Ball Hydrocarbon Magnate—clasp— seeking recourse
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  1. #1
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    Ball Hydrocarbon Magnate—clasp— seeking recourse

    Hello All,

    First of all, I’m brand new to this forum so please be patient with me. I’m simply seeking advice and hoping to learn from what I find to be a difficult situation. I might be long winded but I’m trying to be as transparent as possible. Also, I do not believe I purchased from an authorized dealer… www.gemnation.com.

    I had the highest hopes when I acquired my first Ball Watch in 11/2016. It’s a Hydrocarbon Magnate chronograph, COSC, tachymeter bezel, ect. In my eyes it was perfection! I loved it to death, so much so that I planned on acquiring more models from the Ball brand. Please note the emphases on the PAST tense of “love”.

    I’ve had to mail the watch to the St. Petersburg, FL service center on numerous occasions already, all related to the bracelet. The link screws kept falling out, for various reasons, causing the bracelet to fall apart: One instance was due to defective threading on a screw (or lack of substantial threading). Issue was resolved with a new screw. No fee charged. Fine by me.

    Shortly after receiving my repaired watch, the bracelet continued to disintegrate with screws totally coming out. The Ball service center explained there was either no loctite or insufficient loctite on the threads causing the screws to back out. Issue was resolved with loctite being applied to every screw. No fee charged. Buyer’s remorse creeping in.

    Only a couple weeks after taking delivery of my repaired watch, I noticed the clasp was becoming undone during wear. Initially I assumed it was due to movement of my wrist pushing on the tabs of the clasp. This was not the case. The clasp was indeed not locking properly. There was zero retention. You’d close it thinking it was fully locked and engaged, only for it to undo itself. It’s a miracle it didn’t fall off into the ocean or pavement.

    Straw that broke the camel’s back:

    The phone rep at Ball in Florida admitted to me that the clasp was “defective” (her words). However I’d have to foot the $400 bill for a brand new replacement. From what I understand, this is due to Ball’s warrantee excluding anything other than the case and mechanics.

    With these mounting issues this watch is screaming lemon!

    I made this purchases less than 2 years ago and spent a premium price on what I assumed to be a premium product. I’m sadly mistaken.

    Should I really be responsible to pay for a replacement clasp which the Service Center described as “defective”?

    Do I have any recourse? Any recommendations? Thank you for reading.

  2. #2
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    Re: Ball Hydrocarbon Magnate—clasp— seeking recourse

    I assume Gemnation denies all culpability? I'm surprised Ball remedied the prior issues free of charge...twice! The clasp issue isn't making a lot of sense to me but I'll assume it occasionally closes...and occasionally doesn't?

    As far as the rep on the phone...she was probably just trying to sound empathetic and understanding to your plight(being the 3rd time you've had to call them)...I wouldn't hold her to those words as a 'gotcha' though...how would she know it's defective without seeing it?

    edit...I just realized you bought this watch almost 2 years ago...I wouldn't call the clasp defective if its been in use for 2 years. That sounds more like pre-mature wear and tear.

    Maybe try looking for a pre-owned Ball bracelet or try leather? I wouldn't buy a new $400 bracelet either though. I can understand your frustration with that response!
    Last edited by Level.5x; July 25th, 2018 at 01:40.

  3. #3
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    Re: Ball Hydrocarbon Magnate—clasp— seeking recourse

    I agree with Level, after two years, it's more of a "wear" issue. I'd look into a nice leather band, or maybe a Nato style piece due to it being a diver style watch.

    Mind you, if you by another stainless band, it may have the same issues as your current one.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Ball Hydrocarbon Magnate—clasp— seeking recourse

    With the silly double spring bar arrangement and steeply sloping lugs on the case, aftermarket straps aren't going to look good. The rubber strap made for the ceramic XV *might* fit well (you're looking at about $200 for that strap IIRC).
    I'd try to find a local watchmaker or jeweler that could mate a generic double fold clasp to the ball bracelet. Get yourself some adjustment capability while you're at it. Something like this -
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Stainless-S...itleDesc=0%7C0
    john.6 and BillSWPA like this.

  6. #5
    Member sarmajor's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Hydrocarbon Magnate—clasp— seeking recourse

    Contact Ball Watch directly through the email address for Switzerland in the back of the manual.
    I can almost guarantee that you will get a better result than dealing with any AD.
    My experience is that Ball Watch take customer satisfaction very seriously.


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  7. #6
    Member timefleas's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Hydrocarbon Magnate—clasp— seeking recourse

    I just love first/only post newbie rants, don't you?!

    The loose screws is something that happens on watches of all brands, and is such an easy fix, that it is odd that you sent it off to Ball, especially since you didn't have a valid Ball warranty by buying it gray market (you should have had a warranty from Gemnation, so why didn't you send it to them? If indeed you bought it from them, new, less than two years ago, you would still be covered under their two year warranty...)--the fact that Ball actually helped out not once but twice given these circumstances speaks highly of them--not the opposite.

    A quick check on the net would have told you that a little dab of blue Loctite on all screws would have kept your bracelet from "falling apart"--something you could/should have done yourself. Loose clasps are not uncommon either--often easily rectified by any competent local repairman (usually simply means bending a metal tab a little closer to the touch point than it was, which sometimes loosens from use). Unfortunately, Ball, like most companies, simply don't sell the clasp alone, and if it can't be fixed, you would have to buy a new bracelet--the good news in that regard is that Ball bracelets are still relatively low priced, when compared to many popular brands.

    As for using a strap, of course you don't need to use both screws for your strap--many folks here have replaced the OEM strap/bracelet with an aftermarket strap or bracelet (straight lug connection) just using one of the two screws at either end (using thicker straps have helped users bypass the "steeply sloping lugs" issue, and you do have two screw positions to choose from in order to determine which provides the best strap-to-watch match up)...
    Last edited by timefleas; July 28th, 2018 at 05:27.

  8. #7
    Member Dogbert_is_fat's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Hydrocarbon Magnate—clasp— seeking recourse

    LOL. Online internet bashing and shaming is the new world order.

    You would have thought that one would bring it back to the people who sold the watch. It was pretty poor showing for the customer service representatives in Florida to say that the watch was defective when it can be so easily resolved. Having said that, for what it's worth, my own experience dealing with Ball Watch Co. (whether the Swiss or my local AD) has always been positive.

  9. #8
    Member Dan_957's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Hydrocarbon Magnate—clasp— seeking recourse

    Sorry to hear of your difficulty OP, but honestly don't let it get you down these things happen and its sometimes nothing but luck of the draw.

    I'd suggest taking your piece to a local jeweler. I think there is a possibility that a little bit of bending might just resolve the clasp issue - I've encountered that with a number of other time pieces anyhow, as it often just depends whether steel is missing from wear or if it is just mis-shaped. Perhaps you can post some photos?

    Good luck on a speedy resolution there.

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    I’m not too sure why there are some who feel the need to defend a brand new $3,000 watch's bracelet falling apart, regardless of how simply the customer can loctite screws on their own.

    I’m not internet bashing the company either. I would have been their biggest advocate had I not experienced these issues!

    Long story short, Ball USA/ Duber Time in St. Pete, FL is not budging on the $400 quote for a new clasp. Thats just for the clasp, not a whole new bracelet or anything. They did not provide me with any other options or suggestions.
    I cannot justify spending that much.
    Once I receive my un-repaired watch back from Florida I will see if I can source an affordable divers style flip lock clasp which will hopefully fit the links.

    The retailer, Gemnation is effectively out of the loop as their 2 yr warranty only covers movement and/or batteries, nothing bracelet related.

    I as the consumer am royally screwed. Hopefully others can learn from my experience.

  11. #10
    Member Dogbert_is_fat's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Hydrocarbon Magnate—clasp— seeking recourse

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffsmonte View Post
    I’m not too sure why there are some who feel the need to defend a brand new $3,000 watch's bracelet falling apart, regardless of how simply the customer can loctite screws on their own.

    I’m not internet bashing the company either. I would have been their biggest advocate had I not experienced these issues!

    Long story short, Ball USA/ Duber Time in St. Pete, FL is not budging on the $400 quote for a new clasp. Thats just for the clasp, not a whole new bracelet or anything. They did not provide me with any other options or suggestions.
    I cannot justify spending that much.
    Once I receive my un-repaired watch back from Florida I will see if I can source an affordable divers style flip lock clasp which will hopefully fit the links.

    The retailer, Gemnation is effectively out of the loop as their 2 yr warranty only covers movement and/or batteries, nothing bracelet related.

    I as the consumer am royally screwed. Hopefully others can learn from my experience.
    Jeff, I do apologise if you mis-read the intent of my post. I merely stated that you go back to whoever sold you the watch.

    Whilst I recognise that you had a bad experience that caused distress to you, there are many others on this forum that have had positive experiences. You also need to recognise that you bought a Ball Watch from a non- authorised dealer and now, that very same dealer wants nothing to do with you. I read the "warranty" on their website and note what their 2 year international warranty covers (quoted ad verbatim):

    "Any defect to the watch case, crystal, strap, bracelet, box, manual or other part or accessory - arising from accident, mishandling, incorrect or abusive use including, but not limited to knocks, crushing or scratching; water damage, even in water resistant watches, EXCEPT as a result of manufacturing defect - manufacturing defects will be determined upon inspection by..."

    Hence, you actually do have a recourse with the seller that you were sold a defective product. Timefleas nor myself are not trying to defend a product but I know for myself that I have had a positive experience buying a Ball Watch and claiming warranty on it. My watch arrived DOA and I called the master Australian distributor who was happy to service my watch although I did not buy from them and they made no money from me. Businesses survive because of customers but businesses suffer if customers buy grey market products and still expect the same level of service from an authorised dealer. I own a business and I am majorly pissed off if "customers" expect the same level of service from me if they haven't purchased anything from me. So do those "customers" expect me to service them and I have to be out of pocket each time? See what I am getting at? Your post came across as someone who bought a watch cheaply from the grey market and is now unhappy because you were quoted $400 for a spare part which you now expect someone else (i.e. the authorised dealer) to pay for. Do you think it is fair on Ball USA or Ball Watch Co.?

    In the end, you are the one who is trying to screw the master dealer in the USA. Yes? So the take away lessons from your episode is:
    1. You were "screwed royally" by the seller and NOT by Ball Watch or Ball USA; and
    2. that in future, only buy from an Authorised Dealer so that you can get the level of protection you expect.

    I honestly hope you get a satisfactory resolution of your clasp issue and that you are not put off coming and participating in this forum because there is so much to share and learn from interacting with other people who share the same hobby.

    I also hope that we are cool as I do not wish to engage in a tit for tat argument.
    Last edited by Dogbert_is_fat; August 2nd, 2018 at 14:09.
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