As I’ve said before, I’ve long enjoyed what Ball has been producing. They’re not the only brand producing watches with tritium on the dial, but they’re doing the most interesting things. As of late, it’s their rainbow dials that just capture my attention. One of the latest to get that treatment is the Ball Engineer Master II Diver Chronometer.
This version of the Ball Engineer Master II Diver Chronometer hearkens back to well before I was writing about watches, back in the mists of time. Or, well, 2006, when they first introduced their dual-crown dive watch. This latest version, while still maintaining it’s dive watch cred with a 300m WR rating, has additional improvements made to it.
The most notable being the fact that the movement inside the Ball Engineer Master II Diver Chronometer has achieved chronometer certification. Sure, us desk divers can do with something less than COSC, but we can all appreciate the accuracy and reliability that certification brings. To ensure it keeps that accuracy, it’s also got the standard trio of protections for a Ball – 5000G shock resistance, 1000 Gauss magnetic resistance, and the aforementioned water resistance. All good things to keep the watch movement safe and running properly.
On the dial side, the Ball Engineer Master II Diver Chronometer comes in either blue or black (make mine blue, please). You’ve got a fairly standard monochrome presentation, with the large flat-tube indices contrasting to the darker dial. It’s a shame the broader tubes didn’t hit the handset, but that is what it is. Around the edge of the dial you’ve got the internal timing bezel (which is what that upper crown is for). Given my prior experience with recent Ball releases, I’m anticipating that the bezel is also lit by tritium (and not luminous paint) which is rather a neat trick.
As I mentioned at the outset, the fact that the Ball Engineer Master II Diver Chronometer has the rainbow tube array (you can opt for the more sedate yellow and green combo as well) grabbed my attention right away. Then the dual-crown combo reminds me of my first mechanical, so there’s another mark in the win column. Thirdly, it’s got a cyclops on the date window, which is just something my aging eyes are appreciating more and more (and more). Lastly, but by no means the least – given all the protections they’ve given the movement of the watch, they managed to keep it at just 13.5mm thick (you’d expect more like 15-16mm), which should look and feel just right against the 42mm diameter.
As with most of their releases, the Ball Engineer Master II Diver Chronometer is available on a rubber strap ($2,499) or bracelet ($2,599). As always, given that it’s only a $100 premium, the bracelet is the clear choice here, with aftermarket rubber straps easy to come by. Or, frankly, at $2,499, why not just throw in the second rubber strap for free, Ball? Either which way you go, though, this will be a capable watch that will – like any Ball – provide a great light show at night, or under watch. Check it out and pre-order your own (shipping anticipated for this fall) over at ballwatch.ch
Tech Specs from Ball
- Automatic caliber BALL RR1101-C
- Chronometer certified COSC
- Functions: 36 micro gas tubes on hour, minute and second hands, dial and inner bezel for night reading capability
- Shock resistant to 5,000Gs
- Anti-magnetic to 1,000 Gauss (80,000A/m)
- Water resistant to 300m/1,000ft
- Hours, minutes, sweep seconds and magnified date
- Stainless steel
- Ø 42mm, height 13.5mm
- Bi-directional rotating sapphire inner bezel with micro gas tubes for night reading capability
- Mu-metal shield
- Amortiser® patented anti-shock system
- Anti-reflective sapphire crystal
- Screwed-in crown
- Band: Stainless steel bracelet with folding buckle or rubber strap with pin buckle
- Dial: Black or blue
- Limited Edition: 1000 pcs
- US$2499.00 on a rubber strap
- US$2599.00 on stainless steel bracelet