Ball is a brand that first caught my eye a few years back for its use of tritium tubes in a variety of ways across their catalog. They are not just a one trick pony, though. In the last year or so, they have introduced quite a bit of technical innovations to their watches and movements. One of the latest ones that will be coming down the pike is the Ball Engineer II Magneto S Watch.
As you might guess (even if you are not a comics aficionado like me) that the Magneto portion of the watch name has something to do with magnetism. Anti-magnetism seems to be a fairly hot area that brands have been concentrating on over the past few years. While not all of them carry quite the marketing flash as the well-known Rolex Milgauss, it still is a good (if unseen) development to keep an eye out for in your watches, as it can only serve to help keeping things running smoothly.
While most brands might opt for a soft metal cage to protect the movement from magnetism (or, in the case of Omega, completely remove ferrous metal from the movement), Ball instead has opted for a new metallic compound that they are calling mumetal. While the name of that is a bit unfortunate, how it is deployed is pretty cool. They use a set of camera-style iris blades that open (or close) in that window. Obviously, when they are closed, the movement is fully protected. When this A-PROOF system is deployed, the watch is able to resist magnetism up to 80,000 A/m.
Interestingly, that shutter is able to be deployed via the bezel, so you do not have to remove the watch when it needs some additional protection. When you combine this with their patented SpringLOCK system that protects the movement from bumps and bangs, you have a movement that is going to be pretty well protected. I also like the fact that it looks like all of this additional protection is able to be packed into a 42mm watch, so you will not have to have a hockey puck on your wrist to get the sense of security.
I first caught wind of the watch when ABTW wrote about it in their BaselWorld 2014 coverage. I have reached out to the brand, and have confirmed that it is still in development. The Ball Engineer II Magneto S surely be one to keep an eye on, especially if you are a fan of what the brand has been finding to package their tritium tubes into as of late. ballwatch.com
- Brand & Model: Ball Engineer II Magneto S
- Price: Unknown at this time
- Who we think it might be for: This is for the person who not only wants magnetism resistance, but also wants a trick feature to enable it
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: Hard to say with the pricing unknown. While the iris feature is cool, I’m not quite sold on the coin-edge bezel.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Smooth out the bezel?
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: The camera shutter-style iris on the caseback