If you’re a history buff and a watch aficionado, then the phrase “Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Hunley” will make perfect sense to you. On the off-chance that you’re not, I’m here to explain everything. Let’s start with Ball Watches. The company was founded after a railroad tragedy, where two trains were involved in a head on collision. This was primarily due to the watch that the conductor was wearing had stopped for 4 minutes and then had restarted. This catastrophe cost the lives of 8 people. Consequently, Cleveland based jeweler Webb C. Ball took an interest in the matter and investigated it – and so Ball watches was born in 1891.
This year for Baselworld, Ball introduced a watch that commemorates the 150th anniversary of the disappearance of the CSS Hunley. The Hunley was a submarine that played a pivotal role in the war when it sank the Housatonic in 1864 off the port of Charleston, North Carolina. Unfortunately for the Hunley, it sank shortly after. The Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Hunley pays tribute to this historical event that helped shape the modern Navy.
One of the great technical aspects of this watch is the new and improved Amortiser® system, which protects the movement from impacts. The watch can actually survive a free fall from a height of 5.2 meters, which is equivalent to 7,500 G’s. This system also carries some amagnetic properties as well to 4,800 Amps per meter, which keeps this movement accurate. These feats are accomplished by a protective ring that encases the movement. The movement is the self-winding mechanical RR1201, which uses an oscillating lock feature. The gist of this new feature is that you can press a button on the case back, which stops the oscillating mass from rotating. Once stopped the watch gains its power from the power amassed in the barrel.
The case is crafted from solid, hypoallergenic, satin finished stainless steel, and it carries a unidirectional rotating bezel made from black ceramic. Ball features lume on the ceramic bezel. The case is sized at 42mm in diameter (not inclusive of the main crown). The main crown is secured via a latched crown guard. The bracelet is comprised of an H bracelet system with the central polished to a fine luster. Securing this gorgeous bracelet is a triple folding clasp. This model is water resistant to 200 meters. On the caseback is a depiction of the CSS Hunley.
The black dial uses tritium tubes on the large hour markers for lume. Tritium has been proven as a superior choice over other lume types as it needs no exposure to light or charging to function. The oversized sword shaped hands are readily legible. At the 4:30 position is a date aperture, while at the 7 position (to balance the dial) is a power reserve indicator. On the flange is a minutes/seconds scale in white. On the seconds hand is a counterweight featuring the Double R logo. Protecting the dial on the Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Hunley is a scratch resistant sapphire crystal.
TAGS: Automatic Watches, COSC, Date, Mechanical Watches, Men's Watches, Power Reserve, Retrograde, Sapphire Crystal, Selfwinding Watches, Stainless Steel, Swiss Made, Unidirectional Bezel, Water Resistant