Engineer II Magneto S: Introducing the A-PROOF® System (photo review)
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  1. #1
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    Engineer II Magneto S: Introducing the A-PROOF® System (photo review)

    Engineer II Magneto S: Introducing the A-PROOF® System






    The Engineer II Magneto S is the most anticipated new release from Ball in 2014. It is the only 2014 model featuring SpringLOCK®, Ball's patented balance-spring protection cage which reduces the effect of mild repetitive shock. This is the fourth Ball model to feature SpringLOCK and follows three watches from 2013 including the Hydrocarbon Black, Hydrocarbon Airborne, and Trainmaster Cannonball II.

    At $3,399 retail, the Magneto S is up to $1,200 dollars less expensive than the other three-hand SpringLOCK models, and is the first Engineer II watch to use the system. Setting the Magneto S apart from other Ball watches, and for that matter all watches, is its retractable anti-magnetic shield called the A-PROOF® system.

    Before we talk about how the A-PROOF system works, it makes sense to discuss magnetization in watches. The service center of our largest partner estimates as many as a quarter of all watches brought in for service are magnetized. When a watch is magnetized, the hair spring contracts causing the watch to speed up. Sometimes the effect can be so dramatic the watch will gain hours in a single day. Common household items like speakers, desktop computers, tablets, and smartphones all contain magnets which when in close proximity can magnetize a watch. While magnetized watches can be fixed without opening the watch in almost all instances by using a demagnetizer, finding a demagnetizer can be a challenge.

    Watch companies have been coming up with solutions for decades to protect watches against magnetization. Perhaps the most famous anti-magnetic watch is the Rolex Milgauss which offers up to 1000 Gauss of protection using an iron shielding system. In 2013, Omega introduced a Seamaster Aqua Terra model with the most effective anti-magnetic protection to date by producing various sensitive components in anti-magnetic materials resulting in protection exceeding 15,000 Gauss. Where does the Magneto S fit in? It offers similar protection to the Rolex at about half the price of the Omega.

    Earlier this year at Baselworld, Ball's CTO, Philippe Antille and I discussed the A-PROOF® system. One of the Magneto S features he seemed most proud of was the thin 13mm case. The ability to have both a tall bezel and retractable shield in such a svelte package was accomplished by using Mu-metal. Mu-metal is an anti-magnetic alloy used in the aerospace industry which provides exceptional shielding without thick or multiple layers required with traditional materials.

    Appreciating how people enjoy looking at their watch movements, Philippe conceived the idea of a retractable anti-magnetic shield. The resulting design is a metal diaphragm operating much like the bladed aperture of a camera lens. The system easily opens opens and closes by turning the bezel which gives a heavy and solid action. An indicator on the side of the case at four o'clock shows white when open, and clear when closed.

    Below are more photos of the Magneto S, easily one of the most fun new releases of 2014.






    The A-PROOF system in the closed position providing 1000 Gauss of protection.


    The A-PROOF system in the open position, revealing a display back and the SpringLOCK equipped movement.



    A closer look at the SpringLOCK cage protecting the movement's hairspring against mild repetitive shock.



    A close up of the dial of the Magneto S.



    The A-PROOF system indicator is clear which shows the anti-magnetic shield is in the open position.



    When the A-PROOF shield is retracted, the indicator shows as white.



    The lume signature of the Magneto S.
    Last edited by robattopper; December 31st, 2014 at 17:35.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Engineer II Magneto S: Introducing the A-PROOF® System (photo review)

    When closed, it doesn't close all the way?

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    Re: Engineer II Magneto S: Introducing the A-PROOF® System (photo review)

    Quote Originally Posted by ~tc~ View Post
    When closed, it doesn't close all the way?
    Two possible answers here. The first is the center section of the movement may be enough shielding with the aperture. The second is from when I use to do s lot of shield design and testing including magnetic. There are perf patterns in the shield that will fully shield the movement. Since they do not need to block RF like what I was working on they can probably be slightly larger
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    Re: Engineer II Magneto S: Introducing the A-PROOF® System (photo review)

    Saw the watch and was sadly pretty underwhelmed. The coin edge bezel and the inner bezel caused the dial to look super small.

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    Re: Engineer II Magneto S: Introducing the A-PROOF® System (photo review)

    The dial even looks small in the pics. Nice size tubes though!

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    Re: Engineer II Magneto S: Introducing the A-PROOF® System (photo review)

    On "A-proof"--while I get the idea of shielding a watch against magnetism, and have had a few watches where I have had to pull out my $15 demagnetizer, I don't see this as anything more than a very special need addition. The kinds of magnets and turbines that could magnetize a watch have to be pretty big and/or powerful, and rarely occur in typical situations in our daily lives--to me, this is another one of those innovations that fall into the category of "I didn't know I needed it," which usually translates, in my world at least, into "I don't need it." Some might, though, and that is great--wish it came in a nicer looking package (watch) though--a ribbed bezel, a tiny dial, a huge black inner ring--all add up to a big minus in my book--and for those that do need "A-proof" level shielding, I don't see a real need to have an aperture under an exhibition window in order to see the movement--just make a skinny, attractive shielded watch and leave it at that.
    Last edited by timefleas; January 2nd, 2015 at 17:17.
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    Re: Engineer II Magneto S: Introducing the A-PROOF® System (photo review)

    The technology here doesn't sing to me in the way the Hunley does, but it's my favorite dial/bezel execution that Ball has put out in this latest salvo of releases.

    Bravo Rob for the photos, as always!

  9. #8
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    Engineer II Magneto S: Introducing the A-PROOF® System (photo review)

    Quote Originally Posted by timefleas View Post
    On "A-proof"--while I get the idea of shielding a watch against magnetism, and have had a few watches where I have had to pull out my $15 demagnetizer, I don't see this as anything more than a very special need addition. The kinds of magnets and turbines that could magnetize a watch have to be pretty big and/or powerful, and rarely occur in typical situations in our daily lives--to me, this is another one of those innovations that fall into the category of "I didn't know I needed it," which usually translates, in my world at least, into "I don't need it." Some might, though, and that is great--wish it came in a nicer looking package (watch) though--a ribbed bezel, a tiny dial, a huge black inner ring--all add up to a big minus in my book--and for those that do need "A-proof" level shielding, I don't see a real need to have an aperture under an exhibition window in order to see the movement--just make a skinny, attractive shielded watch and leave it at that.
    I went a long time and did not have a magnetized watch. Within the last two years I've had three so apparently it's getting more common . Most of these were magnetized during shipping. One I had to send in since even my $150 commercial demagnetizer did not fix it. Omega sited that 70 % of the watches sent for service in Japan are magnetized during the AT >15000 gauss launch last year. Up until a few years ago I would have agreed with you Peter, but I think it's becoming more common. Ironically I've never had a Ball get magnetized yet.
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  10. #9
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    Re: Engineer II Magneto S: Introducing the A-PROOF® System (photo review)

    I'm missing or forgetting something. The shock resistance is still listed as 5000G just like my other Ball watches without SpringLock. So, is it that with shocks less than that, the watch's timing will be less affected than another watch with the same 5000G rating but both the SpringLock and regular Ball watches will be damaged above that rating??

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