Overseas deployment for a Ball deployant (modem burner)

Thread: Overseas deployment for a Ball deployant (modem burner)

Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 32
  1. #1
    Member waruilewi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    sf ca us
    Posts
    1,987

    Overseas deployment for a Ball deployant (modem burner)

    Since Time2watch (Marc) started a thread about Ball deployant buckles last week, I thought about sharing a few pics and some commentary regarding a recent trip where I spent some time trying to hunt these things down. This whole mini-quest started off harmlessly enough when my Nor Cal AD mentioned that it was going to be a while before he could get me a spare deployant buckle for other Balls I had laying around that I wanted to swap out the tang buckle to, so since I had already planned on going to Asia in October I figured I'd try my luck there. Don't get me wrong: I bought all my Balls from AD's in the States - it's just after exhausting local resources that I decided to go this route because there's nothing better than supporting our own AD's, especially during economic times like these...

    The first leg was in Malaysian Borneo, Sabah province. I originally had no intentions of doing any watch gawking until later on in the trip, but did come across a very posh watch store in the just opened 1Borneo hypermall outside of Kota Kinabalu that had a very good selection of many mid and high-end brands - Blancpain and Chronoswiss were there but so was the Ball display, right up front in fact. The selection of Balls here were about what you'd find in the States, but the fact that Ball brand was a known quantity here at all in a not-so-developed part of Asia I thought was telling. As a sign of the times, we lunched inside the shopping complex at the Kenny Rogers Roasters - ' the world's greatest chicken' - somebody should tell Kramer from Seinfeld to come to Borneo!





    Well anyways I had to fly off to Japan for the next week, spending all of it in the Kansai part of the country. After lunch one day in Kyoto I had a chance to check out some of the higher end watch departments on Shijo-dori like the Diamaru and the Takashimaya (pictured below) but came up short for a possible deployant buckle to buy here as well. I was told the selection would have probably been better had I ventured into Osaka's Takashimaya or Hanshin department stores instead.



    Some really cool JDM Grand Seiko's though, with Spring Drives no less...



    If you were wondering by my avatar, I did have a chance to travel around Fukui prefecture but didn't actually get to the now world-famous hamlet of Obama, hence the shot of the roadsign for remembrance. Yes we can!



    So from Japan it was on to Hong Kong for another week. I had assumed that it was always going to be my best shot of scoring a spare buckle here with the plethora of watch stores this city's known for, but finding a dealer was another matter. It's no exaggeration to say that Hong Kong's got to have at least a thousand watch stores within its city limits - from the high-end stores in the Landmark and Pacific Place Shopping Centre on the Hong Kong side to the City Chain fashion watch outlets and everything in between, it's a WIS shopper's dream come true. The vibrancy of the people with the cacophony of everything going on can take your breath away.





    And the heart of all this action's on Nathan Road on the Kowloon peninsula. Offhand I can't think of any place on earth with as many watch stores crammed on top of each other in such density. I often wonder how much business all these stores have to do to pay the rent and their employees, but then again if a Rolex Submariner were what you coveted, then you only have 100 stores located on this one boulevard to choose from. Finding a Ball AD, however, was a bit harder. Special thanks to sys12345 for pointing me in the right direction here. I finally found what I was looking for:







    Apparently in this one block on Nathan Road there were two Ball AD's side-by-side. In this one display you can see the vast selection of merchandise they carried. I think there are a few pieces here that aren't even on the official Ball website. I was completely not looking for another Ball but it really was tempting to try something on. The EMII Diver Chronograph and the Cannonball were putting out their siren call and looked really attractive. But once you do, the game starts and I didn't think I had enough self-control to walk away, so I kept my distance. Their watch displays however are worthy of at least a 9 on the drool-meter...







    I spoke with both proprietors and determined that neither had spare buckles for sale. And with no more time left in the day to look further, I was ready to call it quits and move on, but then the GM at one of the shops made a call on my behalf and said that someone at Ball HQ could help me out. Yes! I thought, so with address and contact in hand, a couple of days later I decided to pay them a visit.

    Before heading off to the Ball mothership, I stopped by another AD near Carnarvon Road. Window shopping in Hong Kong never gets old, and and I took a few pics of their selection of Balls along with some other lines. Very nice people at this AD here as well - accommodating even after they knew no sale was to come of it. If anyone were to look into an Arnold & Son or a Zenith El Primero while in HK, I can PM you with the name of this place. But in terms of Balls - a few very rare sightings indeed, at least for me. Anybody know the name of that one to the left of the Hydrocarbon Classic I? Or the one above that to the left?





    Quick note to WIS coming here for watch purchasing, if one were so inclined: A thing to remember about Hong Kong is that there are no advantages to buying watches at 'Duty Free' retailers either at the airport or in town since everything in Hong Kong is duty free except for cigarettes and alcohol. If anything, I'd be weary of going into any store that prominently displays 'Duty Free' placards as they're more apt to charge full MSRP and are probably geared to serving a foreign tourist clientele anyways...

    A few days later i had time one morning to pay a visit to Ball headquarters over on the HK side. The lobby area at Ball reminded me of a boutique hotel, all gussied up in glossy black with a hot looking receptionist to boot...





    Kudos to the people at Ball HQ for taking time out of their day to help a customer out with an offbeat request. This filled the order and then some - they were very professional and yet friendly all at once. Half an hour later, I left satisfied knowing with my circuitous mini-quest completed, that I now could set all my Balls up with deployant buckles - woot!



    Anyways, thanks for reading thru my rave - maybe I went a bit overboard trying to track down something as insignificant as a spare buckle, but I think that the time you enjoy wasting is NOT wasted time... Best to all. Lewis

  2. #2
    Member Timewaster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    South of Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    965

    Re: Overseas deployment for a Ball deployant (modem burner)

    Anybody know the name of that one to the left of the Hydrocarbon Classic I? Or the one above that to the left?
    The one to the left of the HC Classic is a discontinued GMT, which I believe has "T" lume tubes. Very cool. The one above and to the left is a Trainmaster Voyager GMT Power Reserve, which was a limited edition to only 333 pieces, and is awesome. I don't suppose you caught the prices on either of those?

    Regards,
    -Jeff
    Trivia question of the month:
    The history of the Baselworld Watch and Jewellery Show dates back to what year, when there was established the first Schweizer Mustermesse Basel (MUBA) with a special section devoted to watches and jewellery?
    ~Click on my profile and look under my biography for the answer.
    Quote of the month:
    "Give me the perfect oil and I'll make the perfect watch."
    ~ Abraham-Louis Breguet

  3. #3
    Member ballwatch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Posts
    440

    Re: Overseas deployment for a Ball deployant (modem burner)

    Quote Originally Posted by Timewaster View Post
    The one to the left of the HC Classic is a discontinued GMT, which I believe has "T" lume tubes. Very cool.
    Engineer Master II GMT
    GM1032-S1-BK

    It was discontinued about 2 years ago, but there are still a few pieces at our retailers worldwide.

    The one above and to the left is a Trainmaster Voyager GMT Power Reserve, which was a limited edition to only 333 pieces, and is awesome. I don't suppose you caught the prices on either of those?

    Regards,
    -Jeff

    ...needs to update his signature line.
    July 08 Newsletter: New World Record for Guillaume Néry, Diver GMT, Aviator
    Baselworld 2008 Newsletter: Guillaume Néry, Trieste Chronograph, Moonlight Special
    Click to view the BALL Engineer Master II Diver TMT.



  4. Remove Advertisements
    WatchUSeek.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4
    Member groundhog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Vancouver
    Posts
    444

    Re: Overseas deployment for a Ball deployant (modem burner)

    And I have one of them. They are beautiful.

  6. #5
    Member Tomaski33's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    A "fine" sin...city
    Posts
    200

    Re: Overseas deployment for a Ball deployant (modem burner)

    Excellent shots taken by the TS..
    So many Ball watches inside 1 shot..
    Guess i must quickly make a trip to HK's AD for survey.
    ahdave's collection : German 4 (a) Stowa Marine Original~October 2009
    (b) Stowa Antea Klein Sekunde with SS strap~December 2011 (c) Flieger Baumuster B Handaufzug 2801~December 2011
    (d) Stowa Chronograph 1938 polished with SS strap~October 2012
    SWISS 1 : ORIS TT3 day-date (Hospitalized now)

    Current Year Shortlist : (a) Schauer Chronograph Edition09 *thinking* (b) Nomos Glashütte Zürich *Consideration* (c) LACO Pilot 42 Manual winding type B
    (d) Steinhart NavB Chrono *low*

  7. #6
    Member Time2watch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Monreal, QC - CANADA
    Posts
    1,757

    Re: Overseas deployment for a Ball deployant (modem burner)

    FANTASTIC POST, thank you so much for sharing!!!
    Marc Levesque
    @MarcTime2watch
    MyTime2watch.blogspot.com

  8. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    2

    Re: Overseas deployment for a Ball deployant (modem burner)

    Fascinating pics. The place is a watch geek's red-light district..

  9. #8
    G-Shock Mod stockae92's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Southern California - USA
    Posts
    13,888

    Re: Overseas deployment for a Ball deployant (modem burner)

    nice, i have gotta visit the Ball HQ in HK when I visit there next time

  10. #9
    Member scottw44's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    3,558

    Re: Overseas deployment for a Ball deployant (modem burner)

    great story...and the original GMT is indeed a classic!
    kind regards,

    scott

    vintage and obscure watch lover

  11. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Tampa
    Posts
    736

    Re: Overseas deployment for a Ball deployant (modem burner)

    Great post! It's like going to Ball heaven.

Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •