First of all, let me please introduce myself:
I am originally from Czechoslovakia and my first fascination about watches
goes to my early teens & my dad's automatic Benrus that he was so proud of. It was a used
watch that 'his uncle from America' handed him down back in early 60s and I thought it
was the most precious thing in the world, the way he was protecting it.
You have to understand - this was in the days when this old Benrus watch would
represent about 6 months of salary in then communist country.
Well, ver since that time I wanted to own a well known Swiss watch.
I am a long time watch aficionado who started with quartz TAG back in the
days and I thought that I was big pimpin' because I had a watch that was
accurate to 1-2 seconds in 6 months. I noticed this, as I was changing time
every six months and adjusting for DST. What I did not notice was that I was
clueless about watches....
...few years later I bought my first Rolex and got the bug really bad after I
started to hang on various watch forums. One thing lead to another and after a
while I ended up with this:
ehmmm......actually it got worse and I added a 'few' (a lot) more....more than double:oops:
That was until I finally realized about 2 years ago that I was still clueless about
watches and after all - I had only 1 wrist. Despite having this very nice
collection and faithfully trying to rotate how I was wearing my watches on
regular basis - I still could not enjoy each of them mathematically more than
1-2 times per month. Fortunately, I was introduced to Patek and other fine watch
manufacturers and decided to sell a great number of my watches and was
fortunate to add some Pateks and AP to my collection while keeping only the
most favorite (4) Oysters.
"What does this have to do with BALL?"...you may ask.....
Well, I am fortunate to live in Tampa Bay area and I am also fortunate to have
Jeff Hess as my acquaintance (or do I dare to say 'friend' Jeff ?) for about 7
years. In addition to meeting Jeff several times and discussing everything from
Rolex to Patek and Geneva politics - Jeff also introduced me to this cool
looking thing "called BALL watch" a couple of years ago ;)
In his store, I played with the famous Alligator and marveled about it's tough
build AND of course those darn micro gas tubes !!
Jeff Hess and BALL watch USA were also very kind to sponsor a couple of get-
together(s) (GTGs) or metings of watch collectors I organized in Tampa and New York
in 2006 and 2007. As time went on - I had a chance to see and handle more BALL watches.
The more I saw, the more I knew I wanted one someday. After my really good
Rolex collector got his BALL Fireman, I thought I finally made a pick and
almost bought one.
Thinking back - I am glad I did not . I went to Baselworld this year and
when the news about the Night Train with 63 (!!) gas tubes came out - I KNEW
that this was the BALL I wanted.
Of course every time I stopped by to see the BALL Watch USA guys in St. Pete
- I begged them to let me play with the prototype and take some pictures. After
I took these pictures, I made a post on one of the other watch forums (before
this cool Ball forum even existed) and after I read the responses, I knew that in
addition to my personal liking - BALL had a monster hit on their hands. I told
Jeff that Night Train was going to be a "huge hit" and based on what I am
reading on this forum, it looks like I was not far off
I guess it pays to have 'friends in high places"...(LOL !)...and I even convinced
Jeff and BALL watch guys that it is a good idea to let me have the prototype
watch for two weeks while I went to Europe where I was attending a meeting
of watch fans from Slovak and Czech Republics in late August. I do not need to
tell you that the Night Train was well liked over there as well.
The following pictures are combination of shots I took at BALL Watch USA
office about 3 moths ago (copy of my old TZ post below) as well as from my trip to Slovakia
(top 5 pictures). Hope you enjoy them !
This text below is just copied from the post I made about this watch when I first had it in their office.
I know many of you guys waited patiently through the
slight recent delivery delays, but TRUST ME - it is WELL WORTH IT.
THIS WATCH IS A BOMB !!!
June 15th 2007 (TZ Public Forum)
My post was titled:
"Oh boy........wife will not be happy.....another potential purchase on the horizon"
(perhaps some of you even read it, before this forum even started)
Yesterday I went to see my watchmaker who happens to be located very close
to BALL Watch USA. Since B.W USA guys were very nice with their help for our
2 last GTGs, I stopped by just to say hello. Although they brought several
BALL watches to the GTG in NY last month - the new Fireman “Night Train”
introduced in Basel 2007 was not there.
I was lucky - they had the prototype of the watch in their office yesterday and
I was able to play with it and take some pictures.
I was tempted to buy their current production Fireman (top picture) for a
few months now, but I am glad I waited. I was very intrigued by the new
Fireman - Night Train when I saw the pictures from Basel 2007, but when I saw the
watch in person yesterday - I am pretty sure that it will be the “Night
Train” version. It is 43mm, but because of the black dial and dark gray case
that is stainless steel coated with Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) - the watch
was not as big on my wrist at as I was expecting it to be. I am not that
familiar with this new technology of coating, but supposedly it is very scratch
resistant and a lot more durable than PVD coated watches.
I reduced my collection to a few fine pieces over the period of last year.
I think that this watch could make a nice addition when activities call for some
ruggedness. This watch has a shock resistance of 5000Gs !
As you can see from the pictures - the legibility on this watch is simply
amazing. During the day the contrast is nice with B & W accents,
but in dark the 63 micro Tritium gas tubes put on a show
I hear that this watch comes with (ETA-based 2824-2) BALL Cal. 124 with UTC
function. ETA 2824 is used by many higher end Swiss manufacturers. This
particular watch is not a “Certified Chronometer, but the caliber is “COSC
Certifiable” and this watch - when adjusted properly - will run at an
excellent rate of accuracy.
Unfortunately, I was not able to buy it yesterday as the piece they had was a
prototype, but I understand that first examples should hit the market at the
end of July. I am not sure of the price either, but knowing the general
price range of BALL watches I am pretty sure that it will be yet another
great ‘bang for the buck’ that IMO can be seen across their whole line.
Hope you’ll enjoy the ‘quick an dirty’ pictures I snapped yesterday. (Last picture
was not taken by me. It is their press release picture I found on another web site).
Now - what should I say to my wife about 'needing to buy' another watch?...lol
PS: and here is one more (this time with the watch in focus) for a good measure