While I may not be super deep in the weeds of all the options there have been, the Ball Fireman lineup has quickly become one of my favorites (you can see my prior forays into the collection here). Just recently, Ball announced a new addition to the line, and I have to say, I am a bit smitten. I talk, of course, of the new Ball Fireman Night Train III.
When it comes to watches from Ball, they are, of course, known for their use of tritium tubes. While most of the attention seems to be lavished on the Engineer line, I tend to find myself drawn to some of their more classic looks – some truly dressy, some veering more towards the sportier side of the spectrum. Here, of course, we’ve got a steel sports watch, albeit one that could easily work with a suit.
First up, let’s talk the case of the Ball Fireman Night Train III. It’s available in three sizes (31, 40, or 43mm) this time around, and keeps with what I consider to be a fairly classic profile for them. It’s a design that may not stand out in your memory, but it gets the job done, and keeps things focused on the dial. Speaking of the dial – while the smaller diameter watch has a dressier feel, the larger ones have a much different look.
On the larger-cased versions of the Ball Fireman Night Train III, you get some very fun niceties. First up is the date window cyclops, which I am – bar none – a fan of. Second, you get a whole mess of tritium tubes – larger, flat ones for the hour markers, narrower ones (cannot tell if they’re flat or rounded) at the minute markers, and then smaller markers on the handset (more on that in a second). Also of note with all this tritium – when you pre-order, you’re able to configure your tube color options (along with the dial color, which is blue, black, or green). I’m not certain if this is from a predefined list of combos, or if the sky is the limit. Either way, it’s still nice to get things to your tastes.
The handset of the Ball Fireman Night Train III is one I’ve not seen from the brand before. I’m not quite sure what to call these squared-off beasties, but I do like just how different – almost jarring – they are in the design. It’s a shame, though, that we didn’t get wider flat tubes mounted on the handset. These look to be a good platform for it, and this is something I’ve long wished the brand would do. Simply put, when the lights go down, the hands just look puny against the dials most of the time. Sure, it’s still readable, but having the scale there on the handset tubes would just be a nice way to go.
All in all, I do like what I’m seeing with the Ball Fireman Night Train III. On pre-order, you can get it on a strap for $940, or on the bracelet for $970 (both discounts of about around $500, with shipping anticipated for either December 2018 or January 2019. If you’re interested, you’ll want to move, as the pre-order discount ends on September 19, 2018. companyurl
- Fireman Night Train III stainless steel bracelet version: CHF 960* / USD $970* (retail: CHF 1,480* / USD $1,490*)
- Fireman Night Train III leather or rubber strap version: CHF 930* / USD $940* (retail: CHF 1,430* / USD $1,440*)
- 31mm: Automatic caliber BALL RR1104
- 40 or 43mm: Automatic caliber BALL RR1103 (ETA 2824)
- 31mm: 15 micro gas tubes on hour, minute and second hands and dial for night reading capability (Minute track illuminated by Super LumiNova)
- 40 or 43mm: 61 micro gas tubes on hour, minute and second hands and dial for night reading capability
- Anti-magnetic to 4,800A/m
- Water resistant to 100m/330ft
- Shock resistant to 5,000Gs
- 31mm: Hours, minutes, sweep seconds and date
- 40 or 43mm: Hours, minutes, sweep seconds and magnified date
- Stainless steel
- Ø31mm, height 10mm
- Ø40mm, height 11.3mm
- Ø43mm, height 11.2mm
- Anti-reflective sapphire crystal
- Screwed-in crown
- 40 or 43mm: Amortiser® patented anti-shock system
- BAND: bracelet, leather, or rubber strap
- DIAL: Black or blue or green
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