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New Ball Watch Engineer Hydrocarbon – Tool Watches As They Should Be

Posted: 20 Feb 2010 10:22 PM PST




If you’re looking for a timepiece that is tough and hard-wearing yet at the same time still refined enough for the boardroom and reasonably priced, perhaps its time you consider the Engineer Hydrocarbon collection from American-owned Swiss watchmaker Ball Watch Co. Given a complete makeover ahead of its up-and-coming debut at Basel World this year, the new look collection promises a subtle blend of functionality and form, with neither suffering for the benefit of the other.

The Company
Over the last century, Ball has carved out a well-respected reputation for making robust and reliable tool watches. These timepieces have been designed to be worn in any and all conditions, whilst still maintaining the highest standards of accuracy and legibility possible. According to the brand the Engineer Hydrocarbon collection is the ultimate personification of this identity, representing the application of all their technological expertise, knowledge of materials and the readability standards inherited from the brand’s founder, Webster C. Ball who established the company back in 1891.

The Engineer Hydrocarbon Collection
Several components in the new collection have been modified and improved, including the rotating bezel. As one would expect it retains its unidirectional function with its notch calibrated at 30 seconds, however, it has been made slightly wider and flatter making it much easier to manipulate even when wearing gloves. Ensuring easy reading, even at night, the Hydrocarbon bezel is equipped with a H3 marker inserted into a protective container at 12 o’clock. Further, the graduation from 0 to 14, along with the digits 15, 30 and 45 all have very powerful luminescent paint emitting a blue glow.

The dial is simple and uncluttered, ensuring the wearer only has access to the information that is actually required in a format that is very easy to read. Just from looking at the clean lines and intelligent use of contrasting colors it is obvious that the high legibility is almost guaranteed in any situation. Be it under water or even in outer-space! Brand ambassador Brian Binnie, a former US Navy pilot and astronaut, certainly seems to think so. It was this watch that he chose to strap to his wrist on a recent ‘space-walk’.

However, legibility is nothing without accuracy. So to make sure that the time you are reading with ease is always correct, these timepieces are powered by a chronometer-certified ETA 2836 movement, with day and date calendar, delivering extreme precision.



Keeping It In Place
Sometimes the importance of a top-quality bracelet and clasp can be overlooked in favor of case design and functionality. However, for a watch that has been created to go anywhere you go, keeping it attached firmly to your wrist is of the utmost importance.

In recognition of this, the innovative folks over at Ball have developed their very own, patented triple folding clasp and extension. To improve the strength and durability of this clasp, it is machined from a single block of 316L stainless steel. Ensuring optimum comfort and fit, the clasp’s balance is perfect and the unfolding components are spread evenly under their cover; and a 22-millimeter extension system has been added on both sides of the bracelet so that the watch can be worn over sports gear. Opening and closing operations can be performed single handed. The clasp operates with a robust locking mechanism enabling it to withstand extreme traction forces when in the closed position.

No word on pricing yet but expect it to be well under US$10,000.

The Final Word
Yet another well-designed, highly functional timepiece from American owned Ball Watches. The company’s rich history in the rail industry has certainly placed them well in terms of making pieces that are reliable, accurate and above all highly legible. This is a watch that will provide a lifetime of loyal service without breaking the bank, whilst still being versatile enough to be worn for pretty much all occasions.

Ball make tool watches as they should be, and we think that’s a good thing.

Technical Specifications

Model Number: DM2036-SCAJ-BK
Movement: Automatic ETA 2836-2, COSC certified chronometer
Functions: Hours, minutes, sweep seconds, day and date
29 micro gas tubes on hour, minute, second hands
and dial for night reading capability
Case: Stainless steel case with luminous unidirectional rotating bezel
Diameter 41.5 mm, Height 16.1 mm
4mm anti-refl ective sapphire crystal
Patented crown protection system
Water-resistant to 333 m
Antimagnetic to 12,000 A/m
Shock-resistant – withstands 7,500 Gs shock test
Band: Tapered stainless steel bracelet, with patented deployant buckle
& extension system
 

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Watchguru58 wrote:
Marc,

I just found your next watch brother. Start saving your pennies. They say it will cost well under $10K.
We can dream can't we.....:%
[flash=425,344]http://www.youtube.com/v/1uKUH6joeEs&hl=en&fs=1[/flash]
 

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Never been a big fan, although I like the looks the watch is.

1) Too Small
2) To many colors on the lume
3) No border on the Day/Date window (Bugs me)

For that kind of money those three things turn me off.

Did I mention that it is too small!!!LOL My wife wears a bigger watch then this! And she is 5'9" and a 119 lbs!
 

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RipitRon wrote:
Never been a big fan, although I like the looks the watch is.

1) Too Small
2) To many colors on the lume
3) No border on the Day/Date window (Bugs me)

For that kind of money those three things turn me off.

Did I mention that it is too small!!!LOL My wife wears a bigger watch then this! And she is 5'9" and a 119 lbs!
And that my friend, is what makes the world go round.....one mans trash is another man treasure.......
 

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I absolutely love the "Ball" line of time pieces. This one is a great example of the diversification that they have to offer, but like Ron says, it is just a bit too small for my taste as well at this point. Now for me, if it was a 44mm that would be great!
 

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uhhh.....Gorilla arms.....:%:%:%:%

CJ



RipitRon wrote:
Never been a big fan, although I like the looks the watch is.

1) Too Small
2) To many colors on the lume
3) No border on the Day/Date window (Bugs me)

For that kind of money those three things turn me off.

Did I mention that it is too small!!!LOL My wife wears a bigger watch then this! And she is 5'9" and a 119 lbs!
 

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I don't know about it being to small if I measure the crown it's almost 52mm and the Bezel measures 45mm, The tubes are one color and the Bezel has Super Lume, and mine has a border on the date window, I don't understand.

 
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