INTRODUCING: The Ball Engineer M Skindiver III Beyond combines slick looks with rugged swaggerFergus Nash
As a brand of both honoured heritage and cutting-edge design, we’re quite used to seeing a mix of looks from Ball. Generally, they have a sharp and sophisticated look, giving the impression that their watches could survive a year in the wilderness but still make it to dinner reservations in a respectable form. The latest iteration of the M Skindiver III Beyond retains all of those qualities, while also introducing some more curves, complexity, and deep blue hues.
Even if you didn’t see the “skindiver” title attached to this watch, its vintage inspiration is immediately apparent from the case and the bezel. The Ball Engineer M Skindiver III Beyond blends elements from several decades of the dive watch pinnacle, with a domed sapphire bezel calling back to the 1950s and the wedge-like lugs more evocative of the ‘70s. The bracelet’s first link cuts straight across the lug tips, helping it to more effectively drape across your wrist contours as well as contributing to that shell-like silhouette. The dimensions are best suited to an average wrist or larger, with a 41.5mm diameter, 13.8mm thickness, and a lug-to-lug of around 50.5mm.
The dial has been refined and in many ways improved upon from its previous generation, with the main upgrades relating to lume. Ball are most famous now for their use of H₃ gas tubes in place of the mainstay Super-LumiNova, which are capable of glowing brightly for decades without the need to charge them with UV. These are much bigger on the M Skindiver III Beyond than on the M Skindiver II, and can be found lighting the hour markers, bezel minute markers, all in green but for the 12 o’clock index and the hour and minutes hands. The rectangular glass tubes are recessed slightly into a matte-textured ring around the dial’s perimeter, giving a nice distinction for the minute track, and also emphasising the shine of the M Skindiver III Beyond’s sunburst blue dial and bezel insert. Red accents embolden the tip of the minute hand and the printed Chronometer script.
Speaking of the Chronometer script, of course the M Skindiver III Beyond can’t boast that title without COSC certification, which its movement does have. The RRM7309-C is Ball’s first in-house calibre from 2018, packing in 80 hours of power reserve and retaining a luxury-standard 4Hz beat rate. The COSC certification ensures an accuracy range of +6/-4 seconds per day, similar to the original standards set by W.C. Ball after the Great Kipton Train Wreck of 1891. It’s also resistant to magnetic fields up to a strength of 4,800A/m, more than enough to protect the movement in day-to-day scenarios. In addition to this all-blue model, the Ball Engineer M Skindiver III is also available in non-Beyond form with either an all-black look or a brighter blue dial with a black bezel.
The Ball Engineer M Skindiver III Beyond pricing and availability:
The Ball Engineer M Skindiver III Beyond is available with a one month lead time, and is limited to 1,000 pieces worldwide. Price: $3,699 USD
|M Skindiver III Beyond
|41.5mm x 13.8mm x 50.5mm
|Sapphire with anti-reflective coating
|Available with a 1 month lead time, and is limited to 1,000 pieces