Ball Watch Company is quickly becoming a perennial favorite of mine for their utilitarian designs and reasonable prices. Ball watches exhibit frequent feats of useful technology or features, but the Engineer Master II Diver GMT really hits a home run. It will be formally unveiled at Basel World 2008, but the key aspects to its anticipated success are its high legibility, use of tritium gas tubes, and DLC (Diamond-like coating) covered case.
The design itself continues to be refined, and here reaches a new level of legibility. The GMT hand is well-noticeable, but diminutive enough not to overshadow the main elements of the watch. This is one of the first times I have seen such a well done, yet readable GMT complication. Of course, as in all Ball watches, Tritium gas tube radiate brightly at night for 25 years. The tubes contain a safe radioactive compound that produces a glow without the need of light absorption. Inside the face is a rotating bezel operated by an external crown. This allows for easy minor adjustments in any condition. From a feature standpoint, the Ball Engineer Master II Diver GMT is impressive alone.
However, the inclusion of DLC coating really takes this watch to a new place. DLC stands for Diamond like coating, and is an extremely tough addition to any case. The coating is virtually scratch-proof, and offers an attractive dark gray sheen. Currently, the major implementers of DLC on watches are Casio (MR-G line) and Citizen (Attesa line). As Japanese watch makers frequently test new type of technologies, their European competitors take notice and emulate successful trends. It was only a matter of time before DLC technology made it Swiss watches, and the Ball Engineer Master II Diver GMT is one of the first examples. DLC is a seriously tough coating, and very impressive to experience. I’ve seen videos on YouTube of people stomping on them and throwing them around with little to no effect on the coating.
The gold color of the accenting in the dial compliments the color of the DLC covered case. I would go so far as to say that it has a richer, prouder look. Even though a watch of this nature is meant to survive the extremes, it is more than even an attractive and functional watch for everyday wear. On top of that, Ball watches are a great value compared to other Swiss counterparts.
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