BALL Watch Company Engineer Master II Skindiver II

Angus Davies reviews the BALL Watch Company Engineer Master II Skindiver II, a divers’ watch with a retro-appearance, chronometer status and noteworthy legibility.

This detailed review of the BALL Watch Company Engineer Master II Skindiver II includes live images, specification details and pricing.

BALL Watch Company Engineer Master II Skindiver II

The bright neon lights of London’s West End prove captivating with their iridescent hues and overt showboating. This is the home of theatre which comes alive at night, enticing passersby to escape reality and enter a world of music and dance.

I was reminded of this profusion of nocturnal colour as I admired the recently launched Engineer Master II Skindiver II from BALL Watch Company. This divers’ watch, inspired by the brand’s legendary ‘BALL Skindiver’ timepiece of 1962, features numerous luminescent micro tubes filled with tritium H3 gas. In restricted light, the dial evinces an array of vivid colours, aiding legibility in virtual darkness.

BALL Watch Company Engineer Master II Skindiver II

However, unlike the appearance of London’s West End during the day, which at times can appear a tad dishevelled, this new watch exhibits a smart, handsome appearance at all times.

BALL Watch Company Engineer Master II Skindiver II

I have long been an admirer of BALL Watch Company’s products as they often deliver a notable degree of robustness, precision, ingenuity and affordability. On the face of it, the BALL Watch Company Engineer Master II Skindiver II seems to uphold this reputation, however, it would be professionally remiss of me not to validate this, hence I felt duty bound to appraise this watch at close quarters.

The dial

A prerequisite of any divers’ watch is a highly legible dial and it is partially for this reason that I am attracted to this genre of timepiece. It is imperative that the wearer should be able to readily discern the indications presented and the BALL Watch Company Engineer Master II Skindiver II masterfully fulfils this requirement. There is no ambiguity with the indications displayed, everything is simple and clear.

BALL Watch Company Engineer Master II Skindiver II

The black dial features baton-type hour markers which punctuate the inner dial flange at 5-minute integers. This proves to be an interesting aspect of the dial design as the hour markers sit flat whilst the flange is sharply angled. The result is a stylish exploitation of depths without marring the superb lucidity of the dial.

BALL Watch Company Engineer Master II Skindiver II

I frequently make reference to those watches which play with differing depths on dials as this imparts a sense of luxury and augments eye-appeal. Despite the relatively modest asking price of this watch, £2,090 (RRP as at 18.10.2015), BALL Watch has not short-changed would-be buyers, according this dial with an agreeable profundity to its mien.

Additional functions include a central sweep seconds hand and a date display positioned between 4 and 5 o’clock.

In restricted light, typically experienced both in deep waters and on terra firma at night, the luminescent micro tubes deliver matchless visibility. The hour markers provide a green emission, save for noon which glows orange and the micro tubes on the hands impart a yellow lume. Despite the mix of different shades, the palette of colours never overwhelms the wearer.

The case

Whilst 43mm could not be described as small, and a case thickness of 14mm would never be termed ‘ultra-thin’, the size of this timepiece is still relatively modest for a divers’ watch. Indeed, the wisdom of BALL Watch Company when designing this timepiece is clear, prospective purchasers do not have to burden their wrist with a subaquatic leviathan. The resultant wrist-feel is excellent and at no stage does the crown impinge movement or chafe the arm.

BALL Watch Company Engineer Master II Skindiver II

The unidirectional bezel ensures the dive time is not inadvertently extended with potential grave consequences. Its black form is said by the brand to have received a pioneering ‘technology for the treatment of ceramic’ allowing the numerals and graduation marks to be coated with highly luminescent paint. Moreover, the ceramic bezel also accords ‘exceptional resistance to corrosion, scratches and UV rays’.

BALL Watch Company Engineer Master II Skindiver II

BALL Watch Company Engineer Master II Skindiver II

Whilst many potential wearers are unlikely to venture in deep seas, the maximum water resistance of 500 metres does confer a welcome degree of robustness to the case construction of the watch. A helium valve, adjacent 9 o’clock, prevents the sapphire crystal being displaced when returning to the ocean’s surface, sating the needs of some professional divers.

BALL Watch Company Engineer Master II Skindiver II

Typical of traditional divers’ watches, the BALL Watch Company Engineer Master II Skindiver II features a solid caseback. This is adorned with a motif, engraved with the United States Coast Guard Reserve insignia. The watch is anti-magnetic to 4,800 A/m and shock resistant to 5,000 Gs.

The movement

The self-winding BALL Calibre RR1103-C has a frequency of 28,800 vph (4Hz) with a power reserve of 38 hours.

As denoted on the dial of the watch, the Engineer Master II Skindiver II is a certified ‘chronometer’, independently tested, providing would-be wearers of a high quotient of precision.

Closing remarks

The BALL Watch Company Engineer Master II Skindiver II lived up to my expectations, delivering a breathtaking array of qualities.

The slightly retro-appearance, reminiscent of 1960s divers’ watches is particularly stylish. The scale of the watch should suit the majority of wrists and proves very comfortable to wear.

Despite its modest asking price, the BALL Watch Company Engineer Master II Skindiver II is well constructed, proffering toughness which is equally applicable on land or in the sea. Precision is assured, courtesy of certified ‘Chronometer’ status (COSC).

This watch provides magnificent legibility and its dial specification aids interpretation, day or night.

I was initially drawn to this watch when I spotted it earlier this year at Baselworld. Its nocturnal luminescence, replicated in a display cabinet, caught my attention. However, when the sun rises and daylight is omnipresent, the appearance of this watch still remains very agreeable.

Technical Specification

  • Model: BALL Watch Company Engineer Master II Skindiver II
  • Reference: DM3108A-SCJ-BK
  • Case: Stainless steel; diameter 43mm; height 14mm; water resistant to 50 bar (500 metres); Sapphire crystal to front and solid caseback.
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; central sweep seconds; date.
  • Movement: Calibre RR1103-C, self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 vph (4Hz); power reserve 38 hours.
  • Strap / Bracelet: Stainless steel bracelet with folding buckle and rubber strap with pin buckle in a special box set
  • Price: £2,090 (RRP as at 18.10.2015)

Related Links