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Founded in 1891 by jeweler and watchmaker Webster C. Ball, the BALL Watch Company built its name on producing watches that feature supreme accuracy and dependability in dynamic environments. Ball’s modern timepieces hold true to these tenets, boasting impressive magnetic resistance, accurate timekeeping in five positions, and fantastic legibility in low light conditions.
Introduced in 2011, the Engineer Hydrocarbon DeepQUEST line is the brand’s most robust and capable series of dive watches. All Ball Hydrocarbon DeepQUEST watches are equipped with a monobloc case milled from a single block of solid titanium. Another notable feature of the DeepQUEST line is Ball’s patented automatic Helium Escape Valve, which is directly integrated into the crown, as opposed to the case. This construction makes for high resistance to corrosion, as well as superior durability and water resistance. Thanks to its few points of potential moisture entry, this piece boasts a water resistance rating of no less than 1000 meters, which is more than enough for professional saturation diving.
The Hydrocarbon DeepQUEST monobloc case measures 42mm in diameter and is 15.5mm-thick. Despite its relatively beefy proportions, it’s comfortable thanks to its lightweight titanium construction and well-designed case, which conforms to the wrist quite nicely.
The latest iteration of the Engineer Hydrocarbon DeepQUEST — the DeepQUEST Ceramic – builds on the formula that has made the line a success, while featuring several noteworthy updates. While last year’s DeepQUEST II featured a titanium bezel, this DeepQUEST sports a ceramic bezel. In addition to being more scratch-resistant than titanium, the ceramic bezel also gives this piece a more refined, less tactical look than its predecessor.
The green ceramic bezel of the DeepQUEST Ceramic varies in color depending on the light, ranging from a soft powdery green in the sun, to a dark forest green in low light. The dial is also more minimal and classic than previous iterations of the watch, as it features all stick tritium indices as opposed to the large arabic numerals found on the DeepQUEST II. Accordingly, this version of the DeepQUEST is arguably a bit more versatile; it’s as compatible under a shirt cuff as it is underwater.
From a technical perspective, the Engineer Hydrocarbon DeepQUEST Ceramic is impressively over-engineered. With a depth rating of 1000 meters, a shock resistance of 7,500 Gs, and anti-magnetism to 4,8000 A/m, this piece is extremely reliable and built for purpose. It is powered by Ball’s calibre RR1101-C, which is a COSC chronometer-certified version of the tried-and-true ETA 2892. Beating at 28,800 VPH with a power reserve of approximately 42 hours, the RR1101-C boasts a precise -4 to +6 per day accuracy tolerance.
Of course, the indices and hands of the DeepQUEST Ceramic feature BALL’s patented H3 luminescent gas tubes, which shine a bright green and yellow in the dark. A signature of all Ball watches, the tritium gas tubes require no external source of light or energy, yet are up to 100 times more efficient than traditional luminescent materials. This state-of-the-art Swiss technology is particularly useful for professional divers, who often need extra legibility in dark submarine environments.
The tapered bracelet fitted to the Hydrocarbon DeepQUEST Ceramic is comprised of both stainless steel and titanium, featuring brushed surfaces on the exterior and polished center links. Combining stainless steel with titanium was a smart choice here, making for a bracelet that is a bit heavier and more solid feeling than a fully titanium bracelet. Moreover, its patented folding buckle and extension system is easy to use, allowing the watch to be quickly adjusted to fit over a wetsuit.
Offering impressive technical specifications and a versatile design, the Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon DeepQUEST Ceramic is both a distinctive yet classic sports watch and an over-engineered tool for the most discerning of professional divers. Priced at $3,999 on bracelet (DM3002A-S4CJ-GR) and $3,899 on strap (DM3002A-P4CJ-GR), this piece is available now. The piece also exists in a green bezel/black dial variation, as well as a black bezel/black dial variation. Learn more at ballwatch.com.
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