BALL watches were first developed to provide train conductors with ultra-reliable timepieces in the early days of the American railroad. In 1883, the growth of the railroad required communities across America to adopt standardized time zones. Webster Clay Ball, an Ohio-based jeweler, was an early adopter of the newly standardized timekeeping system and leveraged that expertise to grow the BALL watch company in his hometown of Cleveland.
Today, the BALL watch company carries on this legacy by producing reliable, durable, and elegant timepieces for modern adventurers. BALL watches are crafted from stainless steel for maximum durability and feature patented systems to protect against shocks and magnetic fields. Details such as calendar windows and chronograph dials add functional value to these reliable timepieces.
Ball became involved with the railroad in 1891 when two trains had a catastrophic collision due to inaccurate timekeeping. Given Ball’s experience with time standardization, Lake Shore Lines railroad appointed him as the Chief Investigator for Time and Watch conditions on the railroad. Ball subsequently put his horological knowledge to use, crafting timepieces that would remain accurate under any circumstances and developing a system of standards and validation procedures for timepieces that 75% of the railroad industry would eventually come to use.
BALL crafts its watches from stainless steel for maximum durability so they can resist damage and corrosion in even the harshest conditions. Many collections are made from grade 904L stainless steel, an alloy so hard and resistant to corrosion that BALL's horologists have to use specialized machinery to shape it into watch components. BALL has also patented systems to protect its watches from physical and electrical shocks, as well as from magnetic fields.
The triple folding buckle on many BALL watches is also patented. Crafted from a single piece of stainless steel, the buckle is extremely durable. The mechanically locking closure resists accidental opening but allows easy opening and extension with one hand.
Modern BALL watches are made in Switzerland, faithfully crafted according to Webster Ball’s original guidelines for the design of the Official Railroad Watch. BALL timepieces feature a classic round case, with clearly defined hour markers. Sophisticated dials come in classic black, white, and blue. Elegant stainless steel bracelets and rich leather straps complete the timeless aesthetic of today’s BALL watches.
BALL has pushed the boundaries of luminescence to facilitate night reading. BALL watches use self-powered micro gas tubes that encapsulate tritium gas in a tube coated with luminescent material. The interaction between these two substances produces a glow 100 times brighter than the luminescent paints commonly used in watchmaking. BALL’s Trainmaster Chronograph features micro gas tubes on the hour markers and hour, minute, and second hands. The strikingly luminous dial is legible day or night and in any environment.
BALL watches feature a variety of functional details. For instance, the Trainmaster, Engineer Master II, and Engineer II each feature a calendar window indicating the date. The Fireman Storm Chaser Pro additionally indicates the day of the week in an easy-to-read window at the 3 o’clock hour marker. Many models also offer a chronograph functionality.