Quality and Reliability??
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  1. #1
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    Quality and Reliability??

    I've seen a number of complaints across the internet about Ball Watches quality. These include one retailer who dropped them a number of years back because of incoming reliability issues and recent reports about the second hand falling off and repairs not fixing the problem and the customer returning the watch to the shop it was purchased from. I'm curious as to what the members here think. FWIW, I've had problems with Rolex Service Center retuning a watch which was incorrectly repaired and claiming it was my wife's fault; I know that there are more problems than at Ball alone.
    Last edited by hogwldfltr; December 31st, 2019 at 15:11.

  2. #2
    Member Nokie's Avatar
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    Re: Quality and Reliability??

    I have owned a pretty sizeable number of Ball watches of the years, and I have yet to have an issue with any of them.

    I don't neglect them and if anything needs attention, it gets it, but overall easily one of my favorite brands.

    Like anything else, there are exceptions to the rule, but I have monitored this forum for almost ten years and the number of positive threads here trumps any of the negative feedback, IMHO.

    Use the search engine here if you want other information.

    This entire site has a huge inventory of "everything" watch-related.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Quality and Reliability??

    Quote Originally Posted by Nokie View Post
    I have owned a pretty sizeable number of Ball watches of the years, and I have yet to have an issue with any of them.

    I don't neglect them and if anything needs attention, it gets it, but overall easily one of my favorite brands.

    Like anything else, there are exceptions to the rule, but I have monitored this forum for almost ten years and the number of positive threads here trumps any of the negative feedback, IMHO.

    Use the search engine here if you want other information.

    This entire site has a huge inventory of "everything" watch-related.
    Prior to posting I searched; both terms individually (quality and reliability) yielded the following results.

    Sorry - no matches. Please try some different terms.
    Perhaps you can make some suggestions...

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    Member PetrosD's Avatar
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    Re: Quality and Reliability??

    I own three Ball watches. One of them developed an issue within the first month (the crown pulled out completely when I went to set the time after it had sat for a week or so). The watch, which was ordered directly from Ball on pre-order, was sent back to Ball through my local AD, who handled it for me. I had to pay $50 for shipping and handling, but that seemed reasonable since the AD had nothing to do with the original purchase, and I'd rather have the AD handle it than ship it back myself. 12 weeks later I got it back and have had no problems since. The other two have been perfect from the start, with no issues.

  6. #5
    Member Dogbert_is_fat's Avatar
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    Re: Quality and Reliability??

    Only problem with Ball Watch that I ever had was that the courier man dropped it. Didn't work right out of the box so it went back to my local Ball Watch dealer and it got fixed under warranty. Was also regulated and is now +0.5spd accurate and never missed a beat.
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  7. #6
    Member timefleas's Avatar
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    Re: Quality and Reliability??

    Quote Originally Posted by hogwldfltr View Post
    I've seen a number of complaints across the internet about Ball Watches quality. These include one retailer who dropped them a number of years back because of incoming reliability issues and recent reports about the second hand falling off and repairs not fixing the problem and the customer returning the watch to the shop it was purchased from. I'm curious as to what the members here think. FWIW, I've had problems with Rolex Service Center retuning a watch which was correctly repaired and claiming it was my wife's fault; I know that there are more problems than at Ball alone.
    I've been an active member of this forum for more than a decade, and the things you have sited are not representative of the problems that have been discussed here, at all. The main issue here has been problems with crown guards coming off or loose on those watches so equipped, and loss of pushers on some of the chronos. In terms of patterns, those two issues are about it.

    Beyond that, as with any brand, there will always be individual issues and of course Ball, like most other brands, take way too much time if a watch needs to actually get serviced by them--an industry-wide issue, and nothing directly related to Ball itself.

    And, as the things you noted are basically one-off hearsay, I can counter with some depth of personal experience--I have owned more than 70 Ball watches over this last decade, and have encountered only two problems--one, a loose crown that was easily fixed, and the other was a speck of dust caught in the painted dial of a new Fireman--the AD replaced it immediately with a new one--and that is it--2 issues easily rectified out of 70 experiences....

    For contrast, I have owned just about a dozen IWC watches, and two of those had problems requiring major repairs which were quite costly. Ball stands tall in both quality and reliability, based on my direct experience, and indirect awareness of it and its competitors.

    If I were forced into a situation where I could own only one "nice" watch, of any brand, it would be an original Ball Fireman first (as shown below), and a Rolex Explorer second--to me they are both equal in terms of build quality, attractiveness and accuracy, but Ball excels for both the tritium tubes and its exclusivity.
    Attached Images Attached Images

    Last edited by timefleas; December 31st, 2019 at 06:54.
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  8. #7
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    Re: Quality and Reliability??

    I've now owned two Ball watches - one had significant issues and was returned. The second has been problem free thus far.

    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f239/w...l#post50275429
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    Defective Ball Engineer Master II Marvelight, white dial, filled with moisture
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  9. #8
    Member Jim Smyth's Avatar
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    Re: Quality and Reliability??

    I now own 2 Ball Marvelights and am still in the honeymoon phase with this watch. Both are beautiful and very well constructed. I have also read about quality Control issues but I believe that exists in all watch companies. However I did a lot of reading before buying a Ball and know Ball used to have a US distributor in Florida. Jeff Hess was the man but dropped being a distributor this spring over what he claimed was Quality Control issues. It may have been more than that but here it is in his own words.

    https://www.rolexforums.com/showthre...=450732&page=2

    So that has to mean something. I hope I dont have to find out about warranty issues or need to send mine in any time soon because it looks like its gone for 4-5 months. But I have many watches if that happens and so far so good for me.

  10. #9
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    Re: Quality and Reliability??

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Smyth View Post
    I now own 2 Ball Marvelights and am still in the honeymoon phase with this watch. Both are beautiful and very well constructed. I have also read about quality Control issues but I believe that exists in all watch companies. However I did a lot of reading before buying a Ball and know Ball used to have a US distributor in Florida. Jeff Hess was the man but dropped being a distributor this spring over what he claimed was Quality Control issues. It may have been more than that but here it is in his own words.

    https://www.rolexforums.com/showthre...=450732&page=2

    So that has to mean something. I hope I dont have to find out about warranty issues or need to send mine in any time soon because it looks like its gone for 4-5 months. But I have many watches if that happens and so far so good for me.
    Thanks for posting that, Jim. I'm very familiar with the Jeff's posting. I'm a long time member of TRF and tend to look at watches through my Rolex tinted glasses. The thread, which I've not responded to because of its age, really isn't only about quality and reliability but more about servicing. I had a similar experience with having my wife's Tudor serviced by Rolex Service Center to the point that they wouldn't accept responsibility for their screw-up and insisted on blaming us. The did do the repair in the end however. In the mentioned thread, the Ball owner didn't really give Ball a second opportunity to make things right but returned the watch to the shop for a refund. I too am not certain about all the factors affecting Jeff's decision. From what I understand some Ball distributors are getting out due to Ball's direct marketing and sales. Seems this would likely have contributed to his decision making but without direct communications we'll never know. Also, FWIW, the Hess's site still lists them as Ball Watch distributors.
    Last edited by hogwldfltr; December 31st, 2019 at 15:34.

  11. #10
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    Re: Quality and Reliability??

    I currently own 9 watches and my Ball Fireman NECC is the only one I have had issues with. Upon purchase, the bezel was loose and it had to be returned. After that, the back face was so loose that it was almost completely unscrewed. Now it’s running about a minute fast a day. It’s a beautiful watch and 2 issues are minor ones so I’m not scared away yet. The tritium is such a wonderful feature that I am waiting for the right manual wind Ball to be released.

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