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Old 30 December 2015, 12:53 PM   #1
Art161
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BALL watch--simply awful

I wanted a watch that was a mechanical, automatic, watch with chronometer rating and great LUME in the dark. The BALL Engineer II, Chronometer Red Label seemed to be it!

This watch is available with a variety of straps or a double deployment (or deployant, if you prefer) stainless steel bracelet. It also has a choice of dial colors. The day and date are displayed. It is made in 40 mm and 43 mm sizes.

In February, I bought a 40 mm watch, with black dial and stainless steel bracelet. It gained about 1-1.5 seconds per day. Absolute joy for two months. Then, it simply stopped running.

I sent the watch to BALL for servicing, and received it back in June. The timekeeping was not within COSC standards. It was running slow. I lived with it. Then, in September, the watch once more stopped running. I sent it back to BALL for servicing. I received it back in mid-November. It was running slow, outside of COSC standards. Then, in mid-December, it stopped running yet again.

What a disappointment.

Fortunately, I had purchased the watch from a local, reputable, AD, who refunded my purchase price in full.
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Old 2 January 2016, 03:55 AM   #2
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Sorry to hear you had an unpleasant experience, good thing about about purchasing from a reputable AD. Ball watches have been interesting to me, a fellow at work wears one, looks good, not sure of the model but it has a rugged look, clear legibility. A big watch, I'd be interested in something a bot smaller, but for sporty wear too.
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Old 2 January 2016, 04:04 AM   #3
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Wow- sorry to hear that. Glad your dealer did the right thing by you.

I've had 2-3 different Ball models over the years. They all did fine so never had to send them back.

The home office needs to know so others can hear what they are doing to improve their QC. The movements are regular ETAs IIRC. But some custom work is done to it or maybe ETA is doing ébauche shipments for finishing at Ball.

Either way, I've never had the problem with them.


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Old 2 January 2016, 10:05 AM   #4
Art161
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack T View Post
Sorry to hear you had an unpleasant experience, good thing about about purchasing from a reputable AD. Ball watches have been interesting to me, a fellow at work wears one, looks good, not sure of the model but it has a rugged look, clear legibility. A big watch, I'd be interested in something a bot smaller, but for sporty wear too.
As I mentioned, I bought a 40 mm, but a 43 mm is available in the model I had. Maybe the guy at work has something larger than 40 mm, which seems to be considered an average or somewhat small size these days. IMHO I think some wristwatches are ridiculously large.
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Old 2 January 2016, 11:06 AM   #5
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I've always respected Ball, and this is the first I've heard of a "lemon" watch from them.

Sorry to hear!

I doubt you'd get another but similarly doubt you'd have the same experience again if you did.

Plenty of other great brands out there to scratch the itch!

Sinn and Omega spring to mind...
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Old 3 January 2016, 06:14 AM   #6
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I've always respected Ball, and this is the first I've heard of a "lemon" watch from them.

Sorry to hear!

I doubt you'd get another but similarly doubt you'd have the same experience again if you did.

Plenty of other great brands out there to scratch the itch!

Sinn and Omega spring to mind...
I want a watch with tritium tubes. Actually, there's not much out there. If it weren't for Rolex abandoning the use of tritium in any form, I'd still be with them. I like Rolex watches, but being able to tell time in the dark for an extended period is important to me and Super Luminova isn't very good after a few hours.

I suggested to BALL that they simply exchange my watch for a different one, but they didn't go for it.
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Old 3 January 2016, 07:18 AM   #7
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I've had pretty much exactly the same experience with new Omega's. A guy posted here about an even worse experience with a new Rolex Daytona a little while ago. There's guys in the Patek forum on here who've been sold lemons with multiple faults that Patek did not fix right.

Every maker has it's fair share of problem watches.
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Old 3 January 2016, 08:09 AM   #8
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I had an engineer hydrocarbon with the white Arabic dial for a few years a while back and had no issues. Surprised by your experience as they use pretty tried and true movements.

And am with you 1000% on their lume. Mine was an absolute lume cannon. And the bracelet was incredible. I will own another one.


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Old 3 January 2016, 08:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art161 View Post
I want a watch with tritium tubes.



I suggested to BALL that they simply exchange my watch for a different one, but they didn't go for it.

Ball is the best bet for H3 tubes.

Since it was just the movement having trouble, they might have gone for a movement swap. But the whole watch would've been unnecessary in their view.

But Good on the AD for treating you right!

You can find them pre-owned here on TRF listings and you can ask trusted seller to be sure the movement was working fine before buying.




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Old 3 January 2016, 08:50 AM   #10
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Marathon have a decent but small range of Tritium tubed watches at pretty low cost.
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Old 4 January 2016, 02:32 AM   #11
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If you like Subs check out the Marathon GSAR. Very tough!
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Old 4 January 2016, 02:36 AM   #12
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If you like Subs check out the Marathon GSAR. Very tough!
https://www.marathonwatch.com/product/divers-automatic
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Old 4 January 2016, 04:55 AM   #13
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Sorry to hear about your experience but good on your AD for taking care of you. I've had my Ball Skindiver for almost two years and it runs great. I've considered selling it recently as it doesn't get the wrist time it deserves since getting my subc.
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Old 4 January 2016, 12:56 PM   #14
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Thanks very much. I'd prefer a stainless steel bracelet instead of the rubber band that the Marathon has, but I'll add it to my list of possibles.

So far my list is the Luminox 6502 and the Traser Classic Automatic Master.
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Old 4 January 2016, 01:15 PM   #15
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Thanks very much. I'd prefer a stainless steel bracelet instead of the rubber band that the Marathon has, but I'll add it to my list of possibles.

So far my list is the Luminox 6502 and the Traser Classic Automatic Master.
Yes, I went with the stainless bracelet for my GSAR. I also have a Luminox 8401 on a zulu that I wear in sketchy neighborhoods and third world countries.

http://www.lapolicegear.com/luminox-...JNkaAhso8P8HAQ
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Old 5 January 2016, 07:21 AM   #16
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Yes, I went with the stainless bracelet for my GSAR. I also have a Luminox 8401 on a zulu that I wear in sketchy neighborhoods and third world countries.

http://www.lapolicegear.com/luminox-...JNkaAhso8P8HAQ
That's exactly where I wear my Marathon too

The bezel actually randomly fell off in the arse end of Burma once

It remains re-fixed on with Burmese superglue to this day
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Old 5 January 2016, 07:28 AM   #17
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I did wear the Marathon GSAR for rough duty in the dark for quite a while before I went to a Ball. It was a great watch - it's just my old eyes getting older that motivated the move to a larger and brighter lit dial/hands.


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Old 5 January 2016, 09:22 AM   #18
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It remains re-fixed on with Burmese superglue to this day [/QUOTE]

perfect!
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Old 28 January 2016, 11:35 AM   #19
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sorry to hear about the lemon
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Old 30 January 2016, 09:09 AM   #20
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Sorry to hear of the lemon. I have three Ball watches including a Red Label GMT. All have operated well, thankfully.
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Old 2 February 2016, 08:22 AM   #21
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I have two Ball watches and a third on Order.

I love them all and the lume at night is breathtaking. It's almost as if I'm walking around with a flashlight on my wrist.
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Old 2 February 2016, 12:05 PM   #22
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Just ordered my first and hope to get it soon. The lume is what has peaked my interest.
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Old 10 February 2016, 12:11 PM   #23
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I purchased a mint Ball Skindiver recently and the things runs right on with time. Of course the bezel came off last week in the pool.. Had it repaired and love the heck out of it.
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Old 12 February 2016, 04:37 AM   #24
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I had a Ball Fireman 2, superb watch in terms of looks, accuracy and finish. The trit tubes are not as bright as I expected, but they glow constantly the whole night long. Will definitely have another.

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Old 24 February 2016, 11:33 AM   #25
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I'm sorry to hear you had a bad initial experience with a Ball watch. I have owned three and loved the quality and precision of them all. Unfortunately your first entry into the brand you found a lemon. I'm sure some Rolex owners found one lemon somewhere in the bunch but did not give up on the brand. Write off that one watch and try another. After all, it had an ETA 2824-2 in it NOT a Ball In-house movement.
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Old 24 February 2016, 11:46 AM   #26
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I bought my very first ball eight years ago and it still runs fine. Never had an issue with it and I a still rotate it with my other watches. Tough as nails and killer lume. Sorry to hear about yours.
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Old 24 February 2016, 01:16 PM   #27
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Received my EHC Areo GMT and have been very happy with it's performance (+1 sec per day, construction (built like a tank), and amazing lume. The only negative was the bracelet, the sharp edges on the clasp make it less than comfortable for me. But adding the uber comfortable BC rubber NATO make this a great combo.
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Old 3 August 2016, 01:01 AM   #28
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Ball red Label chronometer 43mm

Chiming in here ..... thought I might add that I purchased a Ball back in February and it has slowed down to -6 secs/day. Every Rolex I own never did this ,they all seem to be +1-2/day. Beautiful watch though but I cannot live with a movement that looses time. Sent it in to ball and await they're observation.
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Old 4 August 2016, 12:16 PM   #29
jeff hess
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As an aside, Ball is the last of the American Watch Companies to be American owned. Waltham is owned by the Japanese, Elgin by Korea I think, Hamilton by Swatch Group etc.

Ball has been American owned since 1871 (officially 1891)
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Old 5 August 2016, 05:06 AM   #30
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As an aside, Ball is the last of the American Watch Companies to be American owned. Waltham is owned by the Japanese, Elgin by Korea I think, Hamilton by Swatch Group etc.

Ball has been American owned since 1871 (officially 1891)
Ball may have been owned by Americans, but it's now based in Switzerland. Backed by a group out of HK if I remember correctly.
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