The most adverse conditions can give rise to the greatest achievements. The history of BALL watches is closely tied to that of the American railroad pioneers. It started precisely on 18 April 1891 with the head-on collision of two trains in Ohio, United States. This catastrophe has left a lasting impression, all the more so since it was due to the inaccuracy of the watch belonging to one of the trains’ engineers. Consequently, the two largest railway companies in the United States decided to take steps to prevent such a technical failure from ever happening again: they contacted the Cleveland watchmaker Webster Clay Ball, already well-known for making chronometers.
Appointed ‘Chief Time Inspector’ to the federal railroads, Webster C. Ball performed timing tests on all railway employees’ watches. At the same time, he implemented a time standardization system based on extremely strict criteria of reliability and precision. From that moment on, the fame of watches bearing the ‘BALL’s Standard’ logo spread well beyond the American continent. Webb C. Ball’s recommendations were of such validity that they actually formed the basis of the COSC certification system established by the Swiss Society of Chronometry in 1973 and which is still applied today.
For more than a century, BALL watches have been recognised as meeting the highest standards of precision, reliability and the strength to withstand the most adverse conditions, as summed up in the slogan: Since 1891, accuracy under adverse conditions.Towards the end of the 1990s, BALL Watch changed owners, but remained loyal to its philosophy. The brand used its technical prowess to reach out to new and unknown horizons of personal challenge and it is fast becoming the chosen watch of sportspeople, explorers and adventurers, who have been made its ambassadors. Determination and the love of a challenge, precision, strength, performance and humility are all human traits that defined the early pioneers of rail transport and which today still reflect the values of BALL Watch.
A spirit of adventure, a love of a challenge, endurance and no-nonsense aesthetics: these are the common denominators of BALL Watch timepieces. Robust watches that express an authentic strength of character and Capable of exceptional performance, they are equipped with unparalleled technical capabilities that enable them to confront the most adverse conditions with complete peace of mind for the wearer. Their classic design and their natural elegance personify the most remarkable technical exploits in a completely understated manner.
One of the exclusive qualities of BALL watches is the perfect dial visibility even in the complete absence of any light thanks to the use of Micro Gas Lights (3H). Other specific features of the BALL brand include their extraordinary strength designed specifically to meet the intended use of each of the various models, and their water-resistance to 300 meters for the Engineer Hydrocarbon series (and even up to 1,000 meters for the Engineer Hydrocarbon Alligator), dedicated to the great explorers.
While the American origins of BALL Watch define a somewhat singular evolution for this watchmaking brand, the march of its success has steadily advanced to conquer other continents. First, Asia with its rapidly growing market, and since 2006, across Europe: Spain, the United Kingdom and Switzerland. BALL Watch definitively took up residence in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, in 2003. This return to the universal origins of watchmaking marked the commitment to bring together all the brand’s strengths under the one roof. Today, more than ever, BALL Watch is continuing its journey and asserting its role as a key protagonist in the evolution of watchmaking history.
Easy legibility is one of BALL Watch’s mottos and has been from the very outset, when its founder, Webb C. Ball, established very exacting legibility standards as early as 1891. For more than ten years now, the brand’s dials and hands have been fitted with gas tubes which enable the time to be read under all circumstances, even in the most extreme conditions.
BALL Watch uses pioneering Swiss technology,consisting in encapsulating tritium gas in glass microtubes. Light is emitted when the tritium molecules strike the capsules’ coloured inner surface. This phenomenon can last more than 20 years, without requiring recharge from any outside light source. Moreover, the light emitted is a hundred times brighter than other light sources commonly used in watch-making. Also, the secure micro-tube system means that all the performance benefits of tritium can be exploited without concern about radioactivity.
The BALL Watch Company’s designers take great care to ensure that their watches are aesthetically pleasing both by day and by night. The colour variations available for internal coating mean that the microtubes can host an infinite palette of imaginative colours. They can be used to create numbers or shapes. All the BALL models have these photogenic tubes, which – with their legible, high-tech, original and sophisticated qualities – make them exclusively BALL.
Official website: www.ballwatch.com