A few questions from a new Ball discoverer
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  1. #1
    Member Colmustard86's Avatar
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    A few questions from a new Ball discoverer

    So I just kind of discovered Ball. I have a decent watch collection of about 35 pieces and have two tritium offerings, one a marathon gsar and the other a isobrite afterburner. Love tritium and was on the hunt for a 24 hour watch with tritium and ran across Ball. It appears they do not have a 24 hour watch but after looking at their stuff I am wanting one!

    I am from Ohio and my family has worked in the railroad for multiple generations and I am kind of a train nerd so this seems like a great watch company to throw all of that together!!

    My questions are how is their new in house movement? Has it been tested for durability? I like the idea of the in house with 80hrs reserve but also the eta offerings are know and well made.

    Are they still American owned? Is quality still good? I want this watch to be kind of a do anything watch. Possibly leaning towards an engineer model. Are they tough enough to go camping with and hunting? I do not plan on abusing it but also it will not be a safe queen.

    Should I be looking at a different model hat is more robust? It appears they have many innovations for durability but which models include most if not all of those?

    Thank you for any info. 🙂

  2. #2
    Member Nokie's Avatar
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    Re: A few questions from a new Ball discoverer

    "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

  3. #3
    Member Dogbert_is_fat's Avatar
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    Re: A few questions from a new Ball discoverer

    Hi @Colmustard86 and welcome to the Ball Watch sub-forum.

    So many questions but I will try to be as helpful as possible.

    You said
    “Love tritium and was on the hunt for a 24 hour watch with tritium and ran across Ball.”
    - Thats a good first step! Now you need to see one in person.

    You said
    “It appears they do not have a 24 hour watch”
    - are you talking about a GMT watch? There are a number of 24 hour GMT watches around the US$2k mark.

    You said
    “a train nerd so this seems like a great watch company to throw all of that together!!”
    - look out for the Vintage looking train conductor or the Engineer Ohio. Great watches if that’s what you like.

    You asked
    “My questions are how is their new in house movement?
    - most of their movements are ETA derived and are very robust. I have an Engineer Hydrocarbon AeroGMT and have used that for trips to remote locations. Worked well and keeps time to within +0.5 seconds per day.

    You asked
    “Are they still American owned?”
    - No. like most companies, they are now foreign owned. Ball USA was only an importer and the gentleman never owned the Ball Watch brand. The watches are Swiss made.

    **Trolls should stay away and please do not start a tangent discussion as we had a lot of those.**

    You asked
    “Is quality still good? I want this watch to be kind of a do anything watch.”
    - well, in my opinion it is. For the money, solid watch, well made.

    You asked
    “Are they tough enough to go camping with and hunting? I do not plan on abusing it but also it will not be a safe queen.”
    - will handle most rough and tumble but won’t take a bullet like Wonder Woman’s golden cuff protectors.

    Engineer and Engineer Hydrocarbon are their “tough” models.

    All the best in your search

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  5. #4
    Member Colmustard86's Avatar
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    Awesome reply thank you! I have looked at the Ohio online as well ad the engineer. As a Ball owner, is the engineer m with their in house movement better than the eta engineers?

    Love the look of the hydrocarbon but am afraid of the crown guards. Do they cause comfort issues?

    As far as 24 hour watches, I was on the
    hunt for a one revolution per day dial. But I can always go with a vostok for that.

  6. #5
    DC5
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    Re: A few questions from a new Ball discoverer

    If you are looking for a 24 hour dial, I don’t think Ball do one, but it would be worth taking a look at the Glycine Airman series. They are fantastic watches with a long history and an ETA movement - I have the Base 22. They also show a second time zone using the bezel or a 3rd if you get a gmt.

    Take note though that it does take a while to get used to the 24 hour dial and to be able read it at a glance.

  7. #6
    Member Sparrowhawk's Avatar
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    Re: A few questions from a new Ball discoverer

    Quote Originally Posted by Colmustard86 View Post
    Awesome reply thank you! I have looked at the Ohio online as well ad the engineer. As a Ball owner, is the engineer m with their in house movement better than the eta engineers?

    Love the look of the hydrocarbon but am afraid of the crown guards. Do they cause comfort issues?

    As far as 24 hour watches, I was on the
    hunt for a one revolution per day dial. But I can always go with a vostok for that.
    I have numerous EHC watches and have never had any comfort issues with any of them, and I like to wear my watches above, to the wrist side, or on my wrist bone.

    Ball has three technologies for protecting the movement from shocks, they are; SpringLOCK, Amortiser, and Amortiser Light. Not more than one of them is available in the same model and none of them is available with the Manufacture movement, yet.

    Interestingly enough, one of the models with SpringLOCK is the Trainmaster Cannonball II. Ball wanted to show that they could provide shock protection in a dress oriented watch.

    The Manufacture movement has an 80 hour power reserve. It's the movement I would get, depending on how vigorous your requirements are.
    It wasn't this time until now. - Me.

  8. #7
    Member Hotblack Desiato's Avatar
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    Re: A few questions from a new Ball discoverer

    One of the great things about the Ball Watch company is the amazing variety of styles in their catalog. All of them won't appeal to everyone, but that's the beauty of this hobby - different strokes for different folks. I would rather have more varied choices, as Ball does, vs a company that does variations on a very few themes, like Rolex, Omega, Tudor, etc.

    The use of tritium can be polarizing, but I think this is based on some watch fans' misunderstandings of its purpose. Comparing the H3 brightness to freshly charged up superluminova, the tritium won't be nearly as bright. Some people complain that they need this to be able to read their watch if they walk into a dark room during the daytime (although I can't imagine the need for this). But H3 isn't designed for that. Instead, it's there to work well in the darkness when your eyes are used to the low light, without need to be "charged" in advance. Super bight tubes would be a distraction in that scenario.

    And unlike the superluminova, the tritium won't completely fade during the night. For me, tritium will always be superior to superluminova, because it provides the perfect amount of light for use when waking up in the night and checking the time. Yes, you'll need to replace the tritium tubes every 10-15 years, but plan that for one of your services, and it's not that much of an extra for a manufacturer tune-up, imo.
    Last edited by Hotblack Desiato; November 18th, 2019 at 07:28.
    timefleas likes this.
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  9. #8
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    Can anyone who owns a Ball with the in-house movement offer any insight on the performance of the movement, the durability, accuracy, overall feel etc, compared to the ETA movements? I'm interested in getting one of the models with the in-house movement myself.

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