Surprisingly, Ball Watch Co. is about to release a relatively straight-forward and simple watch. I am a big fan of the brand, but lately their new watches have been getting functionally (and cosmetically) more and more complex. I always have appreciated their simple masculine looks that weren’t trying to hard to be something they were not.

From the a mechanical thermometer, to complex chronographs, and multi-timezone laden watches; Ball does have some interesting offerings. Even the lauded Engineer Master line has been getting visually more complicated. Now Ball has changed directions a bit and taken a bit more of a conservative approach. This is the first watch I have seen from them that takes an aviation approach to styling, though it retains a distinctive “ball” character.

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Two major elements of the Ball Engineer Master II Aviator GMT that separate it from different aviator watches are the inclusion of the micro gas tubes and the large red GMT hand. As you likely know, the gas tubes are filled with a harmless (more or less) radioactive compound that is a light source that will last for about 35 years. This way you don’t need to “charge” the luminant. Needless to say that Ball watches all have this feature, and are very well suited to night or low light viewing. The Large red 24 hour hand rides along a dedicate dial making it easy to identify the 24 time. For some reason, I feel as though the watch hands are all a bit short, but this is not likely to be an issue for most people.

Powering the Aviator GMT is an ETA 2893, known for being a popular GMT automatic model. It holds up well, and the watch has Ball’s usual suite of shock reduction and thick metal on the case. The crystal is sapphire (as it should be), and the case is 44mm wide. I am not exactly in love with the fact that ball didn’t opt for a white lettering with black background on the date disc, as it contrasts with the look of the watch normally. Obviously a cost saving technique, nevertheless, the date window is placed well, and the overall price of the watch will not be too high.

Ball aims squarely at the watch enthusiast who is interested in a nice watch, but has no intention of breaking the bank. I like the large button in the strap reminiscent of classic pilot watch straps and the contrasting stitching coloring. Very functional in appearance. Figure $1000-$1,500 for the Ball Engineer Master II Aviator GMT when it his market soon.

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See Ball watches on eBay here.

See Ball watches on Amazon here. [phpbay]ball engineer | ball gmt | ball aviator, num, “14324”, “”[/phpbay]

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