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These Ball watches are tough enough for one of the U.S. Navy’s most elite units

If it's good enough for them, it's good enough for us

US Navy diver disarming a torpedo
Ball Watch Company

Ball has produced excellent dive watches, alongside other innovative timepieces, since the late 1800s — but their latest effort has come courtesy of a little extra help from one of the U.S. Navy’s most elite units. The Engineer Hydrocarbon EOD is endorsed by The United States Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit — which has been clearing explosive objects from land and sea since 1942.

Ball watches aren’t the most fragile of things, but this latest effort really goes above and beyond. Ball claims it is the “most robust mechanical watch” it has ever developed. That’s one of the reasons why an elite naval unit is happy to say Ball’s latest watch is tough enough for them.

The 42mm case is made of titanium and comes with a black or silver finish, while the watch’s face is also black. Luminous gas tubes provide luminosity when things get dark, above or below the waterline, and underneath it all lies a currently unspecified (but COSC certified) caliber movement.

Ball’s new Navy timepiece also features a highly protected crown, but the security measures don’t end there. A lot of work seems to have gone into making the Engineer Hydrocarbon EOD one of the most well-protected watches on the planet.

Ball engineer hydrocarbon watch
Ball Watch Company

The watches are designed for the world’s toughest environments

The Engineer Hydrocarbon EOD isn’t just a showpiece. Instead, it’s designed to function comfortably in some of the world’s harshest environments. In terms of temperature, the watch has been lubricated with special oils and can handle anything from -45 degrees C to 80 C (-49 to 176 F). These are the sorts of temperatures where humans don’t last very long without specialist equipment.

Shock resistance comes in the form of a SpringSEAL patented regulator and SpringLOCK hairspring. The former keeps the watch’s regulator settings safe in case of impact, ensuring you won’t have to reset said regulator if the watch takes a bump. SpringLOCK goes beyond the Swiss certification standards of mechanical movements shock impact standard by an impressive 66%. Ball claims the watch’s movement can withstand a “freefall” from up to 10 meters, or 33 feet. So, theoretically, you could toss it off the average roof without too many problems.

There’s also around 1,000 gauss of anti-magnetism built-in, so it’s unlikely that your timepiece will start running fast if you leave it near one of the many magnetic objects we’re surrounded by for a length of time.

Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon back navy
Ball Watch Company

Ball’s Hydrocarbon is also highly water resistant and can function at a depth of 300 meters (1,000 feet). This is close to the human dive record, and many military submarines are rated to a similar depth. So there are places you can go to break the Ball, but beyond a trip to the Yukon or Arctic Plateau in winter, Death Valley on an unseasonably warm day, or a human-limitation-defying dive — this timepiece is going to function exceptionally well.

Pre-orders have already started for these rugged and durable watches for men, and Ball expects to start shipping the watch out by the end of 2023. You can order your own from the company’s website, with prices starting at $3,349.

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Dave McQuilling
Dave has spent pretty much his entire career as a journalist; this has included jobs at newspapers, TV stations, on the…
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