Introducing the Engineer II Navigator World Time Chronograph, Ball’s Latest Value-Packed Pre-Order

Ball has just announced a limited edition of 1,000 World Time Chronographs built around their Engineer II format. Placing an automatic mechanical movement that includes day-date, chronograph, and world-time complications into a classically styled 44 x 16.2-millimeter case for under $2,000, Ball may have just offered up a bargain.

Ball has dubbed this movement—a base 7750 with a world time complication— the RR1502, and while it isn’t breaking any thinness records, given the functionality and size, this is squarely a pilot’s watch for which the bulk is appropriate. More specifically, I’d call this a commercial pilot’s watch, able to track the world’s time zones while offering up elapsed time measurement via the chronograph for (what would have been decades ago) navigational purposes.
As with all of Ball’s offerings, the World Time Chronograph includes tritium gas-filled luminescent tubes, 19 of them in this case. Love ‘em or hate ’em, they’re unique, never go dark, and in the context of this specific watch are well integrated into the densely packed dial.


The watch will take some abuse, too. It has a decent 4,800A/m rating, shock resistance to 5,000Gs, and sapphire crystals front and back that, along with the screw-in crown, provide 50-meters of water resistance.

Those familiar with world timers will know that there are myriad ways to lay out the controls over the dual rotating bezels—one for the cities, the other for setting the reference 24-hour ring relative to “local time,” which most users keep set on the main hands. Using the Navigator World Time Chronograph, one simply turns the outer bezel to align the cities, and then adjusts the inner 24-hour ring via the crown. These are elegant ergonomics that eliminate the need for extra pushers and allow the chronograph activators to reside in their typical locations at two and four o’clock. Having not handled the watch, however, it will be interesting to learn how tricky—or, hopefully, easy—it is to get the crown into its various positions to adjust the 24-hour ring, the day-date discs, the main hands, and, of course, to wind it up.Visually, this watch has some classic elements that speak the world timer design language fluently, including a coin-edge polished bezel, dark and light AM/PM backgrounds for the 24-hour ring, and most obviously the list of cities. (An aside: as an Icelandophile, I really wish Reykjavik would take over the Azores’ place on all world timers.)

Smartly, the sub-dial indices and hands are painted on in a medium gray tone, which goes a long way to cleaning up what would likely be an otherwise intolerably busy dial were those markings stark white. In photos at least, this paint job seems to provide bold legibility from the main hands, and Ball’s reputation for highly legible watches will, I think, remain in tact.

Two colorways are available, blue and black. The black watch sports a handsome forest green seconds hand with Ball’s RR logo serving as the counterweight, while the blue wears a gray second’s hand that matches the chronograph sub-dials. That green seconds hand is unique, handsome, and may be the thing that makes the black version stand out.

Lugs are slightly torqued à la the Omega Speedmaster, and in profile this watch looks classic with its polished signed crown which repeats the RR logo. Polished pump pushers complete the three o’clock side view for traditional style and familiar functionality.

The only gripe I’m feeling is that the rotor—while nicely decorated with perlage and gold-inlaid engraving—takes up nearly 50% of the back window view, hiding what appears to be a gorgeous movement with beefy bridges, blued screws, exposed rubies, and more perlage throughout. If I’m going to own such a complicated movement meant to be visually appreciated, I’d want to see more of it at once; a skeletonized rotor would have been my preference.

The pre-order price is $1,949 on the stainless steel bracelet and $1,899 on leather. The Engineer II Navigator Wold Time Chronograph looks like a whole lot of watch for the money, and I’m hard pressed to find its competition. Ball

Related Posts
At age 7 Allen fell in love with a Timex boy's dive watch his parents gave him, and he's taken comfort in wearing a watch ever since. Allen is especially curious about digital technology having inspired a revival of analog technology, long-lasting handmade goods, and classic fashion. He lives in a one-room schoolhouse in The Hudson Valley with his partner and two orange cats.