BALL for BMW Power Reserve

Angus Davies provides an in-depth review of the BALL for BMW Power Reserve. This dual-branded watch features an interesting power-reserve indicator which resembles a car instrument display, proving simple to read and very stylish.

This detailed review of the BALL for BMW Power Reserve contains live images, specification details and pricing.

BALL for BMW Power Reserve - in-depth review by ESCAPEMENT

In 1994, I acquired my first BMW, a 320i Coupe, presented in a rather questionable shade of red. Nevertheless, my love affair with the blue and white roundel has continued ever since. Whilst I have succumbed to the charms of other automotive fillies, I have recently returned to the loving embrace of a BMW driver’s seat.

BMW has coined the phrase “The Ultimate Driving Machine”, something which seems justified with every enthusiastic drive along a country lane. Indeed, I smile each time I thread my 640d M Sport Gran Coupé through a series of apexes with flattering ease. These are exceptional cars evoking words of undying love from the lips of many alpha-males.

BMW is a prestigious automotive brand which enjoys a reputation for producing high quality luxury cars, coveted by many lesser marques. It is a ringing endorsement, therefore, for those companies it chooses to associate with.

In 2012, the Munich-based car manufacturer joined forces with BALL Watch Company, a brand located in the heart of the Swiss watchmaking city, La Chaux-de-Fonds. The renowned designer, Magali Métrailler tasked with creating a range of dual branded timepieces, has indulged would-be buyers with a choice of BALL for BMW models, featuring an array of complications.

I recently had the chance to become intimately acquainted with one of these new models, the BALL for BMW Power Reserve, featuring a date display and power reserve indicator. This model is offered with a selection of dials, case materials and straps / bracelets, collectively providing a choice of eight variants. My favourite is the silver dial option with a steel case and black crocodile leather strap and it is this timepiece which is the focal point of this review.

BALL for BMW Power Reserve - in-depth review by ESCAPEMENT



BALL for BMW Power Reserve - in-depth review by ESCAPEMENT

Ref PM3010C-SCJ-BK

BALL for BMW Power Reserve - in-depth review by ESCAPEMENT

Ref PM3010C-SCJ-SL


The dial

The faceted hour and minute hands have an almost rectangular profile. The tips are truncated and feature BALL Watch Company’s famous micro gas tubes, enhancing ease of read off in restricted light.

BALL for BMW Power Reserve - in-depth review by ESCAPEMENT

The hour markers are faceted and again, feature micro gas tubes. At 3 o’clock, there is no hour marker, this has been supplanted by a date display. Black text is presented against a white date disc. Sat adjacent the date display, the BMW logo sits atop a square shaped recess.

BALL for BMW Power Reserve - in-depth review by ESCAPEMENT

Ref PM3010C-P1CFJ-BK

Located between 5 and 9 o’clock, a large power reserve indicator dominates the dial area. The subdial is snailed and features a sole hand, similar in appearance to a car speedometer. This is one of the most user-friendly displays I have encountered, proving very simple to interpret. The automotive influences are judiciously employed and never appear to mar the cohesion of the design.

The central area of the dial appears to have a perforated upper surface, delivering a pleasing depth to the dial. Moreover, BALL Watch Company has repeatedly exploited depths on numerous dial details, granting the watch a notable air of luxury.

The case

Measuring 42 mm in diameter and with a case height of 12.64 mm, the dimensions of this watch are relatively restrained. The flowing lines of the case band and lugs exhibit a wonderful fluidity as if they have been honed in a wind tunnel similar to the gestation of a high performance car design.

BALL for BMW Power Reserve - in-depth review by ESCAPEMENT

Whilst the case would not be described as ultra-thin, the profile of the lugs imbue the BALL for BMW Power Reserve with a lightness and fools the wearer into believing the watch is thinner than the specification suggests.

The BMW logo adorns the crown and this same motif features on the sapphire crystal case back.

BALL for BMW Power Reserve - in-depth review by ESCAPEMENT

I found the case and leather strap helped to deliver a pleasing wrist feel, which should not inhibit the enthusiastic twirling of steering wheels on Sunday morning drives.

The movement

The self-winding Calibre BALL RR1702-C (base ETA 2897) is chronometer certified. The balance oscillates with a frequency of 28,800vph (4Hz), includes 21 jewels and delivers a power reserve of 42 hours.

The watch is equipped with BALL’s innovative Amortiser® anti-shock system featuring a shock-absorbing protection ring, encircling the movement and preventing substantial shocks causing damage.

Closing remarks

Like many BMW owners I am drawn to these BMW branded products. Clearly, there was a danger that the timepieces would not share the same degree of excellence as the Bavarian beauties loved by car fanatics around the globe. However, rest assured this watch upholds the reputation of the car brand with quality construction and sublime styling.

BALL for BMW Power Reserve - in-depth review by ESCAPEMENT


Magali Métrailler has recognised the strengths of the German car brand, such as ergonomics, comfort and eye-catching lines. She has distilled these qualities into a stunning watch. The BALL for BMW Power Reserve is very accessible with a retail price of £3740 (RRP as at 14.10.2014), delivering a very impressive performance and notable value for money.

As I blip the throttle of my very own BMW, with 313 Horse Power at my disposal, I confess to being obsessed with power. It therefore seems only fitting, that BALL Watch Company has recognised this predilection, shared in common with many BMW owners and produced a watch with an attractive and highly legible power reserve indicator.

Technical Specification

  • Model: BALL for BMW Power Reserve
  • Reference: PM3010C-LCFJ-SL
  • Case: Stainless steel; diameter 42.00 mm; height 12.64 mm; water resistant to 10 bar (100 metres); sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; central sweep seconds; date; power-reserve indicator.
  • Movement: Calibre BALL RR1702-C (base ETA 2897), self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 vph (4Hz); 21 jewels; power reserve of 42 hours.
  • Strap: Crocodile leather strap presented on a steel folding buckle.
  • Price: £3740 (RRP as at 14.10.2014)

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