Deep And Bright: A Closer Look At The BALL Engineer Hydrocarbon DeepQUEST II
Featuring the industry's brightest lume, BALL's latest diver boasts a heady mix of technology and ingenuity.
Have you ever uttered the phrase "Be on the ball"? I know I have a time or two. Do you know Webster Clay Ball, the founder of BALL Watches, coined that phrase? The story dates to 1891 when the failure of an engineer's pocket watch caused a railway collision, which prompted officials to name Ball their "Chief Time Inspector."
Consequently, Ball implemented some of the first guidelines for ascertaining a timekeeper's precision and accuracy – standards that inspired today's COSC certification. After his role with the railroad, Ball became an executive at the Hamilton Watch Company and later formed his eponymous Ball Watch Company, headquartered today in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.
Accuracy Under Adverse Conditions
The company's founding principle since 1891 continues to this day. For over a century, Ball's guidelines for his watches continue even to this day. They include resistance to magnetism, reliability of timekeeping in 5 positions, and isochronism. While the company continues to manufacture durable timepieces for the blue-collar crowd (conductors, engineers, and even firefighters), they've made a name for themselves with dive watches in recent years.
100 Times Brighter Than Traditional Luminous Paints
What first struck me about BALL's timepieces were their outrageously oversized indicators. The result of Micro Gas Tubes (H₃). What's a "Micro Gas Tube," you ask? It's pure tritium gas sealed in a mineral glass tube. BALL watches claim their Micro Gas Tubes (H₃) are 100 times brighter than traditional luminous paints (i.e., Super Luminova).
Many think of tritium and radium for their radioactive properties, which is why so few watch brands use the materials today. However, BALL watches have found a way to safely seal pure tritium gas within CO2 laser-produced mineral glass capsules. The technology protects the wearer from any potential irradiation so long as the watch (and its indices) remain intact.
The BALL Engineer Hydrocarbon DeepQUEST II
Introducing the latest release in BALL's Engineer Hydrocarbon collection: the Engineer Hydrocarbon DeepQUEST II. This robust saturation diver begins its life as a single block of titanium. The material is machined to produce a monobloc case measuring 42mm with a height of 15.5mm. Notably, BALL has integrated a helium release valve into the crown instead of milling a separate hole in the case for this essential diver's feature.
Boasting an extensive list of technical achievements, the Engineer Hydrocarbon DeepQUEST II is made to conquer any obstacles standing in its way, no matter their depth or darkness.
Featuring a shock resistance of 7,5000Gs (the average human body can withstand 14 Gs before internal organs start to shred) and anti-magnetism to 4,800A/m, the Engineer Hydrocarbon DeepQUEST II is one of the few watches produced that could outlive the wearer in almost any predicament.
Water-resistant to 3,300ft (1,000m), the Engineer Hydrocarbon DeepQUEST II exceeds the limits of most saturation divers (usually up to 2,000 ft). Thanks to its monobloc titanium case, the timepiece is extremely corrosion resistant and boasts very few water entry points.
Powered by the BALL RR1101-C automatic calibre, which is based on the ETA 2892-A2 movement, the Engineer Hydrocarbon DeepQUEST II features a power reserve of 42 hours and beats at a frequency of 28,800 vph. The movement is COSC certified.
Lastly, the Engineer Hydrocarbon DeepQUEST II features one of the biggest and brightest dials I've ever encountered, composed of 24 Micro Gas Tubes (H₃) and larger than life 12 and 6 o'clock indicators ensuring readability at any depth or darkness.
Pricing And Availability
The BALL Engineer Hydrocarbon DeepQUEST II is priced at $3,649 on a rubber strap or $3,749 on a titanium and stainless-steel bracelet. Available from BALL retailers and BALL's e-commerce channels. Learn more at BALL's website.
(Photography by Liam O'Donnnell)