BALL Watch Company Baselworld 2015 Highlights

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BALL Watch Company had a number of new watches on display during Baselworld this year. The company continues to push forward in its use of tritium tubes (micro gas tubes) for luminescence (a BALL trademark) as well as innovation in anti-magnetisim. They also keep in touch with their watchmaking roots in their releases by updating designs from the past. We have a selection of a few highlights from BALL that touch on these elements.

BALL_AEROGMT_4

The Engineer II Volcano introduced at Baselworld is deceiving at first glance given it’s simple design. The Dial has stick markers with the expected BALL micro gas tubes on the markers and hands for extended legibility. It has a BALL RR102-C chronometer certified automatic movement at the heart of the watch which can withstand impacts of up to 5,000 Gs and is water resistant to 100 meters. But that’s not what makes this watch special. The uniqueness of the Engineer II Volcano falls to its case. The 45mm case of the watch is made up of superimposed layers of carbon and mumetal.

Mumetal is a nickel-iron alloy known for its high magnetic permeability; this enables it to attract and deflect low-frequency magnetic field lines. In a nutshell, it makes it very resistant to magnetic fields, farm more than the soft metals normally used in watch making. It is a unique material that has never been used in watch case design which makes the Engineer II Volcano a unique first for BALL. If you are curious about the name, Volcano, BALL states part of the inspiration for the watch was drawn from the field of research and exploration of volcanoes. The link between volcanoes and magnetic fields lead BALL’s researchers to create enhanced anti-magnetic cases. On top of that, the mumetal and carbon case takes on the appearance of volcanic rock after the casted case has cooled. (please note the sample in the photos has a DLC steel case, but the final version will have a  carbon composite-esque look)

BALL_VOLCANO_5

From the ground to the air, next is the Engineer Hydrocarbon AeroGMT. This new model in the Hydrocarbon GMT line allows the owner to track three time zones between the dual markings on the dial and the rotating bezel. There are, of course, loads of tritium tubes on the dial and hands, as well as under the bezel. Yes, that’s right, the Engineer Hydrocarbon AeroGMT has a sapphire coated bezel with the micro gas tubes under the surface of the bezel. This gives the bidirectional rotating bezel the same strong nighttime visibility as the dial. The watch also has the BALL patented crown protection system, like its counterparts and a 42mm case with 300M of water resistance. It is an overall attractive and functional upgrade.

BALL_AEROGMT_2

To finish up we go to the water with the BALL Engineer Master II Skindiver II. The Skindiver II is an update to the Engineer Master II Skindiver which BALL resurrected in 2012. The watch is based on the first BALL Skindiver which was conceived in 1962. This new version for 2015 keeps the 1960’s design only in a bumped up case size at 43mm. They also extended the water resistance to 500M over the previous 300M. The bezel is unidirectional and made of black ceramic with luminescent coating on all the markers. They are subtle updates but still provide a boost to the Skindiver and continue to show off the retro design with updated specs.

BALL_SKINDIVER_2

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Residing in North Idaho, James has been wearing a watch for over 35 years. With growth of the internet in the late 90s watches as an interest turned into an obsession. Since that time he has been a watch forum moderator, watch reviewer, contributor to Nerdist, and operates Watches in Movies in his spare time.
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  • I dig the Volcano, though they really need to start using day and date wheels that are matched to the dial.

    The Skindiver II looks pretty good, as well. Simple and straightforward, but again that date wheel…

    • kidwizzle

      I was thinking the same thing, especially since the date numerals appear to have bled into the white date wheel. Perhaps it a QC issue on a sample. Hope so.

      • Ilya Ryvin

        These watches have dummy movements/date wheels. It’s common practice, albeit an ugly one.

  • David RT

    Typo found: “…farm more than the soft metals…” I don’t think metals are grown on farms. But great article otherwise and I like the talking points you bring out that aren’t obvious to the typical Joe.

  • somethingnottaken

    The Skindiver II is a nicely executed retro diver. I wouldn’t mind adding one to my collection.

  • JamesWWIII

    And how about that silly dog on the L&H dial? That alone will keep me from ever having one of their watches on my wrist.

  • Jason Matheson

    After doing a lot of research I purchased the Skindiver II . Absolutely nothing wrong with this watch , great design , great movement, no sharp edges (very comfortable to wear) .
    For the price I’m very pleased to add it to my collection .

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