WBOTM February 2013 Ball

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WBOTM February 2013 Ball

Post by Ocean on 2013-02-12, 10:16

Most Balls need to come in pairs?? I have gotten to handle few Balls in my time( no not those type mort, the watches) and have been impressed by them. I asked a fellow WIS to come over to give his thoughts , think he has 6.

History
To a large extent, the development of the watch industry in America can be attributed to the advent and subsequent development of American railroads.

Prior to the advent of trains as a means of transporting people and goods, there was no real need for precise timekeeping or uniform time. Even after the railroad system in the United States had reached significant proportions following the Civil War, communities continued to maintain their local times.

By the end of 1883, the railroad industry had agreed, at least among themselves, to divide the nation into four time zones and had adopted Standard Time. The public soon followed suit, although it is interesting to note that the Congress did not officially sanction the concept until 1918.

In 1996, Cleveland, Ohio, celebrated the bicentennial of the founding of the city on the lake. During this celebration, many individuals were remembered and recognized as Cleveland's favorite sons, and their accomplishments were reviewed. One Clevelander honored, whose accomplishments reached international acclaim, not only for his civic contributions, but also for his place in horology, was Webster Clay Ball.

Webb C. Ball was born in Fredericktown, Ohio on October 6, 1847. When Standard Time was adopted in 1883, he was the first jeweler to use time signals, bringing accurate time to Cleveland. On July 19, 1891, the General Superintendent of Lake Shore Lines appointed Webb C. Ball as Chief Inspector for the lines. His early inspection system was the beginning of the vast Ball network that would encompass 75% of the railroads throughout the country and cover at least 175,000 miles of railroad. Webb C. Ball also extended his system into Mexico and Canada.

On April 19, 1891 the Fast Mail train known as No. 4 was coming west on the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad in Kipton, Ohio. At Elyria, 25 miles from Cleveland, the Engineer and the Conductor of the Accomodation were given orders to let the fast mail train pass them at Kipton, a small station west of Oberlin, the University town.

As the Conductor of Accomodation admitted afterward, from the time the train left Elyria until it collided with the Fast Mail at Kipton, he did not take his watch out of his pocket. He said that he supposed the Engineer would look out for Fast Mail No. 4. But the Engineer's watch stopped for four minutes and then began running again, a little matter of life and death of which he was unconscious. There were several stations between Elyria and Kipton, but the Engineer pounded slowly along in the belief that he had time to spare.

Leaving Oberlin, the Engineer supposed he had seven minutes before reaching the meeting point. Of course he only had three minutes. Had the Conductor looked at his own watch he could have prevented the accident. The trains came together at Kipton, the Fast Mail at full speed and the Accomodation under brakes, because it was nearing the station. The Engineers of both trains were killed, and the dead bodies of nine clerks were taken from the kindling wood and broken iron of the postal cars.

The Kipton Disaster prompted the Lake Shore officials to enlist Webb C. Ball to investigate Time and Watch conditions throughout the Lake Shore Line and develop an inspection system for their implementation.

Webb C. Ball set about immediately and put in place fortnightly checks on the watches worn by all railroad workers. The checks were carried out by approved watchmakers. Ball set strict standards, forbidding variations more than 30 seconds among the watches.

It is important to recognize and applaud Webb C. Ball, for his system was the first successful one to be accepted on a broad scale. It was his system that set the standard for railroads; it was his system that helped establish accuracy and uniformity in timekeeping. It was his system that resulted in railroad time and railroad watches being recognized as STANDARD, whenever accuracy in time was required. In general, it became accepted that when the average person asks a railroad man the time, he is assured a correct answer.

Today, BALL Watch is one of the most respected and established watch brands in the United States. We continue to update the product range in the 21st century to keep pace with shifting consumer patterns. But, despite changes in appearance, the founding spirit of the brand - industrial function - is never compromised.

It is upheld in Ball's original details, such as the watch dial that faithfully follows his design guidelines for the standard railway watch. Every detail, from the shape of the hands to the style of the numerals, was laid down by the founder in his quest for accuracy in timekeeping.

It is a vision that the Ball family remains faithful to. For legions of men and women today whose split-second decisions keep the world ticking, it is a shared commitment.

BALL Watch - Since 1891, Accuracy Under Adverse Conditions

http://www.ballwatch.com/html5/index.php?option=com_technology&task=41&lang=en_US#
http://www.ballwatchusa.com/


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Re: WBOTM February 2013 Ball

Post by eddiea on 2013-02-12, 10:30

Well made yet, somehow never warmed to the brand.

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Re: WBOTM February 2013 Ball

Post by Hawk404 on 2013-02-12, 11:41

I rather like the things but I have an actual use for the tritium which many folks would justifiably find somewhere between "meh" and "fad". Honesty would also compel me to note that I've only been in the hobby for around 3 years which doesn't provide me with a background to offer valid comparisons with other brands.

Their bracelets seem to be a strong point. I like their "mystery clasp" though some might find it gimmicky. They're particularly fond of their diver's bracelet but I find it to be too afflicted with sharp corners. I'd even offer the heresy that it could benefit from some "Dremel love".

They're a zombie brand like many others with a headquarters that Google Maps shows to be unimpressive but the original Ball mostly stuck his brand on Waltham, Illinois, Hamilton and the like so the "purchased history" may not be as egregious as some. I've read but could not prove that they've hired some high-profile execs and movement experts so the future could be interesting.

Their investment group is secretive and asking about it at WUS will get the thread shut down with about the same alacrity as a thread about Swiss factories will implode at WG.

The workmanship in the mid and upper models acquits itself reasonably nicely against my one Rolex and singular Omega. Their sub-1K stuff has thus far been pedestrian with matt finishes and gimme straps.

The things seem to have multiplied and their quantity now stands at a point where I'm feeling somewhere around borderline geekish. Any new ones will have to be have a concurrent selling off of one.

Obligatory "lume shot":


In the daytime:


The offending bracelet:


Sante Fe - this was one of the budget models:


Canadian Railway - I don't know what they were (or I was) thinking with those bilious green markers.

...what good are balls without beavers?


Just 'cause I like GMTs:


Cleveland Express:

"meh" decoration - most balls have solid case backs:

A proper leather strap (which is to say, wrapped around Patrone)


And early family photo:


Engineer II Arabic:


COSC Red Label - Koi found this one. Dang enabler.


Their reach may have exceeded their grasp on this one:


Photo courtesy of Topper:


Extra time knobs!



...and thanks for the invite!

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Re: WBOTM February 2013 Ball

Post by Ocean on 2013-02-12, 11:49

Hawk, Thanks for giving your thoughts and welcome to the forum.

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Re: WBOTM February 2013 Ball

Post by eddiea on 2013-02-12, 12:30

Nice collection!...I like the tubes as long as they amount to T-100's (which I believe all Ball's are)

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Re: WBOTM February 2013 Ball

Post by Hawk404 on 2013-02-12, 14:01

Thanks!

The more subtle designs are T-25.

Ball marks all their watches with a total output of between 26 and 100 as "T". A real early Aviator of mine is marked "T-100" but they've abandoned the designation I believe.

They do not tell their dealers exactly what the mCi output of any given watch dial actually is.

The designations are actually a guarantee of maximum output of the entire watch for regulatory agencies rather than a minimum for consumers. Anything from 1 to 25 is "T-25", 26 to 100 is "T" or "T-100".

The Spacemaster in the lume shot has 80 tubes totaling less than 100 mCi. The Engineer Arabic to the immediate left of the Spacemaster in the "family shot" is a T<25 but still kicks out the light pretty well. The Engineer only has 27 tubes so each tube can have output roughly the same as the Spacemaster's tubes but still come in under 25 for the whole watch.

The "flat tube" Aviator in the far left is "T" but I'll confess I don't like that tube layout - the dial markers wash out the hands making it harder to me to read than the more balanced designs.


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Re: WBOTM February 2013 Ball

Post by eddiea on 2013-02-12, 15:03

Hawk404 wrote:Thanks!
The designations are actually a guarantee of maximum output of the entire watch for regulatory agencies rather than a minimum for consumers. Anything from 1 to 25 is "T-25", 26 to 100 is "T" or "T-100".
Indeed you are correct, a common misconception is that, they are the individual tubes designation.... it is the max output allowed for the entire watch (dial and hands) to clarified this statement...
The designation (T-25, T-100 etc) is not a warranty of maximum output for the consumer (as stated by Hawk) but rather the maximun output the particular watch/model has been autorized to use , in turn that means, that a T-100 model maybe only T-85(as an example) but never over T-100.
In the case of mid/high end brands (like Ball) if it is labeled T-100 usually it is on the spot or very close, others like Invicta , Android or Deep Blue could potencially be off by a greater marging .


Last edited by eddiea on 2013-02-12, 15:49; edited 1 time in total

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Re: WBOTM February 2013 Ball

Post by Hawk404 on 2013-02-12, 15:25

You're absolutely right.

I had thought the confusion over "T-25 tubes" or "T-100 tubes" had died out when Stan figured out what was going on after he first started offering the tubes.

But it's apparently still happening at least at one place - you made me curious enough to go look and here we go:
A handsome round black or white mother-of-pearl dial displays luminous T25 Tritium tube markers in all hour positions. Silver-tone hour and minute hands are accented with T25 Tritium tubes for maximum visibility.

Which, of course, would put total output somewhere around T-350 which would earn Invicta a knock on the door from the NRC - an agency whose radar I would rather avoid.

But total output is no doubt well under T-25, so they're legal but more than a little confused about what they're selling.

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Re: WBOTM February 2013 Ball

Post by eddiea on 2013-02-12, 16:04

Hawk404 wrote:You're absolutely right.
But total output is no doubt well under T-25, so they're legal but more than a little confused about what they're selling.
The question is...Are they "really" confused? simple stuff like this can be google if in doubt in 2 minutes, yet I find out that, claiming ignorance to sale is a pattern, other "confused statements" like recite the tourbillon accuracy credo, yet omiting it was intended for pocket watches only and totally useless in wrist watches applications, or claiming the tensile strength of titanium is greater than the steel, but never mentioning how easy will scratch etc. etc seems to be the norm for some ...enter the (for the most part) uneducated consumer and they are laughing all the way to bank.


Last edited by eddiea on 2013-02-12, 19:21; edited 1 time in total

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Re: WBOTM February 2013 Ball

Post by Hawk404 on 2013-02-12, 19:14

With the caveat that it's advertising fluff that everyone on Ball's mailing list got reminded of repeatedly, this is pretty cool - my apologies if everyone has already seen it:



Of course Ball has also produced what has got to be the most boring video ever consisting of what I assume is a gopro filming a watch getting dunked to 800 meters under the Ross ice shelf.

Personally, I'm more impressed by whatever the camera was.

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Re: WBOTM February 2013 Ball

Post by eddiea on 2013-02-12, 19:36

I haven't see this video , I think is very well done it is made to look like Nery actually reaches the bottom of Dean's blue hole...neat!
But which Ball he is wearing in the add?

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Re: WBOTM February 2013 Ball

Post by Hawk404 on 2013-02-12, 20:57

eddiea wrote:I haven't see this video , I think is very well done it is made to look like Nery actually reaches the bottom of Dean's blue hole...neat!
But which Ball he is wearing in the add?
It's supposed to be this one but I wouldn't make book on it:


Timeknobs seem to be postitioned correctly at 3:43 into the vid but my eyes aren't that young anymore. And it looks like the rubber strap variation.

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Re: WBOTM February 2013 Ball

Post by Mortuus on 2013-02-13, 02:35

Hey, Hawk! Am very, very glad to see you're over here, as well! That 4-watch lume shot is still the best I've ever seen...and I really like that model with the green 'wedgie' on the bezel.

OBTW, as a retired nasal radiator, the NRC has me on their radar because my first deployment was in USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65), and back in the day, there was a lot of concern over a leaky reactor...I asked the flight surgeon if I needed to worry about my balls. He told me that radiation could have a deleterious effect on one's balls. Needless to say, I haven't bought any since that day, but since I've been retired for just over six years and the nearest reactors are shut down, I think any balls I might add to my collection would be relatively safe...

Oh, and I forgot to tell you that looking for me in all those expat communities (Subic, Magsisi, Phattya, etc) wouldn't have done any good. I'm currently living with a rather large group of Rooshin expats over at the former USN facilities in Camh Ranh Bay, where the drink will flow and blood will spill...
What a Face

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Re: WBOTM February 2013 Ball

Post by Hawk404 on 2013-02-13, 09:21

Well, if you're hangin' with Rooshins in CRB and already cooked your nads you might as well get yourself a spare pair of balls - would only be prudent in my estimation.

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Re: WBOTM February 2013 Ball

Post by Mortuus on 2013-02-13, 12:51

Hawk404 wrote:Well, if you're hangin' with Rooshins in CRB and already cooked your nads you might as well get yourself a spare pair of balls - would only be prudent in my estimation.
Well said, sir...

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Re: WBOTM February 2013 Ball

Post by Berrnard on 2013-02-14, 14:06

eddiea wrote:Well made yet, somehow never warmed to the brand.

agree
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Re: WBOTM February 2013 Ball

Post by russ_b28 on 2013-02-16, 12:37

I haven't ever seen one in the flesh but I really like the looks of the Trainmaster Power Reserve.

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Re: WBOTM February 2013 Ball

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