BALL have unveiled and made available for pre-order the Engineer M Challenger—the first watch from the brand with an in-house movement. Some of you may remember that back in 2016 BALL released the Trainmaster Manufacture, a watch that introduced the Caliber RRM1101. Although that movement was designed and assembled by BALL, the manufacture of many of the parts was outsourced to specialist firms. Fast forward to 2018 (well, late 2017 when the announcement was first made) and the Caliber 7309, which BALL says it produced “completely in-house.”
The 7309 boasts an 80-hour power reserve and beats at a rate of 28,800 bph. These two attributes are great to see together considering recent ETA movements with a similarly lengthy power reserve often have a reduced beat rate of 21,600 bph (and therefore have more of a more choppy sweep of the second hand). If that’s not enough, BALL’s new in-house movement is also COSC-certified. Furthermore, it has a date display and BALL’s patented Amortiser anti-shock system. You’ve got to give BALL credit—if you’re going to develop an in-house movement, then it’s worth making it an improvement on what else is currently available.
The movement isn’t bad looking either. Visible through the display back is a large expanse of perlage and a decorated rotor. It remains to be seen how prevalent this caliber will become across BALL’s range, but the first watch to be blessed with it is the limited edition Engineer M Challenger. Future modifications with additional complications would be welcome.