Webster Clay Ball, who founded BALL Watch in 1891 is particularly famous for establishing the first chronometry standards used by American railroad companies. Before Ball’s era, the unreliability of the watches used on the railroad networks in fact made traveling by train a haphazard business, which led to the introduction of a system of checks and inspections under the guidance of Webb C. Ball. The watchmaker from Cleveland, Ohio, laid down strict standards of quality, accuracy and design for all the watches used on the railroads and became the precursor of a whole new generation of timepieces.
The system developed by Webb C. Ball at the end of the 19th century upheld such high standards of accuracy and reliability that it inspired the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (Contrôle officiel suisse des chronomètres in French or COSC) to issue its own certification standards in 1973.
The Swiss-made automatic mechanical movement of the Engineer II Pioneer is, of course, a certified chronometer. The 40mm polished stainless steel case represents BALL’s careful consideration to a watch design that is both classic and sporty. The RR (“RailRoad”) monogram stands out delicately at the end of the seconds hand and subtly recalls BALL’s railroad heritage. The anti-reflective sapphire crystal incorporates a Cyclops magnifying lens positioned over the date window at 3 o'clock, making it very easy to read.
Easy legibility of a timepiece both by day and by night is one of BALL Watch’s mottos. In order for mechanical watches to be read even in total darkness, BALL Watch Company uses state-of-the-art Swiss technology that consists in encapsulating H3 luminescent gas in glass micro tubes. These micro gas lights are then added to the numerals, index and hands of the watch. Its luminosity is up to a hundred times more effective than other light sources commonly used in watchmaking.
Likewise, the timepiece’s understated and elegant dial is kept free of any unnecessary detail that could reduce its readability. It is available in two classic colors: black enamel and silver.
The crown, as the movement’s regulator component, is directly connected to it and is thus one of the most vulnerable parts of a watch because it can carry external shocks right down into the caliber. To reduce this risk, the Engineer II Pioneer’s crown can be screwed-in tight to the case after the watch has been set. The model’s water resistance to 100 meters is also improved by the screwed-in crown. The solid construction of this watch means it can withstand impacts of up to 5,000Gs and is protected against magnetic fields to an intensity of 4,800A/m.
The Engineer II Pioneer comes with a stainless steel bracelet with folding buckle, or with a nubuck leather strap with standard buckle.