BALL Watch unveils Engineer II Pioneer, a new chronometer to commemorate Webb C. Ball establishing the first chronometry standards in America.
The new Engineer II Pioneer perpetuates BALL Watch Company’s history, which is closely linked to the development of chronometry standards of the watchmaking industry. A subtle combination of tradition and sobriety, this new model adds to BALL’s “sport-elegant” range of watches.
Webster Clay Ball was particularly famous for establishing the first chronometry standards used by American railroad companies. Before Ball’s era, the unreliability of the watches used on the railroad networks in fact made travelling by train a haphazard business, which led to the introduction of a system of checks and inspections under the guidance of Webb C. Ball.
The watchmaker from Cleveland, Ohio, laid down strict standards of quality, accuracy and design for all the watches used on the railroads and became the precursor of a whole new generation of timepieces.
The system developed by Webb C. Ball at the end of the 19thcentury upheld such high standards of accuracy and reliability that it inspired the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (Contrôle officiel suisse des chronometers in French or COSC) to issue its own certification standards in 1973.
Nowadays, the official Swiss designation “chronometer” refers to a watch of high accuracy whose movement has been tested by the COSC for several days, in different positions and at different temperatures. Each chronometer is unique and is identified by a number engraved on its movement and a certificate with the same number issued by the COSC.
The Swiss-made automatic mechanical movement of the Engineer II Pioneer is therefore, of course, a certified chronometer. This prestigious standard, the guarantee of Swiss accuracy and quality, guarantees the precision of all the basic functions of this timepiece: hours, minutes, sweep seconds and date.
The diameter of the polished stainless steel case is at 40mm and represents BALL’s careful consideration to a watch design that is both classic and sporty at the same time. As a trademark logo on many of the brand’s classic models, the RR (“RailRoad”) monogram stands out delicately at the end of the seconds hand and subtly recalls BALL’s railroad heritage.
The anti-reflective sapphire crystal incorporates a Cyclops magnifying lens positioned over the date window at 3 o’clock, making it very easy to read.
Easy legibility of a timepiece both by day and by night is one of BALL Watch’s mottos. In order for mechanical watches to be read even in total darkness, BALL Watch Company uses on all its models state-of-the-art Swiss technology that consists in encapsulating H3 luminescent gas in glass micro tubes. These micro gas lights are then added to the dial and hands of the watch.
The powerful light emitted naturally and continuously by the H3 gas means that the time can be read even in pitch darkness. Furthermore, its luminosity is up to a hundred times more effective than other light sources commonly used in watchmaking.
The formation of Arabic numerals using H3 micro gas lights to indicate the hours is a design feature patented by BALL Watch that helps make the dial of the Engineer II Pioneer instantly readable. Also used on the other markers on the dial and on the hands, these micro gas lights do not require any external source of light or energy to ensure their luminescent properties.
In the dark, the numerals on the dial give off a strong yellow light that contrasts with the magnificent ice blue coloring of the other markers. The hands are also equipped with micro gas lights that are distinguished by a green glow, BALL’s corporate color.
Likewise, the timepiece’s understated and elegant dial is kept free of any unnecessary detail that could reduce its readability. It is available in two classic colours: black enamel and silver.
The BALL logo, symbolizing precision in accordance with official railroad standards since 1891, has been added to the discreet graduations around the outside edge of the dial, along with the prestigious “Swiss Made” manufacturing origin’s designation and the term “Chronometer”.
Thanks to the screw in crown, the solid stainless steel case offers an outstanding water resistance up to 100 meters and protects the movement from external disturbances.
The solid construction of this watch means it can withstand impacts of up to 5,000Gs and is protected against magnetic fields to an intensity of 4,800A/m.
The Engineer II Pioneer comes with a stainless steel bracelet with folding buckle. The contrast between the brushed finish of the external links with the polished internal links adds a touch of chic to the bracelet’s sporty look.
A more original version is also available featuring a nubuck leather strap with standard buckle.
Model: BALL Watch Engineer II Pioneer Automatic
NM2026C-S4CAJ-BK: Black dial, steel bracelet
NM2026C-S4CAJ-SL: Silver dial, steel bracelet
NM2026C-L4CAJ-BK: Black dial, nubuck leather strap
NM2026C-L4CAJ-SL: Silver dial, nubuck leather strap
Automatic caliber BALL RR1103-C, Chronometer certified COSC
28 micro gas tubes on hour, minute, second hands and dial for night reading capability
Shock resistant to 5,000Gs
Anti-magnetic to 4,800A/m
Hours, minutes, sweep seconds and magnified date
Stainless steel, Ø 40mm, height 12.15mm
Anti-reflective sapphire crystal
Water resistant to 100m/330ft
Black enamel or silver
Stainless steel bracelet with folding buckle or nubuck leather strap with standard buckle