To please all you jet-setting divers out there, Ball has announced the newest addition to the Engineer line: the Ball Engineer Master II Diver Worldtime, limited to 1,000 pieces. Ball is no stranger to creating these adventure driven combinations of complications and style, and for this venture they’ve sought to create a true world-time function inside a dive watch body.
The Diver Worldtime has a steel case, and measures in at a 45mm in diameter, with a case height of 15.4mm. These dimensions suggest that it could wear on the larger side, however on paper it seems to be in line with the sizing of other world-time watches from the likes of IWC or Breitling. Ticking along inside the watch is the Ball caliber RR1501, an automatic movement based on the ETA 2836-2. This movement provides the wearer with the world time, but also a day/date complication, with the date displaying at 3 o’clock, and the day displaying at 6 o’clock. I found this placement strange at first, but the more I looked at the dial, the more I understood the decision. Splitting the day and date windows apart from each other gets rid of the large block at the 3 o’clock position usually found with this complication, and helps to balance out the dial while not subtracting the (admittedly very useful) function. The movement isn’t visible through the solid caseback, but instead you can view the Ball logo and your limited edition number. The watch comes on either a fully brushed steel bracelet, or on a Ball branded rubber strap.
The dial is available in black, or in my preference, blue. The black dial is minimally accented with a red minute track along the innermost part of the dial, while the blue is kept clean with just white markers and text contrasting against the dial. Ball has avoided putting any sort of globe design on the dial, a design choice that I see many other brands implement on world-time designs, and opted to keep the world-time clean and simple, with contrasting blue/black and white to act as a day/night indicator. As is one of Ball’s trademarks by this point, the watch glows with the aid of tritium tubes at 6, 9, and 12, with tritium tubes also placed along the world-time bezel, and on all 3 hands, with contrasting green and yellow tubes.
Living up to its “Diver” title, the world-time bezel also candy-stripes as a diver countdown bezel, squeezing in numerals every 10 minutes with a triangle to mark 12. The watch is also water-resistant to 300m. While the inclusion of the diving countdown bezel doesn’t disrupt the design greatly in my eyes, I am confused with its inclusion. The watch could very well exist without it, and I doubt many would miss it. Internal bezels are already not great for those who actually plan to dive with the watch, and I wonder how much overlap there is between the world-time enthusiast and the diving community.
I have a general affinity for the world-time function. Something about it inspires thoughts of grandiose adventures in my mind, and I always find myself gravitated to the complication. I find that Ball has overall done a good job with this design, but it feels like a watch with a slight identity crisis through its combination of the world-time and diving functions. That being said, those who are longtime fans of Ball will find that this watch fits well within the design aesthetic that they’ve established over the years of creating watches geared for all sorts of adventure. The watch is available for purchase directly from Ball at a pre-order price of $1,099 for the rubber strap, or $1,199 for the bracelet until April 11th. After the pre-order, the price will be $2,099 and $2,199 respectively. ballwatch.com