I know, I know – here I am, back again talking about another Ball Watch. While it’s not quite as colorful as last week’s Cares Edition (see here), nor is it quite the compact Marvelight design I adore, I’ve no doubt that the Ball Engineer Hydrocabon Racer Chronograph will find some fans out there.

Quite obviously, this watch is a chronograph (I mean, it’s right in the name). And even from the photos, it’s hard to not notice the panda-style configuration here (so named for the bi-compax layout with the contrasting subdials). To be fair, here, the Ball Engineer Hydrocabon Racer Chronograph comes in panda, reverse panda, and, hmm. Blueberry reverse panda? Regardless, it’s an iconic, classic layout and palette.

Of course, I’d also say that the crown guard / protector system on the Ball Engineer Hydrocabon Racer Chronograph is pretty iconic at this point (or perhaps it’s just due to the number of Ball watches I’ve reviewed over the past few years). It’s robust, it keeps that crown in place, but it’s not so unwieldy that it’s a pain to move out of the way (in fact, for me, it becomes almost like a fidget toy).

With Ball, you know you’re getting into tritium tubes, as they’re the hallmark for the brand (along with robust protection for the movement; check out the specs below). These are the narrower tubes, but they’ll still get the job done. Just don’t try using the chronograph functions in the dark, as those aren’t lit up at all.

In many ways, the Ball Engineer Hydrocabon Racer Chronograph feels like a fairly standard bi-compax, Swiss-powered, chronograph. And there’s nothing wrong with that, as the design has obviously sold well over the years in many brands. Here, you of course have the Ball crown protection system, and their bracelet design which I rather like. Then, they add in one more design twist that you wouldn’t necessarily expect.

You see, the Ball Engineer Hydrocabon Racer Chronograph has a cyclops on it’s date window. Rather than cutting into the chronograph register, however, they’ve placed it up at the 12 o’clock position. This is something you do not really see, and is certain to draw the attention of your watch pals, as it’s a super-unique feature.

As with other Ball offerings, the Ball Engineer Hydrocabon Racer Chronograph is definitely in luxury tool watch territory, albeit with a watch that will certainly last (with regular maintenance) well past the half-life of those tritium tubes. If you want to have this one zooming onto your wrist, bring along $3,599 for the pleasure. For me, it’s not quite my bag (it IS a chrono, after all) but no denying the appeal of that uniquely-placed cyclops. ballwatch.com

Tech Specs from Ball

  • Movement
    • Automatic caliber BALL RR1401-C
    • Chronometer certified COSC?
  • Functions
    • 15 micro gas tubes on hour and minute hands and dial for night reading capability
    • Chronograph with accumulated measurement up to 45 minutes
    • Tachymeter
    • Hours, minutes, subsidiary seconds and date
  • Shock Resistance: 7,500Gs
  • Water Resistance: 100m/330ft
  • Anti-magnetism: Anti-magnetic to 4,800A/m
  • Case:
    • Stainless steel with ceramic bezel
    • 42mm, height 15.2mm
    • Anti-reflective sapphire crystal
    • Patented crown protection system
  • Band
    • Tapered stainless steel bracelet with patented folding buckle and extension system
  • Dial
    • Black, blue or silver
    • Date at 12:00
    • BALL logo at 12:00
  • PRICE: USD $3599.00

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