It's been a pleasure admiring your great watches, and I love the community on this site. I finally get to share my own watch and story. I've been thinking about which Ball to get since mid-2009, after which I got a nice, but entry level and a few models years old, Hamilton Field Auto Chrono (eta 7750 base) to tide me over. I work as a resident physician in Radiology (which usually means in the dark) and on locum tenens as an ER doc in rural areas. I wanted a watch that: didn't need batteries, didn't need sunlight to stay working (yup, I don't see enough sun to run a Citizen ecodrive and yes, I've owned one), told me what day of the week it was ('cause, yes, one can forget when you don't stop working and go home just because it's night time), I could read easily in dimly lit rooms (which is actually harder than in complete darkness), and could do interval timing.
I stumbled upon Ball watches via this forum shortly before the Spacemaster's were announced. Having done my undergraduate work in astrophysics and math, I loved the theme of the Spacemaster. Also, I loved taking the train into the city every day for medical school for four years...thus, I really appreciated Ball's rail road history.
It took me a while to realize I didn't need a chronograph to do interval timing (like well over a year) and that's what made up my mind -- I wanted the Spacemaster X-Lume. Through a series of fortunate events, I found myself the new owner of one of the early blue X-Lume's...and I love it!
I haven't taken any great pictures of it yet (that might take a few weeks) but I've got the requisite wrist and lume shots. A few quick words on initial impressions: presentation is very nice -- the boxes, cosc cert, etc. It's easy to adjust the bracelet length using a 1 mm flat head (which I bought in advance). My crown guard stays put, so I am glad about that. It's easy to use the crown, even with the watch on the wrist. The bezel on the other hand, is a minor nightmare...maybe I gotta break her in...we'll see, she takes a fair amount of force to turn -- it's 2 clicks per minute marker, or 2 click per 12 minutes using the hour scale (30 seconds / 6 minutes per click). The bracelet is a little rough on the bottom of the wrist -- the edges a bit sharp on some spots (there is quite a lot of variation in the rounding of the corners on the metal parts that touch the skin). Other than that, I love the bracelet; smooth as silk and doesn't catch the arm hair (although I'm not terribly hirsute). The lume is obviously great -- it's exactly what I expected...easy reading when transitioning from bright computer screen to dim room...and like a blooming nightlight when the eyes are fully dark adapted (and yes, it is bright enough to slow down your ability to dark adapt...so don't watch it waiting for your eyes to adjust, it'll just take longer).
I would have preferred a guilloche white dial, but it was a tough choice...I really like the extra tritium tubes...Maybe in 10 years or so Ball will have a dial upgrade service (please no flames about this 25 year stuff, I'm betting Ball will cash in on dial upgrades before then).
(also, first time posting pics...wish me luck!)