Ball Trainmaster Worldtime Chronograph sub-dials

There’s a subtle guilloche ring around the applied and very high-quality hour markers, and that’s really about it as far as any decoration goes on the Ball Trainmaster Worldtime Chronograph. The deep dark blue chronograph hand has the usual Ball RR counterweight, which I’ve always loved and it’s a nice way to remind one of Ball’s history and heritage with the creation of the railroad system that connected the United States.

Ball Trainmaster Worldtime Chronograph wrist shot Ball Trainmaster Worldtime Chronograph lume

The polished dauphine-shaped hour and minute hands are well-sized and also highly legible with help from the anti-reflective coating on the dial crystal. This being Ball, we can’t overlook the tritium lume used on the hands and hour indices. The hour, minute, and chronograph hands have yellow lume with a green lume used on the hour indices. The lume is vibrant enough but the slim tubes that are used make for a subdued enough lume to match the personality of this watch but this isn’t the usual striking lume you’d expect.

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Ball Trainmaster Worldtime Chronograph caseback and movement


The movement used in the Ball Trainmaster Worldtime Chronograph is the automatic caliber RR1502, which is a modified version of the lauded ETA 7750 movement. As with other modified Ball movements, they have added a module onto the ETA/Valjoux movement to suit their needs. The RR1502 operates at 28,800vph and has a 48-hour power reserve.

Ball Trainmaster Worldtime Chronograph movement closeup Ball Trainmaster Worldtime Chronograph dial detail

Turning the watch over reveals the exhibition caseback which is a nice touch, although it’s not going to knock anyone’s socks off. The 7750 is held in quite high regard as a chronograph movement, but it’s never really been the most attractive movement out there. Ball has added perlage throughout and the brand logo/text is done in gold, although it’s hard to read or make out as it’s done over the perlage. It’s just a little difficult on the eyes, but overall Ball did a good job in making the movement a little more upmarket.

Ball Trainmaster Worldtime Chronograph top view

Competition & Final Thoughts

Worldtime Chronograph watches are, for the most part, not usually classified as affordable. Offerings from pricier and more prestigious brands like the IWC Pilot’s Timezoner Chronograph ($11,900), the Girard-Perregaux Traveller WW.TC ($12,000), and the Breitling Transocean Chronograph Unitime are all almost three times the price of the Ball. Closest in competition would be the Bremont ALT1-WT which also uses a modified ETA movement. Whether or not the $1,600 price premium on the much sportier Bremont (priced at $5,795) is really up to the buyer.

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Ball Trainmaster Worldtime Chronograph wrist shot

To broaden the scope to those who may want a world timer but don’t need the chronograph, the Montblanc Heritage Spirit Obris Terrarium is actually quite well priced at $6,100 but does not have a chronograph and has an aesthetic that might not appeal to a lot of people (myself included). The Nomos Zurich Worldtimer is also priced at $6,100, and the Baume & Mercier Capeland Worldtimer is even pricier at just over $8,000. To put the value of the Ball in perspective, the also non-chronograph Frederique Constant Classic Worldtimer Manufacture is priced at $3,500 or $800 less than the Ball.

Ball Trainmaster Worldtime Chronograph strap detail Ball Trainmaster Worldtime Chronograph front view

I was pleasantly surprised with the Ball Trainmaster Worldtime Chronograph. The refinements in style, finish, and movement are all apparent here and Ball deserves praise. The merging of a world timer with a chronograph is rarely successfully accomplished in such an understated yet legible and attractive package. Again, this watch on a crocodile leather strap (which is quite nice, might I add) is priced at $4,

Necessary Data
>Brand: Ball
>Model: Trainmaster Worldtime Chronograph
>Price: $4,299
>Size: 42mm wide and 13.7mm thick
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Absolutely.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Someone who owns several timepieces already and wants to add something horologically sophisticated and uncommon to their collection without the five-figure price tag they often carry.
>Best characteristic of watch: Design and legibility (ease of use is a close second).
>Worst characteristic of watch: Fairly or not, some find the Ball identity to be a little flat and may crave more personality or “soul” from a timepiece.

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