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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am posting this here and not on the official Ball forum because I think this brand deserves more recognition form the general population...
Hi, my name is Diego and I am a Ballaholic...
I purchased my first Ball via WUS about 5 months ago. I was amazed by the quality. It was the Engineer Master Diver II with steel bracelet. Soon after I found a Deepquest for sale on WUS and immediately bought it. I have just came back from San Francisco and I have come back with not one but two Ball Watches!!! a Ceramic XV and a SkinDiver....

Now, if you know me, having bought 4 watches of the SAME BRAND in such a short time is unprecedented for me. I have Panerai, Tags, Hublot, Breitling, Ebel, Edox, JLC, IWC, Omega and some boutique watches in my collection and let me tell you... Ball as a brand belongs way up there in terms of quality and design.
I've heard rumors that they are making an in-house movement so the time of Ball watches at decent price tags will soon be gone...
This is not a review but a story of my four Ball watches and what I, as an un-technical watch collector, think about them...
For reference, my wrist is 17cms a little bit flat on top...

First lets start with the EMD II:
I picked this one LNIB here on the forums. My first impression was that it was a tad smallish but it's size grew on me (weird)... The thing is that the quality is astonishing. There are 0 gaps and manufacturing tolerances are extreme. You can tell this by the way the internal bezel works...I've handled many times the AP diver my dad used to have and this bezel feels much more precise. The brushing pattern is impeccable... Here are some pictures...as a watch the EMD II looks a little bit basic, perfect for an every day piece...




Now lets go to the Deepquest:
Having experienced first hand the quality of Ball, I decided to go for something more high end. I got lucky and found one here on the forums at a price I though was fair. I bought it immediately. Now this is where the true addiction started. This piece is perplexing! It looks high end, it feels high and and the bracelet is poetry...oh! The bracelet! This is one of those watches you just feel really cool wearing! One thing that is awesome is the feeling of the crown... I am always a bit paranoid about stripping the crown but this one feels unbreakable...I've heard some have had issues with the bezel being loose but, at least on my piece, this was not an issue...





One detail you don't see on the reviews and pics online is that the midlinks appear brushed on some angles and polished on others... VERY HARD TO PHOTOGRAPH... But believe me it's there...


3rd was the Ceramic XV
Owning the Deepquest is an experience altogether but I was left with wanting a hydrocarbon with a little bit of a fancy flare... I saw the XV and knew this one was the one... I travelled to SF last week and bought one right away...the design aesthetics of this watch is out of this world! It feels and looks amazing. I would say it has the look and feeling of a rubber strapped ceramic Rolex... (With the ceramic bezel, and fat lugs..). I loooooooooooove this piece. Now on this piece, I noticed a QC issue that luckily doesn't bother me at all but it is there... The circumference of the lug screw holes is not perfect and is a little bit unfinished... I've seen this on boutique watches but I didn't expect this on a 4000 usd watch. Maybe it's just mine... In any case it's microscopic...
The way this watch catches the light with its ceramic bezel makes you forget any issues with the watch...also the case wraps around your wrist making it extremely comfortable...





Imperfection on the case...


And finally the Skindiver
Right next to the XV was this watch. Right then I didn't but it but it catched my eye... Then on the last day before returning home I went to a different store and they where having a 20% sale on all Ball watches for Black Friday... I just couldn't resist.
At first I was a little doubtful about the size, it's only 40.5 and I usually wear watches between 42 and 45...but once on your wrist everything goes away...the bezel actually extends from the body so it's feels more like a 42... It even feels larger than my EMD II by a mile. This watch is playing a whole different game that the previous ones... It looks high end vintage... The insert is also ceramic but is is matte and the way it catches the light in contrast with the rest of the case is very well thought out. I only wished the rubber strap had real breathing holes rather than faux ones but this is nitpicking...








There you go... 4 Ball watches, I am in love... For the money I feel I have gotten more watch than what is offered and that is always a good feeling.
I also think that Ball is hitting a very good design spot, you just have to love the RR heritage and the high end look that they are achieving...I strongly believe this brand will do great things very soon and will start being recognized as one on the grail brands...
I hope you enjoy the pictures and this commentary-review as much as I enjoyed transmitting my thoughts to you guys...

Cheers...
 

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Congrats and great going there! I myself bought an Engineer Hydrocarbon recently and totally agree with you. The watches are extremely well built. Enjoy!
 

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You have a great collection! Looks like you have been busy!
 

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Very nice! Big fan of the Deepquest especially (one of my favorite watches).
 

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Awesome collection. I'm a huge Ball fan... I'll never buy a watch I can't see in the dark again. The radioluminescent tritium tubes are just awesome!
 

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I'm a huge Ball fan... I'll never buy a watch I can't see in the dark again. The radioluminescent tritium tubes are just awesome!
X2 - people who say its a gimmick must not have ever used one, or must live somewhere they can wear short sleeves year round.

i just wish I had found out about them a few years ago - the prices are already getting a little high for my budget!
 

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Some really nice looking pieces! I've looked at picking up a Ball myself, but due to my small wrist size...haven't been able to find one that will fit me :(
 

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Some really nice looking pieces! I've looked at picking up a Ball myself, but due to my small wrist size...haven't been able to find one that will fit me :(
What size are you looking for? There are 38mm Balls, although I'm not sure there are any in their current line-up. There are a lot of discontinued ones that you can still find though.
 

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Some really nice looking pieces! I've looked at picking up a Ball myself, but due to my small wrist size...haven't been able to find one that will fit me :(
Have you tried the Trainmaster Cleveland Express? It's 40mm and I found it a tad small on my wrist.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Some really nice looking pieces! I've looked at picking up a Ball myself, but due to my small wrist size...haven't been able to find one that will fit me :(
My wrists are also on the smallish side 17cms=6 3/4in. If you don't like big watches Ball gives you tons of options. They even have now a hydrocarbon midsize (38mm)... IMHO Ball covers small wristed guys pretty well with lots of variety...its my understanding that only recently with the hydrocarbon line they've started with 42+ sizes...checkout the Engineer Master II series...
 

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Congrats from a former Ball owner, great collection so far |>

But I think the DQ eliminates the need of the XV, it should leave the place for a chronograph or dress Ball watch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Congrats from a former Ball owner, great collection so far |>

But I think the DQ eliminates the need of the XV, it should leave the place for a chronograph or dress Ball watch.
In the flesh they are completely different animals, the DQ is brushed matte titanium... Pure utility, and the dial is very spartan... The XV is really flashy...lots of polished surfaces...and the ceramic bezel is also polished (and the numerals, it seems)...all about the bling...
 

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Somebody buggered up that XV while changing the strap or bracelet. Mine certainly did not come from the factory that way. I don't think you'd be out of line to ask for a different one.
 

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Very nice collection.
 

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Great post!
I am considering adding the World Timer Diver to my collection.
Where else I am gonna find a GMT diver with a day date under $3K?? (Well, folks doing the real diving probably do not need day of the week but desk divers do!)
(Suggestions welcome).


(Photo courtesy Ball)


Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery
 

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What size are you looking for? There are 38mm Balls, although I'm not sure there are any in their current line-up. There are a lot of discontinued ones that you can still find though.
I really try to come in at 36mm or under for a non diver/chronograph watch, I did consider getting a ladies version of the Fireman at one point.. ^.^

I haven't been able to find a good enough deal on a preowned smaller Ball to justify picking one up, but if/when that day come...

@RBrylawski sadly my wrists are small enough that 40mm looks giant on me if not a diver/chronograph

@Ddc1974 The Hydrocarbon midsize sounds like a good option, I shall be sure to check it out :)
 

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Great post!
I am considering adding the World Timer Diver to my collection.
Where else I am gonna find a GMT diver with a day date under $3K?? (Well, folks doing the real diving probably do not need day of the week but desk divers do!)
(Suggestions welcome).
I have hardly ever worn anything else since getting my diver Worldtime.
 
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