Totally black watches are typically the stealthiest, most menacing watches around, playing into a more rugged aesthetic than their colourful counterparts. This is the case with Ball Watch Company’s new limited edition version of the Engineer II Skindiver Heritage, which reimagines the watch in inky darkness. However, it takes on a completely different personality when the lights go out, transforming into a fun rainbow light display.
The freshly blacked out case is made from stainless steel with a Black Titanium Carbide (TiC) coating and has a diameter of 42mm. It also retains all the diving credentials of its forebears with 200m water resistance as well as high gauss and shock resistance to protect it from any magnetic fields of hard knocks it should encounter.
Aesthetically, the name of this watch should tell you everything you need to know: Skindiver Heritage. It is based on iconic dive watches from the past and you can see that DNA running throughout, with the large indices, thick unidirectional diving bezel and robust grip. The dial is also very restrained and easily legible as diving watches should be, and of course the dial is black as well.
So far, there’s nothing crazy here, we’ve seen blacked out divers a million times or more. However, what makes Ball watches special, and this limited edition piece in particular, is the way they approach lume. They use coloured tubes filled with H3 gas that emit light in dark surroundings. It’s not necessarily a unique method of providing luminescence but SuperLuminova™ is so prevalent that it’s worth pointing out. Plus it’s a Ball signature, featuring on watches like the Roadmaster Vanguard II from earlier this year.
Also, the special party trick of this limited edition piece is that its lume is rainbow coloured. White, yellow, blue, pink, orange and green lume can be found on the indices, hands and bezel. Meaning that while in the day this watch appears as serious as you’d expect from a tool watch, at night it gets out the glow sticks and has a party. We can’t wait to see one in the metal, switch the lights off and get to raving, if that’s still a cool thing to do…
However, while the exterior is cool and the dial funky (at times) the movement inside is a little less exciting. The BALL RR1102, which is based on the ETA 2836-2, a workhorse calibre with day and date functions and a 38-hour power reserve.
The Ball Engineer II Skindiver Heritage Limited Edition is limited to 390 pieces priced at £1,750 or £1,850, depending if you opt for the black rubber strap or black TiC coated steel bracelet. Arguably that’s a little high for what feels like an entry level diving watch but don’t forget that this is both a limited edition and a heritage edition of the base model Engineer II.
Price & Specs:
Model: Ball Watch Engineer II Skindiver Heritage
Case/Dial: 42mm diameter x 14.6mm height, stainless steel with TiC coating, black dial
Water resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: In-house calibre BALL RR1102, automatic, 25 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power Reserve: 38h
Functions: Hours, minutes, sweep seconds, day, date
Strap: TiC coated stainless steel bracelet or rubber strap
Price/availability: £1,750 – £1,850, limited to 390 pieces
More details at Ball Watch.