00RED by Ball Watch Co. for CronotempVs Collectors Now Available for Pre-Order
The collectors club CronotempVs is now taking pre-orders for a new limited-edition watch: The 00RED. Made by tool watch maestro Ball Watch Co., it offers shock resistance, resistance to magnetic fields, chronometer-grade precision, and ultra-high legibility thanks to its tritium-tube display.
The folks behind CronotempVs Collectors just keep ‘em coming! The collector group, which partners with brands to create special-edition watches – some members-only, others open to all-comers – has just announced its latest collaboration: The exceptionally high-vis 00RED by BALL Watch Co. for CronotempVs Collectors.
And it is available for all to pre-order now!
Over the past year, we have seen no fewer than four eye-catching bespoke editions made for CronotempVs Collectors, created by Oris, Chopard, Habring2, and Zeitwinkel. You add those together with today’s launch, that makes 18 limited or special editions the collector group has commissioned since it was founded in Madrid in 2009, producing nearly 600 watches overall at a combined market value of over €5 million.
The group’s latest limited edition, the 00RED, is the result of a collaboration with tool-watch master BALL Watch Co. Now headquartered in La-Chaux-de-Fonds, BALL Watch Co. was founded by Ohio jeweler Webb C. Ball following the Great Kipton Train Wreck of 1891, a fatal rail crash caused by an inaccuracy in a railroad employee’s watch.
Ball, the man, was subsequently appointed “Chief Time Inspector” for the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway. And thus, BALL Watch Co. was established to ensure a standard of timekeeping reliability and accuracy to avoid a repeat of such a tragedy.
Tritium Gas Tubes
Nowadays, BALL Watch Co. isn’t just a byword for accessibly priced, rock-solid watches that are precise, sturdy, and resistant to magnetism. The company is also one of very few brands to make mechanically driven watches using high-vis tritium gas tubes for hour numerals and indices, which provide exceptional readability day and night.
Unlike Super-LumiNova, tritium tubes don’t have to be charged by an external light source. They continue to glow brightly even after being stored in darkness for sustained periods of time – we’re talking years, decades even. What’s more, the small amount of tritium used, coupled with BALL Watch Co.’s safe-seal mineral glass tube technology, ensures the radioactive risk posed by the tritium is negligible.
“00” for Midnight
To make the 00RED, CronotempVs Collectors used BALL Watch Co.’s Engineer III collection as its starting point, working with the brand to create a unique twist on this anti-magnetic chronometer’s tritium-tube display.
“When we choose a project, we try to focus on one unique thing about the watch and the brand. Obviously, when you ask a collector what is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a BALL Watch timepiece, it is its tritium tubes,” explained CronotempVs co-founder @scaramanga__.
He continued: “Since it is in the dark of night when BALL watches’ readability comes into its own, we decided to replace the Engineer III’s usual ‘12’ with ‘00’ since this is how midnight is displayed on most devices today.”
The result is a joy to behold.
Cool, Contemporary Aesthetic
The 00RED’s “00” at 12 o’clock is duly displayed – as the watch’s name would suggest – using a combination of eight tritium gas tubes on red bases. Meanwhile, numerals at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock, and the baton hour markers in between, are made up of another 22 tritium tubes on black bases. The tritium tubes on the blackened hour and minute hands and on the red-tipped central seconds complete the visually arresting indications.
As for the dial plate, CronotempVs Collectors has chosen a frosted anthracite background, which is not usually found within Ball Watch Co.’s collection, but contrasts superbly with the glowing indices and hands. Plus, the dial’s matte surface helps legibility when viewing the watch from any angle, while the red, white, black, and gray colorway makes for a cool, contemporary aesthetic overall.
COSC-Certified Movement & Anti-Magnetic Shield
Powering the hour-minute-second indications is the RR1102-C caliber that has been chronometer-certified by COSC to ensure an average daily rate of -4/+6 seconds.
The movement, in turn, is insulated from magnetic disturbances by a mu-metal shield. An alloy of nickel, iron, copper, and molybdenum with high magnetic permeability, mu-metal attracts and deviates static or low-frequency magnetic field lines. Its anti-magnetic properties are considered superior to soft iron, which is typically the material used in watchmaking for such shielding.
In the case of the 00RED, the use of mu-metal helps protect it against magnetic fields up to 1,000 Gauss.
While discussing the utility of the 00RED’s mu-metal shield, @scaramanga__ told Watchonista: “The precision of mechanical watches risks being compromised more and more by magnetic fields. Our iPhones have an induction coil in the back. iPads, AirPods, and other headphones all have magnets. Magnets are everywhere!”
904L Stainless-Steel Case & Resistance Up To 5,000 Gs
Housing the movement and shield is a 43mm case in 904L stainless steel. Brands often shy away from using this type of steel because its hardness makes it tricky to machine.
However, BALL Watch Co.’s choice to deploy it here is well worth the extra effort as the chromium, molybdenum, nickel, and copper content in 904L stainless steel makes it more resistant to corrosion, rust, and acids. What’s more, it polishes up really well too.
And like all BALL watches, the 00RED has undergone demanding tests for impact resistance up to 5,000 Gs. The crown, crystal, and 9 o’clock position of the case have all been hit with a pendulum impact-testing machine to guarantee shock resistance in line with ISO 1413 and BALL’s own stringent standards.
“I have been particularly impressed with BALL Watch Co.’s offerings over the last few years, especially how it has refined its design aesthetic,” commented @scaramanga__. “When you see that the Engineer III and now the 00RED offer shock resistance, resistance to magnetic fields, precision, and high legibility, this sporty-looking tool watch is definitely a viable alternative to the Rolex Milgauss – and at a fraction of the price.”
Price & Availability
In tribute to the Great Kipton Train Wreck of 1891, the event that prompted the rise of Ball Watch Co. and far safer timekeeping standards on the American railroads, the 00RED by Ball Watch Co. for CronotempVs Collectors will be limited to just 91 pieces, each marked “1 of 91.” Delivery will take place between 2022 and 2023.
Orders can be secured by visiting the CronotempVs website and committing to a 50 percent down payment on the €2,200 sale price, excluding taxes.
(Images © CronoempVs Collectors)