Compared to the majority of watch brands that use tritium gas-filled tubes for their luminescence, Ball takes a slightly more premium approach, and rather than just making utilitarian pieces or military-inspired designs, many of Ball’s watches are characterized by a more refined and luxurious overall appearance. That said, Ball watches also generally score big when it comes to resilience and durability, which makes them a bit of a unique offering, as they pair highly utilitarian features such as tritium lume and shock resistance with premium finishing and elevated designs that hardly look out of place when worn in more formal settings. Conversely, triple calendar moonphase watches are almost always rather dressy designs, and while the Ball Engineer II Moon Calendar is objectively one of the brand’s more refined and elegant models, at its heart, this triple calendar moonphase piece is still very much a tool watch.

Ball describes its Engineer II collection as a range of “sport-elegant” models, and despite being one of the brand’s more refined lines of watches, the Ball Engineer II collection still still retains fairly respectable levels of resilience, with all Engineer II models being shock resistant to 5,000G and anti-magnetic to 4,800A/m. Crafted from stainless steel with a completely high-polished finish, the case of the Ball Engineer II Moon Calendar measures 40mm in diameter by 13.4mm thick with 20mm lugs and an overall lug-to-lug profile of approximately 46.6mm. The top of the case gets fitted with a slightly domed sapphire crystal that has anti-reflective treatment, and surrounding the crystal is a fixed bezel that has a slightly concave profile to help minimize its visual presence on the wrist.

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The reverse side of the Ball Engineer II Moon Calendar receives a screw-down caseback with a flat sapphire display window, while access to the movement is granted by a signed screw-down crown at the 3 o’clock location, along with four small push-pieces that sit slightly recessed into the side of the case, which allow the various calendar displays to be set independently from the time. Despite the multiple potential points for moisture ingress, water resistance for the Ball Engineer II Moon Calendar comes in at a respectable 100 meters, and when combined with the collection’s standard shock and magnetic resistance, the end result is a surprisingly robust timepiece, despite its rather dressy overall appearance.

Available in a handful of different colorways, the reference NM3016C-S1J-GR is the model featured here, which is the version fitted with a rich green dial. Regardless of their color, all of the different Ball Engineer II Moon Calendar watches follow the same design and layout with a pair of windows on the upper half of the dial that display the month and day, while the moonphase complication appears within a register on the lower half of the dial, Meanwhile, rather than being displayed by an aperture, the date is indicated by a red-finished hand with a crescent-shaped tip that works in conjunction with a track printed along the periphery of the dial. The rest of the hands receive a completely polished finish, with the hour and minute hand appearing as wide and blunted dauphine shapes, while the seconds hand prominently features Ball’s logo as its counterweight.

Despite its relatively dressy overall appearance, the Ball Engineer II Moon Calendar still offers a full tritium luminous display, and set into each of the twelve hour markers is a tritium gas-filled tube, with a double set of tubes mounted at the 12 o’clock location to help offer a better orientation of the time in the dark. All three of the time-telling hands also feature glowing tritium tubes, and while the hands and 12 o’clock marker all glow orange, the rest of the tubes glow green to offer better contrast while viewing the time in dark settings. Like all watches that use tritium tubes for their luminescence, the actual brightness of the lume on the Engineer II Moon Calendar is relatively minimal, but since the glow is constant, the display will appear the brightest in complete darkness, and the radioactive nature of the material guarantees that it will glow for up to 25 years, regardless of whether or not it receives any light exposure.

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Powering the Ball Engineer II Moon Calendar is the brand’s Cal. RR1807 automatic movement, which is based upon the popular ETA 28xx series and therefore runs at a frequency of 28,800vph (4 Hz) with a power reserve of approximately 38 hours. Featuring independent displays for the day, date, month, and moonphase, the Ball Cal. RR1807 is one of the more complicated iterations of this familiar movement design, although I do want to quickly demystify some of its rather impressive sounding anti-shock and magnetism specs. When it comes to its 5,000G anti-shock rating, this is actually fairly standard for most tool watches, and any diver that meets ISO 6425 also boasts this same level of shock resistance. Similarly, many modern movements are magnetic resistant to 4,800A/m, so while it’s certainly a plus that the Ball Engineer II Moon Calendar is able to retain proper tool watch levels of resilience, it isn’t actually any more resistant to shocks or magnetism than most high-quality sports watches.

Fitted to the lugs of the Ball Engineer II Moon Calendar is a three-link stainless steel bracelet that features a completely solid construction and tapers from 20mm at the case down to 18mm where it connects to its butterfly-style folding clasp. Due to the way that the end-links of the bracelet stick out past the tips of the lugs, the actual lug-to-lug distance of the watch measures closer to 51mm, although the fit of the end-links is quite nice, and they offer a completely solid design to match the rest of the bracelet. Featuring brushed side links with high-polished centers, the Engineer II Moon Calendar’s bracelet features single-sided screws for its removable links, and while the clasp doesn’t include any type of micro-adjustment or extension system, it does close with a rather satisfying click and offers a fairly low profile on the wrist.

From an aesthetic standpoint, the Ball Engineer II Moon Calendar is one of the more refined and dressy models that the brand currently produces, although it is also one of the more robust and utilitarian watches that you will find equipped with a triple calendar and moonphase complication. While Ball offers a number of different dial colors for this particular model, each version is produced as a limited edition of 1,000 examples, although all of them are accompanied by the same official retail price of $3,049 USD. The different colorways each offer their own unique flavor, and as a classically styled triple calendar moonphase watch, the Ball Engineer II Moon Calendar is the ideal timepiece for the person who wants glowing tritium tubes and proper tool watch levels of resilience, yet doesn’t want to feel like they are wearing something that looks like it should be paired with combat fatigues or a wetsuit. For more information on the Ball Engineer II Moon Calendar watch, please visit the brand’s website.

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