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Ball Watch this week combines its well-known dial illumination and solid crown protector with a racing tachymeter to create the Engineer Hydrocarbon Racer Chronograph, the brand’s first automotive racing watch in years.

The new Ball Watch Engineer Hydrocarbon Racer Chronograph

While Ball has long focused on designing watches with functions requested by explorers, divers, travelers and adventurers, the historical U.S. brand (now based in Switzerland) now seeks to reach automobile racing enthusiasts with this new chronograph collection. Ball Watch has offered other watches with tachymeters in years past, including the Engineer Master II Slide Chronograph and two Fireman Storm Chaser models, but this debut is the first in recent years specifically designed with such a bezel.  

For Ball, adding a speed-monitoring tachymeter scale (here, in black ceramic) to the bezel of a chronograph is just a start. The remaining features Ball adds to the three-watch collection echo the brand’s attention to the needs of collectors who plan to wear their watch amid adverse conditions.

Ball Watch Engineer Hydrocarbon Racer Chronograph, showing illumination.

Shock resistance

These features include a COSC-certified, chronometer-rated automatic movement (Ball’s Caliber RR1401, an upgraded and customized ETA Valjoux 7750), resistance to shocks of up to 7,500 g and anti-magnetic protection rated to 4,800 A/m.

That Ball crown protector (left), standard on the watches throughout the Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon collection, screws into the case once the owner sets the time on the watch. After the wearer clasps the patented steel protector over the crown, it won’t budge or allow dust or dirt to contamination the case interior.  

And as noted, Ball’s proprietary H3 gas tube illumination (colored green on the dial and hands and yellow at 12 o’clock) means that the time – and the timing – remains visible day or night. 

Three dials

Ball makes the new Engineer Hydrocarbon Racer Chronograph with a 42mm diameter stainless steel case with a black ceramic bezel and a choice of a black, blue or white dial.

Ball then finishes the watch with a stainless-steel brushed and polished bracelet with a folding clasp. Price: $3,599.

 

SPECIFICATIONS: Ball Watch Engineer Hydrocarbon Racer Chronograph

Movement: Automatic caliber BALL RR1401-C (ETA-7750-based), chronometer-certified COSC,

7,500Gs shock resistance, 100-meters of water resistance, anti-magnetic to 4,800 A/m

Functions: Chronograph with accumulated measurement up to 45 minutes, tachymeter, hours, minutes, subsidiary seconds and date

Dial: Blue, silver or black with 15 micro gas tubes on hour and minute hands and dial for night reading capability

Case: 42mm by 15.2mm stainless steel with black ceramic bezel, anti-reflective sapphire crystal, patented crown protection system

Bracelet: Tapered stainless steel with patented folding buckle and extension system

Price: $3,599

 

Founded in Detroit in 2013 by designing duo Amy and Patrick Ayoub, the Detroit Watch Company recently introduced the latest addition to its collection with the M1 Woodward automatic with a custom-decorated Valjoux 7750 chronograph movement showcasing the DWC Fleur-de-lys logo.

The Fleur-de-Lys rotor decoration echoes the same patterns found on the flag of Detroit.

Visible through the sapphire crystal back, the Fleur-de-lys decoration adds a subtle touch that speaks to the local provenance of the brand as the same patterns grace the flag of Detroit.

The DWC logo is visible on the rotor.

According to founder Patrick Ayoub, the M1-Woodward Avenue is a highway notably referred to as Detroit’s Main Street and follows the route of the old Saginaw Trail that linked Detroit with Pontiac, and at the time, Flint and Saginaw. Originally created after a devastating fire in 1805 and one of five principal avenues in Detroit devised by Augustus B. Woodward, it derived the “M-1”designation thanks to its heritage as the location of the first mile of concrete roadway.

The Detroit Watch Company’s M1 Woodward chronograph with white dial.

The watch itself is a full-figured stainless steel 44mmx14.5mm beauty and one of the best values on the market for such a beautifully designed and well-built structure framing a fan favorite movement within.Even though offered in very limited editions, if this watch was put to market by ANY big Swiss name brand you could fully expect to see the price as double the $1,895 that the Ayoub’s ask for their work. More at www.detroitwatchco.com