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.
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)
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.
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.