Help Me Narrow My Choices! (My first Ball)
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  1. #1
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    Help Me Narrow My Choices! (My first Ball)

    Hello all!

    So, while saving for my first Panerai - I became intrigued with some of the Ball watches. I've been browsing like crazy and figured I'd just come here and ask the experts to help guide me.

    First, is my "check list":

    1. I want the new in-house movement with the display caseback. I'm sure that eliminates a lot of choices.

    2. Second, I am curious if the wider tubes produce brighter lume than, say the Roadmaster Starlight (with the smaller tubes that make the numerals) - clarity on this might influence my choice.

    3. Third, I really like bronze cases - but I haven't really found one with an exhibition caseback. It isn't a necessity, but with those two together (if it exists with the in-house movement) and it will become a top choice.

    4. Size? Preferably above 42mm

    Looking forward to the feedback!

  2. #2
    Member timefleas's Avatar
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    Re: Help Me Narrow My Choices! (My first Ball)

    The "wider" tritium is made by laying two tubes side by side, not a fatter/wider tube--some have a kind of shell overlay to make it look like one unit, but, underneath, there are two tubes. Very few bronze case options--if you want bronze, I would shop a different brand. And, as for in-house movements there is nothing special about Ball in-house movements--the ETAs (etc.) they adapt and configure are just as good, and much easier/cheaper to repair. Ball doesn't make a lot of watches above 41mm, though they do have the Night Train series (43 in the earlier versions, 45 in the more recent ones) and 44 in the Aviator GMTs, 46 in the standard Aviator, and a few others.

    I suggest you shop watches first, and scrap your checklist--watches of any brand will always be a compromise--don't impose contrived restrictions on yourself before you even begin. You are looking at watches as if the sum of the parts is enhanced measurably if each part meets some pre-ordained standard of excellence--in watch collecting, that is often not the case--the best watches appear to be so, usually from the outside in, rather than from the inside out. Best of luck in finding one that suits you.
    Last edited by timefleas; 2 Weeks Ago at 11:46.
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  3. #3
    Member PetrosD's Avatar
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    Re: Help Me Narrow My Choices! (My first Ball)

    Here are side by side lume shots of my Engineer III Endurance (regular length double wide tubes) and Fireman Enterprise (extra long single wide tubes). These are both 40mm on my roughly 8" wrist.
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  5. #4
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    Re: Help Me Narrow My Choices! (My first Ball)

    Oh I see! Good info on the tubes - something I didn't know.

    Second, I have been actively shopping watches. My "checklist" is to provide guidance for the readers of the thread instead of saying "I want a Ball watch, which one should I get?" I'm not dead set on bronze, but I do really like it. What has attracted me to Ball is its history, great quality (from what I've read about on here and other forums) and of course, the tritium tubes!

    Regarding the movement, I just really like the look of the in-house movement when compared to how the others are finished.

    Edit: Thanks Petros for the pics! Which one do you find yourself picking up more frequently (and why?)

  6. #5
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    Re: Help Me Narrow My Choices! (My first Ball)

    I have the Magneto and Legend with very different sized tubes (admittedly not as big as Endurance as pictured above). The Magneto certainly appears brighter just based on the fact that there is more tritium...

    The Magneto does have some decent albeit standard decoration on the COSC Sellita movement... Its a good looking movement and I recently had it serviced so can vouch for the ease and accessibility of having a SW200/2824 based movement repaired/serviced. I would seriously consider not excluding any watches based on ETA vs in-house.

  7. #6
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    A tip that may be useful if you have eyesight issues.... some of the ball watches have so much lume that they become too bright to actually read the time. One of the easy ways to sidestep this issue is look for models that don't have lumed five minute markers and use a dot or similar instead

  8. #7
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    Re: Help Me Narrow My Choices! (My first Ball)

    There was a time when I really wanted a bronze watch. Then I got one, wore it for a few weeks, and sold it. I will never own another one. The novelty of the ever changing patina wore off, and I didn't like the smell. Seriously, bronze has an odor. You might not mind it but I'm a bit sensitive to smells.

  9. #8
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    Re: Help Me Narrow My Choices! (My first Ball)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce R View Post
    There was a time when I really wanted a bronze watch. Then I got one, wore it for a few weeks, and sold it. I will never own another one. The novelty of the ever changing patina wore off, and I didn't like the smell. Seriously, bronze has an odor. You might not mind it but I'm a bit sensitive to smells.
    That's interesting... never thought that it would smell different. The patina is one of the reasons I haven't pulled the trigger on a bronze watch myself. It sounds great, but if the novelty wears off you either love it or hate it.
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  10. #9
    Member Nokie's Avatar
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    Re: Help Me Narrow My Choices! (My first Ball)

    [QUOTE]It sounds great, but if the novelty wears off you either love it or hate it./QUOTE]

    Yup.

    I tried three bronze/brass watches to force myself to like them, but they are not the same as the stainless stuff, IMHO.
    "Either he's dead or my watch has stopped"
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  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce R View Post
    There was a time when I really wanted a bronze watch. Then I got one, wore it for a few weeks, and sold it. I will never own another one. The novelty of the ever changing patina wore off, and I didn't like the smell. Seriously, bronze has an odor. You might not mind it but I'm a bit sensitive to smells.
    Interesting! That def makes sense but that would have never crossed my mind otherwise.

    That said, I’m looking at picking up a Skindiver II! What would be considered a “good” deal for a new one?

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