When you’re looking at watches regularly (as we do here), sometimes they can tend to be a blur, or perhaps a “just ok” watch with a particular feature or design touch that you particularly like. Sometimes, however, a watch comes along that seems it’s aimed squarely at your preferences (and wallet). One such watch is the recently-announced Ball Engineer III Outlier.
As I’ve said in prior articles about Ball, I just plain like how many tritium tubes that they use, and the color combinations. Yes, glow is sweet, and the low-light visibility is definitely very useful. For me, it also evokes the lightshow that was the sheer number of lit up controls on the dashboard and radio of my dad’s 1985 Pontiac STE (which ended up passed down to me for my first car; I ended up owning a second one after that). So, their watches scratch that nostalgic itch in a weird way.
The Engineer lineup has a wide range of options, from big, chunky pieces with segmented indices, to something a bit more refined, like this Ball Engineer III Outlier. This one is a bit more compact (40mm and under 14mm thick), and has about my favorite complication of all time – a GMT. And yes, this is a traveler’s GMT, meaning the hour hand is the one set independently, not the GMT hand. Add in the fact that the date window has a cyclops and comes – standard – on the steel bracelet, and well, you’ve got something aimed squarely at me.
While I’ve tended to like the looks of their wider tritium tubes, I think the narrow tubes on the Ball Engineer III Outlier work quite nicely. The main hour markers are elongated and done in green, while the double-marker at 12 o’clock (and the odd GMT hours) are done in yellow. I like the little bit of contrast there, and the fact that the GMT hour hand has the same yellow, while the main hands are green, matching what the dial is doing. Oh, we also can’t dismiss the tritium that’s under that bezel insert. It works well, and in prior hands-on reviews we’ve done, it’s clever just how well it works.
Once you consider all of the resistances (water resistant, magnetism resistant, shock resistant) and the fact that the movement carries a COSC certification, well, there’s really not a lot to argue against for this watch. In fact, this is very much a watch that could work for just about every situation you might want, if you were of a mind to try to be a “one watch” person. If you pre-order before September 28, 2022, the $3,449 price drops to $2,949, with delivery anticipated in the spring of 2023. You can check it out over at ballwatch.ch
Details and Specs from Ball
- Pre-order price: USD 2949
- Full price: USD 3449
- Automatic BALL Manufacture caliber RRM7337-C
- Chronometer certified COSC
- Microgas tubes: 29 micro gas tubes for night reading capability
- Quick set local 12-hour hand
- Luminous three time zone indication
- Hours, minutes, sweep second and magnified date
- 5,000Gs shock resistance
- Ø 40mm, 13.8mm tall
- 904L stainless steel case
- Mu-metal shield
- Unidirectional rotating 904L steel bezel
- Anti-magnetic: to 1,000 Gauss
- WR: to 200m / 660ft
- Amortiser® patented anti-shock system
- Anti-reflective sapphire crystal
- Screwed-in crown
- Black dial, 904L stainless steel bracelet
- Limited edition to 1000pcs
- Additional NATO, rubber and calf straps available