I've admire Ball watches from afar for a long time, and finally took the plunge by buying a blue dial Night Breaker on last year's pre-order. It has since become one of my favorite watches, and at the pre-order price (approx $800 on bracelet I think) very good value.
I am interested in picking up a second Ball, and am drawn to the Trainmaster Legend, in part due to it having a different case to the Night Breaker (I love the Fireman case, but want a varied collection), and in part due to the classy grey dial.
However, I'm very confused by Ball's pricing. Various Fireman models go for around $1200 to $1400 on the grey market, with a couple closer to $800. The Trainmaster can be found for $800 and less (I resisted what seemed like a crazy good deal for a black dial on bracelet for $516 on eBay yesterday, because I really want the grey dial). Of course, plenty of other models that don't seem especially dissimilar (e.g Fireman Racer Classic) go for $1700+.
Can anyone provide a newb a cheat sheet to what factors contribute to the price differences, please.
Is the Trainmaster series seen as lower than/inferior to the Fireman? I get that the number of tubes is one factor, but I'd be surprised if that was the primary differentiator (and wouldn't the exhibition caseback offset that to some degree).
Are the cheaper ones old models farmed out to the grey market to move them? Does that mean I should grab a Trainmaster Legend soon to avoid missing out?
Has the (relatively) new pre-order model confused pricing?
Any insight would be appreciated.
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