Most tool watches are plain, stripped-back affairs, time-only timepieces built to do not much more than survive. Then there’s Ball’s latest entry into the field, the Roadmaster Vanguard II. With a name like a Mad Max sequel and specs that turn a traveller’s watch into an endurance piece, it’s not your usual utilitarian survivor.
Looking at the functions, it’s easy to assume the latest Roadmaster would be a piece built for the jet-set. A 12-hour dual time function akin to some of the more respected travellers’ timepieces, day and date functions and Ball’s signature H3 gas tubes in green and yellow all add a unique spin to a classic GMT formula.
On the flipside, it’s built like a tank. That’s not just down to the full-ceramic bezel, which is available in either solid blue or the Batman blue and black. The Roadmaster also boasts 200m water resistance – not great for a professional diver but good for a tool watch like this – and beneath the shell, the COSC-certified movement is equipped with Ball’s own Amortiser® shock absorption system.
That last is in large part why Ball can get away with a more complicated take on a tool watch. That and the fact that, with the geometric nature of their gas tubes and trademark bulky, solid cases, the Roadmaster naturally falls into rugged aesthetics.
The Roadmaster Vanguard II is available with either a black or a blue dial, which can be mixed and matched with the pair of bezels. Of the four pieces, I’d opt for the black dial with the batman bezel. It’s just that much cooler, particularly on the bracelet.
Ball are calling this the “world’s first automatic tool watch with dual time, day and date functions” which, let’s be honest, is pretty specific. It is however still true and, more than whatever records it might hold, it’s a solid, rugged take on a traveller’s watch. Or a complicated take on a tool watch, whichever angle you’re coming from.
The Roadmaster Vanguard II is available for pre-order now for £1,830, after which it will go up to £2,440, with each version limited to 1,000 pieces.
Price & Specs:
Model: Ball Roadmaster Vanguard II
Ref: DG3036B-S3C-BK (black dial, black and blue bezel)
DG3036B-S3C-BE (blue dial, black and blue bezel)
DG3036B-S4C-BK (black dial, blue bezel)
DG3036B-S4C-BE (blue dial, blue bezel)
Case/Dial: 40mm diameter, titanium
Water Resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: In-house calibre RR1303-C, automatic, chronometer-certified COSC
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power Reserve: 40h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, day and date
Strap: Tapered titanium and stainless steel bracelet
Price/Availability: £1,830 (pre-order price) and £2,440 (full price), limited to 1,000 pieces per watch
More details at Ball Watches.