, just wanted to say that I think in Celsius and to me, 30 is hot, 100? 100 is insane, I will melt in 100! You American are much more heatproof!

  • George

    This is the first Ball watch that I’ve found attractive. I would usually agree with Ulysses that the gas tubes tend to be poorly integrated and disruptive to the overall design, but I think this one looks better than most. What I don’t like is the image on the display back. Why bother with a display back only to obstruct the view?

  • SteFan

    I really like this watch,the limited edition confirms that I will probably never get one on my wrist but I will have my Ball trainmaster cannonball one day or another.
    I always had a thing for black arabic numerals on a white dials and as mentioned by Ulysses,why place the date viewer right on top of a numeral ? probably has to do with the eta 2892 mechanism,the 3 oclock position narmally used for day/date functions with the 2892 is replace by the limited edition markings but again i could be wrong.
    The tubes dont really bother me although i have never seen them at work,I mean it would have been nice to see some lume pics Ariel but I’ll just google them.
    Overall it is quite an improvement over that Jagher Lecoultre ‘Bart-Simpson’ theme watch from last month!!,it tooked me a week to get back to my senses after that post
    Have a great day y’all

    • Greg

      I think the date placement is in homage to where the degrees Celsius symbol is normally placed, if you see what I mean?

  • kris c

    I like – compared to the Celcius version, do you find the price of the LE Fahrenheit piece by “doubling and adding 30”?

    Seriously – I think it works really well and agree with the comment on the tritium tubes: Ball has been doing this for so long, and they have the brightest tubes out there, why can’t they develop shaped tubes? I like the big crown with nipple present, but even though it is 41mm, that is quite a thick bezel and I would imagine it wears much smaller.

    Ball still has one of the coolest second hands in the buisness.