October 28, 2009
by Ariel Adams
Ball watches have been really popular that last few years ago and are probably the nicest watches (at least from a price perspective) to feature tritium gas tubes in their watches. All of their watches feature the wonder lume, that is made exclusively by MB Microtec in Switzerland. They are small tubes filled with (safe) radioactive material. Ball watches probably makes the best use out of them versus other companies I know to use the luminant. The best part is that they don’t need any light to charge and glow for like 25 years.
I am not going to go into much detail when talking about these watches as there are too many of them, and you can get lots of little details about each watch from Ball directly. Careful though. You might be drawn to tears! Last time I was at their site they started playing Amazing Grace. So I saw these watches last June in Las Vegas at the JCK show. These are my favorite of the Ball watches that I was able to see there. Overall these are some very nice watches for the money. Lots of functionality and good solid looks without a lot of fuss.
The first watch you see above you is one of their existing models, but I really like it. Especially with the easier to read white dial. It is the Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Chronograph Trieste watch. It has a Swiss Valjoux 7750 movement, lots of tritium gas tubes, many looks, and their special flip-lever crown guard. This Trieste edition is limited, and is a mix of steel and titanium parts. It also comes with a rubber strap and is $3,599. The non limited edition version (doesn’t have the cool picture at the seconds subdial is about $2,999. Really a unique and cool looking watch. Not super wide, even though it is tall.
The above two watches are from the new Ball Engineer Master II Aviator line. With the standard (day date) and GMT models for you to check out. The each have Swiss ETA automatic movements and are nice and large sized. I love the massive lume indexes and the clear, iconic aviator style dials and hands. Ball even did a nice job with the pilot watch style strap with button in it. I really like the Ball signature “RR” (for railroad) logo that is used as the counterweight on the seconds hand. Nice quality watches that feel meant for professional as opposed to formal wear. Priced about $1,600 – $1,900 and new for 2009.
This looks like one of Ball’s aviator watches, but is actually the Ball Fireman Night Train watch. Nice colors with a aggressive facade, it has a dual time complication (also with an ETA automatic movement). The label of “universal military time” is written over the second timezone date window. This is one of the several Ball watches to have a DLC (diamond like carbon) coated case – which makes it very durable. The watch is 43mm wide and has that nice black calf leather strap with orange stitching. About $1,800 as shown.
This is another cool DLC coated watch. It is one of their diver watches and is the Ball Engineer Master II Diver GMT watch. The dial is black with gold tones – and lots of gas tubes! There is a large internal rotating bezel and the central dial is for the GMT hand. The case is 42mm wide and comfortable on your wrist with the textured rubber strap. If you don’t like the gold face, there is also a white on black version available. A true diver with 300 meters of water resistance and again an automatic movement. Price for this new model is about $2,500.
This moon phase watch was one of my favorites. There was something very appealing in the simple charms of this watch that combines the classic touch of a moon phase indicator with the technical touch of Ball watches. This watch is more formal than the other watches though. A nice rounded case and textured dial make good to frame the large centrally located moon phase indicator. Look closely and you’ll see all the little gas tubes that are part of the moon. It comes with the white dial or black. The steel case is 40mm wide and is also available with a steel bracelet in addition to the calf leather strap. Priced at about $1,600 – $1,700.
This is one of Ball’s newly overhauled watch designs for 2009. It is the new Ball Fireman Automatic watch and starts at just $999 ($1,099 on the steel bracelet). It has a few dial tones and is a handsome watch with a few types of styles in the design. Some pilot watch, some diver watch, and even a little Eterna Kontiki thrown in there. The five dial color accents available are brown, yellow, red, green, and white. Each has a leather strap with the sides that match the dial color (but the white dial has blue on the strap, as seen above). Ball calls it a nice entry level mechanical watch and I am inclined to agree.
This is one my my favorite classically styled Ball watches. It is called the Trainmaster Cleveland Express Dual Time. The Trainmaster line of watches are Ball’s most expensive with there being two 18k gold version that go up to about $13,000. The pictured watch retails at $3,100. One of the best features about the watch are the applied blued steel Arabic numerals that look so nice. The automatic movement has been decorated and has been COSC Chronometer certified. The watch is handsome without being showy and good for those who like a nice conservative watch with lots of historical reference.
So there you have it. Some nice pictures of some nice watches – especially if you’ve been interested in Ball watches and wanted to see them live (sort of).See Ball watches on eBay here. See Ball watches on Amazon here. [phpbay]ball fireman | ball engineer | ball master | ball diver | ball trainmaster | ball conductor, num, “14324”, “”[/phpbay]