Ball Engineer Master II Sportsman: AKA the "Ducks Unlimited Watch" (Photo Review)
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  1. #1
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    Ball Engineer Master II Sportsman: AKA the "Ducks Unlimited Watch" (Photo Review)

    Ball Engineer Master II Sportsman: AKA the "Ducks Unlimited Watch"



    The Ball Engineer Master II Sportsman, also know as the "Ducks Unlimited Watch", is the first product resulting from a multi-year licensing agreement between Ball Watch and Memphis, Tennessee based Ducks Unlimited, the world's leader in wetlands and waterfowl conservation.Ducks Unlimited, whose membership is primarily hunters and outdoorsmen, is the largest non-profit organization dedicated to conserving North America's waterfowl habitats. To date, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13 million acres of wetlands, and works to promote wildlife and wetlands preservation, and rehabilitation, to ensure waterfowl populations and their habitats remain intact and thriving for many generations to come.This special Limited Edition Sportsman celebrates the year that DU was established by limiting production to only 1937 pieces. The limited edition piece is specially distinguished with the DU logo on the dial, and the famous DU "Flying Mallard" in 3D relief on the case back.

    The case is a familiar one to Ball enthusiasts. Its 43mm titanium case is the same as the one used on the now retired Engineer Master II Diver COSC. Like the Diver COSC, the Sportsman features an internal unidirectional bezel that ratchets counter clockwise when the second crown is turned. However, where the Diver COSC featured a diver-style counter to sixty, the Sportsman’s bezel features both a Super-LumiNova sunset/sunrise indicator and a solar compass. The later is similar in utility to Ball’s Spacemaster Orbital, though it doesn't feature the Orbital's 24-hour hand which makes the compass even more functional. Similar to the Diver COSC, the Sportsman also boasts being anti-magnetic to 4,800A/m, shock resistant to 5,000 gs, and water resistant to 300m/1,000ft.

    The Sportsman dial uses tritium tubes that are lighter in scale than the large tubes found on the Diver COSC. All of the hour markers except for 12 o'clock feature two circular micro gas tubes as nighttime indices. Another difference in dial treatment is the date aperture at 3 o'clock in line with the day window versus at the 4:30 position on the Diver COSC.
    While the Sportsman features a military-grade water-resistant nylon strap, the case is also compatible with both the bracelet and rubber strap options previously available for the Diver COSC. As of this writing, both the rubber strap ($140) and titanium/steel bracelet ($400) were available from Ball U.S.A.The Sportsman is an unparalleled value in the Ball Watch Line. While the watch retails for $1,999, members of DU can purchase the watch from stores such as Topper Fine Jewelers for the greatly discounted price of $1,299. DU memberships start at $35 and easily justify the 35% discount on the watch.The predominant reason this watch is offered at such a big discount is in support of the philanthropic efforts of Ducks Unlimited. In addition to the money raised by new memberships attracted by the watch, Ball Watch is donating a generous portion of the proceeds of each sale to Ducks Unlimited.Below are additional photos of the Sportsman.
    The sunset side of the sunrise/sunset indicator

    .

    The sunrise side of the sunrise/sunset indicator.


    The Ducks Unlimited logo at six o'clock on the Sportsman dial.





    The iconic Ducks Unlimited "Flying Mallard" in 3D relief on the case back.


    The military-grade water-resistant nylon strap on the Sportsman.



    A lume shot of the Engineer Master II Sportsman. The sunrise/sunset indicator is SuperLuminova while the hands and hour indices are micro gas tritium tubes.
    Last edited by robattopper; January 10th, 2015 at 23:07.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Ball Engineer Master II Sportsman: AKA the "Ducks Unlimited Watch" (Photo Review)

    Nice review Rob. It was great to meet you this past Thanksgiving and as we discussed, the DU watch may not be an instant hit in some states, but when you look at what Ball is offering for the price....wow.

    My oldest son really liked this watch at first sight. The titanium case is excellent and the black nylon strap is a sharp compliment to the black dial. As you mention, this this is an unparalleled value in the company's line. My son has a COSC Diver and it is just that good... and since those have now been retired, I may have to snag one of these DU models.

    Hope you have a great New Year and thanks for the superb work (and the great deals on watches)!

    Bill

  3. #3
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    Re: Ball Engineer Master II Sportsman: AKA the "Ducks Unlimited Watch" (Photo Review)

    Great review Rob and the pictures really triggered something in the back of my mind. Something was familiar about this so it started me on a wild search for something from the past. A few of you who have been around here a while may remember the email survey Ball sent out back in October 2012. Part of my response included three product suggestions. The first was a higher end version of the Skindiver with other dial and bezel colors besides black, different hands and SS surrounded indexes like the DQ. It was to be on a bracelet that had a micro adjust ratchet clasp. Nothing from Ball on that yet. The second was a thinner EMII diver with Fireman Racer hands in a Ball green dial. Well that sort of came out in the EMII Diver II, but not fully as I envisioned. The last watch was a survival watch version of the Ti COSC diver with an internal compass bezel. I suggested a nylon strap with velcro kind of like the B&R BR02 comes with. For the internal bezel I had suggested the N,S,E & W be GTLS backlit kind of how the WT Diver is on the pip and every 10 minute interval. I saw it as a cool variation using mostly existing pieces. My version also maintained the COSC movement for the COSC diver. Seeing the DU watch in these pictures I was reminded of this since it seemed familiar. My version would have costed more than twice what the DU is selling for to DU members so I think Ball made a good call there. I placed my order Saturday with Rob since in many ways this is the watch I had been looking for Ball to make (At least about 80-85% of it). I would have put a GMT 24hour hand on it as the bezel is configured, but again it would add cost. At $1299 for DU members this is the lowest cost Ball watch by $100.

    I'll note I also bought the Diver II in green when it came out. Now if they build the high-end Skindiver I'll really be happy.
    Last edited by samanator; January 11th, 2015 at 23:44.
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  5. #4
    Ball Watch, Bremont and Longines moderator samanator's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Engineer Master II Sportsman: AKA the "Ducks Unlimited Watch" (Photo Review)

    You could use the bezel as solar compass. The procedure varies slightly between Northern and Southern Hemisphere, but for a watch with 12-hour dial you need to point hour hand (the 12 o´clock mark in the Southern Hemisphere) towards the direction of the sun and then you can determine South (North), which is half-way between the hour hand and the 12 o´clock mark.
    The whole concept rests on the fact that at noon the sun will be more or less exactly South (North).

    For this watch you would set the south marker at half-way point described above.

    Here is a pictorial version that also goes through daylight savings time procedure:
    http://www.wikihow.com/Use-an-Analog-Watch-as-a-Compass

    Michael
    BALL Watch, Bremont and Longines Moderator


    My wife buys dogs and I buy watches and to date I have never stepped in watch poop!

  6. #5
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    Re: Ball Engineer Master II Sportsman: AKA the "Ducks Unlimited Watch" (Photo Review)

    Nice review! I'm planning to buy it.

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