Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon EODTom Austin
- The Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon EOD is developed for the US Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal team to withstand the most extreme conditions
- Ball’s most shock resistant watch ever, it’s movement is capable of surviving a 10-meter fall, thanks to in-built protection technology
- Unique micro gas tubes deck out the dial, illuminating the watch in the darkest of surroundings
Created in 1941 specifically to clear battlefields of WWII and still active today, the US Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) are essential in creating a safe environment for others, in some of the toughest scenarios possible. Ball have produced the Engineer Hydrocarbon EOD for this very purpose, as this dangerous and necessary task is often against the clock. Their latest addition to the other watches in the Engineer collection, The Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon EOD is designed as the perfect tool for these conditions, whether that’s on dive missions, helicopter insertions or tactical unit expeditions, and while the average watch enthusiast may not find themselves in these situations regularly, it’s great to know you have the tools for the job.
Clearing battlefields is obviously a rough task, and one which calls for strong equipment – something which Ball is no stranger to. In order to achieve this ruggedness, Ball’s design base began with a comfortably large 42mm case, machined from solid titanium, keeping the overall weight down to 160g. With a lug to lug measurement of 53.2mm it’s no small wrist ornament, and at 13.7mm it’s surprisingly slim, but still offers great wearability for watch of this intended purpose.
It’s not all ruggedness and no details though. The case features a neatly brushed finish, and polished bevels along its haunches, showing it has some class going on under all that stubble. Simple crown guards weren’t enough for the Engineer Hydrocarbon, Ball took things one step further to protect probably the most vulnerable part of any watch, and opted for a hinged crown clamp and external cap to ensure that not only is the crown fully screwed in, but also there being no chances of it becoming unwound, all while ensuring a 300-metre water resistance. There’s options too, the uni-directional rotating bezel is available in either a high-end black ceramic, or stainless steel with painted SuperLuminova markers and gas tube insets – but more on those later. The watch is finished with a titanium and steel bracelet with folding clasp, or a durable thick rubber strap.
Shock protection doesn’t just stop at the features you can see. The Engineer Hydrocarbon EOD boasts that it can withstand a free fall from 10 meters (around 32 feet), or in practical terms, around the height of a three-storey building. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t fancy dropping any watch from that height, however with Ball’s patented technology, the watch will keep on running just fine after that kind of impact. The case is fitted with what Ball call their Elastomer Ring, essentially a housing inside the case which surrounds the COSC-certified RR1101-CSL automatic movement (based on an ETA 2892), and dial, allowing it to move independently from the case itself. This allows for shocks as strong as 50,000Gs to be absorbed with ease, and leave the movement in perfect working order. The movement itself has two more patented shock protection systems, the first called the SpringLOCK, which prevents harsh impacts from unravelling or twisting the balance spring with a protective cover, and the SpringSEAL system which ensures the entire regulator system remains in position, removing any need for adjustments in the event of a heavy impact.
The dial is as you would expect, large and legible, with luminescent sword hands, huge 12, 6 and 9 indicators and a magnified date window at 3 o’clock. It’s at night where the dial really comes to life though. Harsh conditions mean that visibility can often be an issue, but Ball has this covered. Like all other Ball watches, in darkness, the watch illuminates brightly, more so than any other lume you will have seen. Utilising Ball’s micro tube technology, the dial and bezel are fitted with lightweight mineral glass tubes, with interior walls coated in differently coloured phosphor powders. This reacts with the pure tritium gas which is sealed within these micro tubes, releasing electrons that give off a bright and long lasting glow. It’s an ingenious system that requires no recharging from any light sources and is around 100 times brighter than competing technologies.
Endorsed by one of the most elite tactical units in the US Navy, the Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon EOD is designed to reliably endure the harshest of situations, but also to commend their courage and resilience. The way it’s built embodies the essential qualities of these technicians, allowing it to perform things that most other watches wouldn’t be able to withstand. It echoes this theme of fearlessness and intrepidity with a caseback embossed with the Master US Navy EOD insignia, featuring lightning bolts and a traditional WWII bomb, symbolising the destructive power of explosions and the arduous missions to prevent them.
Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon EOD pricing and availability
The Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon EOD is available for pre-order now, with delivery expected around November/December 2023. Price: US$3,349 (stainless steel bezel), US$3,899 (ceramic bezel)
|Brand||Ball Watch Company|
|Model||Engineer Hydrocarbon EOD|
|Case Dimensions||42mm (D) x 13.7mm (T) x 53.2mm (LTL)|
|Water Resistance||300 metres|
|Strap||Titanium and stainless steel bracelet
|Movement||RR1101-CSL, ETA 2892 base, automatic|
|Power Reserve||42 hours|
|Functions||Hours, minutes, seconds, magnified date|
|Price||US$3,349 (stainless steel bezel)
US$3,899 (ceramic bezel)