hi. i'm corey.

Review of My Ball Engineer II Arabic Watch

posted by

Corey Watts

on January 19, 2013

I’ve been interested in nice watches for a number of years, but it wasn’t until recently that I was able to get my hands on one. I had done pretty extensive research on a ton of different watch brands; out of all of them Ball really stuck out to me. I think their designs are very distinctive, I love the tritium illumination, and they are VERY well made. Ball certifies each of their watches for shock protection, anti-magnetism, and water resistance, which ensures they can stand up to the daily rigors of my life! All kidding aside, I have peace of mind knowing that whatever I throw at it, my watch can handle. This watch should last me for many years to come, perhaps I’ll even be able to give it as a gift to one of my future progeny…that would be really cool.

As a college graduation gift, my parents offered to buy me a nice watch. I had originally wanted the Breitling Superocean II diver, but that was outside of my parents’ budget and I was worried the design wouldn’t age well. My dad had been a fan of Ball for a number of years, and initially introduced me to the brand. I was definitely intrigued by some of their watches, and most of them were in my price range. My dad and I went to Leslie Gold Watch Co., located in the Jewelry District of downtown Los Angeles to check some out.

The watches were even cooler in person. For whatever reason a watch always looks completely different in person than it does in photographs, so if you are thinking about purchasing a new watch try to see it live first. I had already picked out one watch on Ball’s website that I had liked: the Engineer II Arabic. Seeing and handling this watch for the first time was awesome. I was immediately sold. It had the perfect heft, appeared to be quite solid, the dial was gorgeous, and the metal bracelet that came with it was quite nice. I decided I wanted the watch, so my dad got it for me. I also decided to get a black leather band in addition to the metal bracelet, so I could swap them in and out. All in all, it was an awesome graduation gift.

Enough backstory, lets cut to the review.

  • I have the 2011 model with the white face. Specs are as follows:
  • Movement: ETA 2842-2
  • Illumination: 27 micro tritium gas tubes
  • Width: 40 mm
  • Thickness: 13.2 mm
  • Crystal: anti-reflective sapphire
  • Water resistance: 100 meters
  • Shock resistance: 5,000 Gs
  • Antimagnetic: 4,800 A/m

I’ve been wearing it almost every day for since May 2012, so as of writing I’ve been wearing it roughly eight months. For most of that time, I had it on the metal bracelet. I switched it over to the black leather band in late December, and I’ve been wearing it that way since. I really love how it looks on both bands, but I think it looks slightly classier on the black leather. I’ve been quite impressed by the sapphire crystal, after eight months of constant use there isn’t a single scratch! The polished metal case and bezel have small, normal-use scratches, but the crystal is still pristine.

<a href=”full/ball_engineer_arabic_on_wrist.jpg”><img alt=”Ball Engineer Arabic II 40mm On Wrist” src=”thumb/ball_engineer_arabic_on_wrist.jpg” height=”225” width=”300” /></a>

I think the white face is very classy, defintely classier than the black face this model also comes in. The white face, arabic numerals, black outlines on the indexes, and teal accents combine to make a gorgeous dial. I especially love the shade of teal used on the second hand and arabic five minute markers. I love the teal so much I was very excited when Ball redesigned their Engineer II Diver to use that color, instead of the florescent green and orange they were using previously. But that’s a story for another post.

<a href=”full/ball_engineer_arabic_backside.jpg”><img alt=”Ball Engineer Arabic II 40mm Backside” src=”thumb/ball_engineer_arabic_backside.jpg” height=”225” width=”300” /></a>

The movement appears to be quite solid, the watch loses about two and a half seconds per day (lying face up on my dresser at night). I’d estimate it has roughly a 40 or 45 hour power reserve. The tritium lume is outstanding. This is the first tritium watch I’ve owned, and honestly there is no comparison between tritium and lume paint. My watch is always visible at night, no matter how dark or how long it has been since light has touched it. I don’t know how I lived without it! Ball says the tritium will last 25 years, but seeing as the half-life of tritium is 12.3 years, I’ll probably want to get it replaced before then. Regardless, my watch should be shining brightly for at least ten years or so. After that, I can send the watch in to Ball and have the tritium tubes replaced.

I’ve only been able to find one small thing I don’t like about this watch. I think 40mm is slightly small for my 7.5” wrist. I later got a 43mm watch (which I will be reviewing later) and I find that I like the size of it more. But this is a tiny dislike for what is otherwise an incredible watch.

<a href=”full/ball_engineer_arabic_height.jpg”><img alt=”Ball Engineer Arabic II 40mm Height” src=”thumb/ball_engineer_arabic_height.jpg” height=”225” width=”300” /></a>