We consulted different notable horologists and carried out in-depth ball watches review on the best models. With our findings, we chose the Ball Engineer Master II Diver as our favorite. The reason is that not only does it look elegant on the wrist, but it also has a high level of water resistance. What is even better is that it can withstand up to 5000Gs of shock and works great in areas with high magnetic fields.
Ball Watches Review
If you are looking for a watch company with an intriguing past, then you should check out the Bell Watch company. In the 19th century, the owner, Webb C. Ball, was the first watchmaker to design timepieces with standard time signals while holding a top post in the railroad industry.
He set up guidelines that many watch companies use to design precision watches. These rules affected several features, including the dial arrangement, power reserve, and anti-magnetism.
Presently, Ball creates watches with unique designs and features that show its railroad roots. With a Ball watch, you can partake in various activities under different conditions. This is because it comes with specs and a build that ensures durability and functionality.
On this Ball watches review, we will be looking closely at some of the brand popular timepieces and their features. We will also see if the features are worth its hefty price tag.
Short Story of Ball Watch
Although the company creates beautiful watches, its history is gloomy. It was born after a fatal train accident that was caused by poor timing from the authorities.
To prevent a similar occurrence, Webster C. Ball, a watchmaker, was appointed as the “Chief Time Inspector.” He created strict timing standards that led to the birth of the company’s logo. During this time, the company created timepieces with movements from Elgin, Waltham, and Hamilton. These watches had the words “Official RR Standard” printed on each of their dials.
In the mid and late 1900s, the company was sold due to low interest among consumers. But today, Ball has risen as an Asian brand that makes Swiss watches with several exciting features. These include its gas tubes for easy reading, sturdy built, and elegant dial.
Currently, a descendant of Webb Ball plays some roles in the company, but I am not sure of his duties. If you want to know more about Ball’s gloomy origins, you can visit its official website for more details.
Let’s get started with a Ball watch Fireman review, where I will tell you more about its impressive features.
Best Ball Watches
1. Ball Fireman Storm Chaser Pro
This new timepiece designed for storm chasers at all levels came into existence when they partnered with a member of the BALL Explorer club and Ball Ambassador, Dr. Joshua Wurman.
The Fireman Storm Chaser Pro is a sturdy watch that can withstand extreme physical activity. It also stands as a trendy, clean fashion accessory with practical features such as a robust build and luminous gas tubes. While we’re still on the review of ball watches, let’s see other specs Firestorm chaser has to offer.
The Storm Chaser Pro features a 42mm steel case that measures 16mm in height. This size might come as a relief, especially for people who think the current Storm Chaser is too bulky.
The dial inside the case depends on the variant of the Storm Pro. One model offers a white dial while two others have either a black or grey dial. But all dials house glowing microtubes with which you can read the watch in poorly lit environments or at night.
Another reason to love the Storm Chaser Pro is its legible and functional display. Here, you have a telemeter scale with which you can measure your distance from a lightning strike. Moreover, the chronograph begins during a lightning strike and ends when thunder rumbles. It has two sub-dial, and at the 3 o’clock marker, a display window shows the day and date.
This watch includes the Ball Ball’sBall’s RR1402 automatic chronograph movement. With such a feature, the timepiece promises 25 jewels and a power reserve of 48 hours. Overall, it offers a high level of precise timekeeping.
The top of the case has a narrow bezel which makes the watch look bigger. This bezel is made of aluminum and stands as the thinnest on any Ball watch. It also secures anti-reflective sapphire crystal on this timepiece.
Many horologist and watch lovers are always intrigued to get ball timepieces because of its impressive designs. And it is no doubt because they keep on offering new models that are unique in their own way. The best part is that they never fail to make their watch eye-catching and easy to read due to the micro gas illumination feature. With the price of the Firestorm chaser pro below $3000 and its high shock resistance, it worth to be a great investment for anyone looking for the best firefighter watches or elegant timepieces.
Like most Ball watches, the Fireman Storm Chaser comes in a calfskin leather strap. Although it has a unique look, it fits with the overall design of this Ball watch. It even feels soft against the skin, thereby making it an ideal item for prolonged use.
If you prefer metal, you can purchase the timepiece with a stainless bracelet, but at a different price. For lovers of other types of straps, you can replace any of the mentioned designs with your preferred bracelet option.
Opinion and Drawbacks
Despite its affordable price, the Storm Chaser Pro can hold its own against expensive watches. After all, it boasts of gas tubes that do not require a recharge while sporting an attractive but durable design. However, it might look out of place on smaller wrists because of its chunky case.
2. Ball Engineer Master II Diver Black Face
As expected from a brand with over a century of matchmaking, Ball has created a diving timepiece that maintains a vintage look while offering elegance and durability. This watch – the Ball Engineer Master II Diver, also promises exceptional water resistance, without sacrificing its impressive design.
Fortunately, it costs less than $2,000, which makes it an ideal item for the budget-conscious watch snob. Here are other specs on this timepiece that make it a worthy investment.
This part of the watch is circular and measures 41.5m with a 14mm thickness, thereby making it comfortable for extended use. It has a stainless steel case that looks attractive on the wrist and can handle the pressures of knocks and moisture. You will also find it easy to clean.
The watch also has a screw-down case back that provides a water-tight seal. With such features, it stays protected from splashes and prevents dust and dirt from entering the watch.
There are many things to love about the dial of the Ball Engineer Master II Diver. First, it comes in black with white inner bezels, giving it a luxurious and practical feel. It also has micro gas tubes on its markers for easy reading under low light conditions.
A sheet of sapphire glass covers the elegant dial. This crystal can resist scratches while offering improved readability with its anti-reflective coating.
A stainless steel bracelet holds the watch to your wrist. For added security, Ball added a folding buckle to the end of the bracelet. Overall, there is no need to worry about losing your watch during physical activities on land or sea.
If you don’t like the feel of metal, you can swap this part for a rubber strap with a standard buckle. Although it looks weaker than steel, it can handle moisture and offer comfort at the same time.
Ball watches have a reputation for accurate timekeeping due to its classic movement. Here, the Ball Engineer Master II Diver uses a Swiss Automatic that offers the same level of accuracy with ease.
Unlike other timepieces listed in this ball watches review, the Engineer Master Diver II has a high level of water resistance. It offers a water resistance of 300m. With this said, you can use the watch for various aquatic activities including swimming and scuba diving. It also has a screw-down crown that helps keep moisture and dust out of its internal components.
Typically, automatic watches are more precise than manual variants. However, this accuracy can be affected by magnetic fields.
If you are looking for a watch that can perform in areas with high magnetic fields, choose the Ball Engineer Master II Diver. It can withstand magnetism up to 12,000 A/m.
Opinion and Drawbacks
The watch is an attractive but not an affordable option for the watch enthusiast or professional diver. It also offers a higher level of accuracy because of its anti-magnetic properties. However, it might look bulky on smaller wrists.
3. Ball Gents-Wristwatch Engineer Hydrocarbon AeroGMT II
If you are a fan of high-end GMT models, but you are shopping on a budget, then you should add the Engineer Hydrocarbon AeroGMT II to your list. This is because it cost less and has similar specs offered on watches from flagship brands.
These specs include a readable dial and an attractive rotating bezel. It also has a build that can handle knocks, falls without showing signs of wear, and tear. Below are some of the exciting features on the timepiece.
Without adding the crown, the case on this item measures at 42mm while having a thickness of 14mm. With such dimensions, the watch will fit various wrist sizes without adding extra weight to them.
This case is made of stainless steel which remains attractive after years of repeated uses. It even has a sapphire crystal that can resist scratches with ease.
The design on the watch includes a black dial surrounded by a movable sapphire bezel with luminous markers. On the dial, it features luminous hands, which allow easy readability at night. The anti-reflective coating on the crystal further enhances this legibility.
You can read the date at the position between the 4 and 5 o’clock position. If you want to check the day of the week, you will have to move to the window on 3 o’clock position.
The watch has a tapered stainless steel bracelet which ends in a folding buckle and extension buckle. Such a feature helps the timepiece remain on your wrist during any physical activity. Moreover, the material used can withstand corrosion with ease.
The watch also comes in a model that includes a rubber strap with a standard buckle. As expected, this strap can also handle corrosion and offer comfort like the metal variant.
Apart from offering a reasonable level of accuracy, the movement also supports a power reserve of 42 hours. This reserve ensures you enjoy similar accuracy timekeeping even if the watch is not on your wrist. It also prevents you from winding the watch at regular intervals.
Since the watch is designed for the global traveler, it includes a GMT feature with dual time zones. This feature helps you know the time in your home city and destination with relative ease.
Opinion and Drawbacks
Investing in the Ball Gents-Wristwatch Engineer Hydrocarbon AeroGMT II is not a poor choice. This is true especially as it has features that suit all forms of activity, including air travel. These include a robust build, GMT functions, readable dial, and comfortable strap. Besides, it is more affordable at less than $4,000.
But its 42mm case might look bulky thereby making it unsuitable for smaller wrists. It also has a water resistance of 100m which cannot hold against diving or swimming for long periods.
Ball Watches Review: Do They Worth the Investment
This brings us to the final roundup of the Ball watches review. With origins rooted in railroad history, Ball has designed watches that fit various activities and looks. For instance, Ball Engineer Master II Diver has impressive features for the pro-diver. As for the Engineer Hydrocarbon AeroGMT , it handles the timing needs of international travel while the Storm Chaser Pro is a perfect choice for storm chasing and one of the best watches for Firefighter.
Although they have impressive features, they are high-end watches. Ball watchmaker offers specs that include a durable design, micro gas tubes, Swiss automatic movement, and power reserve. Furthermore, they can rival the options offered by expensive brands.
In summary, you can get an excellent Ball watches for half the price of either a Rolex or Omega timepiece with similar specs. So if you are on the lookout for a vintage watch that combines modern design and specs for a reasonable price, you should consider checking Ball’s line of watches.