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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Disclaimer: The following is my first attempt at writing a watch review of any sort, so I hope it is both accurate as well as informative.

First, some background on the watch and the purchase. The Ball Engineer Master II Classic is the fourth watch in my "collection," which is listed in my signature. It is my first high end watch and it fit all my requirements for a dressier watch: 40mm case diameter (I have smallish wrists), reliable and proven movement (ETA 2824-2), beautiful (subjective, I know), and night time legibility (radioactive tritium vials for the win!).

Thanks Brad for quick insured, traceable shipping and a smooth transaction. The green, understated box that the watch game in sat on my desk for a few moments before I opened it. I wanted the experience to be something I remembered - after all, its not every day, or so my wallet prays, that one is able to acquire such an exquisite timepiece. After the suspense had caused me to have a minor stroke, I went ahead and opened the box.



The watch came on a little white pillow, which is tactilely better, in my opinion, than a clear plastic ring. The stainless steel case was very polished, but not to the point of gaudiness, and the dial was a deep black with the texture of smooth tar. The blue second hand matches the blue stitching on the calf leather strap and is nearly identical to the blue used on Ferrari's 612 Scaglietti.





After allowing my eyes to absorb all of the details under a bright halogen, I adjusted the strap and put the watch on.

Details make this watch what it is. The sapphire crystal has anti-reflective coating on the underside, for optimal legibility without getting scratched. The caseback is an interesting picture of a train, undoubtedly a homage to the company's origins. The markings on the dial are as crisp as a frosty winter morning and rival "higher" end offerings from other watch makers. The date wheel is more recessed than I had anticipated and the date window has slightly rounded edges, as if a squarish bullet was shot through the dial to create it. The effect is rather subtle and reminds you of the layers of mechanical intricacies underneath the quiet face.









The leather strap is comfortable and stylish. However, the blue stitching isn't something I am very fond of so I'll probably be replacing it with another black leather strap at some point in time. In addition, the stock strap is hard for me to put on. My hand must contort into an uncomfortable shape for the watch to slide around it and I would have preferred some sort of "belt" strap with infinite adjustments instead. The stock strap might work if you have the flexibility of one of those French performers in Cirque du Soleil, but for me putting on the watch is a bit difficult.



I've only had the watch for a day now so I will not go into the time keeping features of this watch. The movement is well documented; hackable, crown winding, reliable, etc. The lume isn't what I expected but I was not disappointed. I was expecting a nuclear glow that would light up a small portion of my room but instead, I got a glow fainter than the lume from my Seiko and Orient when fully charged. That was perfectly all right with me, as the lume from those watches wears out over the course of a few hours while the tritium gas tubes take years to wear out. I've read that Ball will replace worn out tritium tubes but it really is hard to say where the company will be in 15 years. One hopes that this company will still be around making epic timepieces such as the ones it is making currently.
 

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Hi Eric,

can you explain what you mean by stock strap? I thought your leather strap looked like it came with a deployment clasp? Doesn't it fit well?

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Typo there, thanks Chong. The stock strap is a deployment strap and I would have preferred a belt strap with easily adjustable holes. Perhaps I'm using the wrong words here, but I'm thinking of replacing the strap with this:
 

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thanx for taking the time to post your pics and review. I enjoyed reading it.
 

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I dont know if i aready said this but,Congrats and welcome to the "Ball" club;-) Great review|> Good Luck and Enjoy
 

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Really good review. Thanks as these reviews tend to come in handy for future watch purchases that may be from the very near to distant future.
Chris
 

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Typo there, thanks Chong. The stock strap is a deployment strap and I would have preferred a belt strap with easily adjustable holes. Perhaps I'm using the wrong words here, but I'm thinking of replacing the strap with this:
OT: what are those straps? where to get them?
 

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I'm sorry to hear you don't like the strap. Personally, I think the blue contrast stitching looks superb with the blue second hand. It gives the watch's otherwise conservative styling a bit of an edge. I dig it!

-FLX
 

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Discussion Starter #9
To update the "issue" with the strap...it wasn't really an issue at all, but was really my ignorance of operation of the stock clasp. Details of the findings are documented in this thread:
https://www.watchuseek.com/showthread.php?t=117182

The blue stitching has grown on me and I think I will keep it as is :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
For the accuracy freaks out there :)

Over the past 14 days, my watch has lost 105 seconds, which puts it at -7.5 seconds a day. I've worn the watch every day for not less than 10 continual hours.
 

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my hydrocarbon ti chrono is running +11 sec after 6 days :-!

but with a ETA movement, any decent watchmaker can regulate it with no problem
 
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