Ball Engineer II Marvelight
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  1. #1
    Member Jim Smyth's Avatar
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    Ball Engineer II Marvelight

    Well I have been obsessing over this watch for a few years now and have been waiting for the right used one with a full set to come along. I knew I wanted to go used so I didnt take the big hit since I get tired of watches and tend to rotate them out always looking for that next perfect watch. I received this 2 days back now and have a few comments and questions.

    First, I love this watch. The size for my 7-1/4" wrist its the perfect size at 40mm. I love high polished items so this is a natural. The High polish with the satin combo is incredible. I also really like the bracelet which I have read a few negative comments on. I like how its different and very robust and enjoy the different 3D aspect to it. I have a few high end watches (Rolex's) and it compares equally with them with the exception of the bracelet ends which are not quite as refined. However for the price point I would expect that and I actually think there well done and a bargain at this price. The bracelet comfort level is better than my Rolex.

    I am not a fan of the caseback design but get it with the heritage to Webb C Ball. I wish there was a option for a clear caseback for my watch even though it isnt a very elaborate movement. I love the deep black on the dial and the tritium blocked indices look great raised up high and I like how they take on the color of the tubes during direct sun light. The magnifier is a little weaker than my Rolex's but it works as intended.

    Now when I make a purchase like this I try to read as many reviews as possible and also watch as many of the youtube videos as possible. To say I was highly intrigued to have a watch with tritium indices was a understatement. What I didnt know till now is alot of guys use a UV light to show off and enhance there ball tritium indices. So after my watch arrived 2 days back I was really looking forward to night time viewing. Now mind you I have seen many pictures of the lume and videos on youtube so I knew what to expect. Especially having a few tritium night sites on my firearms and tritium in a few spinners I have.

    So I get into my bedroom going to bed and am having a hard time reading the time. I am 60 years old so I put on my cheaters and can barely make out the time with them on. I give it a half hour and also did a 3am pit stop and it wasnt much better. Very faint time legibility. Now I know all about tritium and the color spectrum's with green being the best and blue not so much. But in my mind I had it built up to be so much more.

    So my watch has a date of 8-15 on the warranty card so I am no where near half life at 4+ years old. I am assuming my watch is about where it was as new brightness wise do to it not being that old. I am attaching a picture that is similar to what I am looking at in total darkness. Since I have never owned a tritium tubed watch I am looking for advice from the Ball experts on if my watch is normal brightness or not? I would assume it should be brighter but maybe I was expecting too much and have read online guys with similar comments? I have played around for a hour getting the picture as close as possible to what I am looking at and in person it may be a tad better than my picture where you can see a little of the green hands. But its close.

    I plan on keeping the watch because its awesome! If the tritium brightness if way low I would send it into Ball for a redo. If its normal I will just enjoy it as is. But I am looking for input from the guys that have alot of experience with Ball watches.

    Many Thanks in advance. Still very excited to finally be in the Ball family.
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  2. #2
    Member PetrosD's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Engineer II Marvelight

    The Marvelight has been on my want list for a while, but I haven't seen such poor lume like that. I have an Engineer III Endurance from 2017 with similar indices and it lights up really well.

  3. #3
    Member timefleas's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Engineer II Marvelight

    The lume does appear to be weak, especially since the hands can't be seen--however, it is also clear that the picture itself is extremely dark, which may mean simply too short of duration, or too stopped down on the aperture. What you want is a picture where there is still some dial visible--then you can see how strong or light the actual lume is.

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  5. #4
    Member Nokie's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Engineer II Marvelight

    Once your eyes adjust, it becomes easier to read.
    "Either he's dead or my watch has stopped"
    Groucho Marx

    "The only reason for time is so that everything does not happen at once..."
    Albert Einstein

  6. #5
    Member Jim Smyth's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Engineer II Marvelight

    The picture is dark because I am in a completely dark closet with no light. It was taken with a cell phone. If I have any light in the area it lights the indices up like there on fire in the cell phone camera viewer which is a distortion of what it really looks like. It took a while to get the picture like that and in real life its a tad brighter with the green hands barely visible. It also doesnt matter how long your in darkness. I woke up at 3am after sleeping for 5 hours to take a pee. The visual then was only slightly better than this picture.
    Last edited by Jim Smyth; December 21st, 2019 at 19:55.

  7. #6
    Member Jim Smyth's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Engineer II Marvelight

    Last edited by Jim Smyth; December 21st, 2019 at 20:32.

  8. #7
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    Re: Ball Engineer II Marvelight

    Hi Jim, here are a couple of shots from mine which was originally sold in May. No issues. FWIW, my photo were taken using an iPhone supported by a drinking glass in automatic mode. They were taken yesterday morning. It's funny that a night mine has almost indistinguishable colors but in the dark photo the coloration is very obvious.



    Last edited by hogwldfltr; December 22nd, 2019 at 13:50.

  9. #8
    Member Jim Smyth's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Engineer II Marvelight

    Congrats, you have a bright one there. I have the same night time effect with Blue and Green blending together and hard to tell apart. Mine doesnt look anything like yours though in the brightness department. I am going to call Ball USA in St Petersburg FL tomorrow and find out what can be done. From everything I have read online it seems like I am in for a long road to recovery.

  10. #9
    Member timefleas's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Engineer II Marvelight

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Smyth View Post
    The picture is dark because I am in a completely dark closet with no light. It was taken with a cell phone. If I have any light in the area it lights the indices up like there on fire in the cell phone camera viewer which is a distortion of what it really looks like. It took a while to get the picture like that and in real life its a tad brighter with the green hands barely visible. It also doesnt matter how long your in darkness. I woke up at 3am after sleeping for 5 hours to take a pee. The visual then was only slightly better than this picture.
    I think the cell phone explains it (and the video really doesn't help much). Basically, night lumes, and how they are shown in pictures, are more at the mercy of how the camera is operated, than the actual lume. See, for example, the three pictures below, taken of the same watch, in the same darkness, but with different aperture and/or speed settings--I could have taken one more completely black, but it is the same watch, in the same closet. The second picture is probably the one closest to what my eyes see after a half hour or so. I will be interested to hear what transpires with your conversation with Ball--best of luck!
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  11. #10
    Member Jim Smyth's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Engineer II Marvelight

    I understand about the pictures and tried to explain that in my first post. It took me quite a while to get a picture (at least a hour) doing various pics to get one that was close to what I actually see in a dark environment. Your 3rd picture would be what mine looks like with a dark room and adjusted eyes. I will report back when I hear from Ball and I also reached out to Bonding in Hong Kong to see if they rework these tubes. Just in case I great some crazy numbers from Ball.

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