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In 1891, about 40 miles west of Cleveland, a fast mail train collided head-on with a passenger train. This accident later became known as the Great Kipton Train Wreck. The cause of the accident? The passenger train’s conductor’s watch had stopped functioning for a mere 4 minutes before restarting.
After that collision, renowned jeweller Webb C. Ball was appointed Chief Time Inspector to investigate the accident’s timekeeping issues. Ball then formulated a new timekeeping system for the railroad industry, revolutionising timekeeping (in the industry) and thus making train travel significantly safer for both passengers and employees. The watches that employees used were certified and issued by Ball, which led to the birth of the legendary company known today as Ball Watch Co.
|Ball Fireman Victory Black Ref. NM2098C-S6J-BK
Ball watches are renowned for their precision, robustness, and durability. This new Fireman Victory Black is no exception. This coveted and highly popular model from Ball Watch Co retains similar case dimensions as its predecessors. Measuring 40mm in diameter, the watch has a lug-to-lug of 48mm and a thickness of merely 11.3mm. The case design is synonymous with other models from the classic Fireman collection which is an evolution of Ball watches of the past. On the wrist, with the 40mm case diameter and relatively short lug-to-lug, the Ball Fireman Victory Black wears like a charm and will suit almost any wrist size. Made of 316L stainless steel, the watch features a mixture of brushed and polished finishing. The top of the lugs is finely satin-brushed while the thin bezel and sides of the case are high polished. This transpires to give the watch a more sophisticated look.
Let’s talk about that dial. The patterned dial is reminiscent of an engine turbine and has a rich black sunburst effect. The dial will catch the light at different angles and has terrific light play. You’d find yourself looking at the watch very often and tilting it at various angles to marvel at how the sunburst engine-turned dial pattern can look so different at multiple angles. The handset is the classic dauphine-style hand and the second hand features the famous Ball logo counterbalance. A date window can be found at 4.30 which is a useful complication for everyday wear. Covering the dial is a piece of sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment to ensure legibility even in harsh lighting conditions.
Unique lug's design on its mid-case
Despite its good looks, the Ball Fireman can also take a beating. It is ISO1413 certified to withstand up to 5,000G of shock resistance. Its screwed-down crown and caseback also help the watch to be water-resistant up to 100m. This truly can be a go anywhere, do anything timepiece. As for dial legibility in dark conditions, Ball solves that by having 14 micro gas tubes affixed on the indices, hour and minute hands. By using innovative Swiss laser technology, the gas tubes are up to a hundred times brighter than your typical luminescent paint used in the watch industry. The micro gas tubes also have a lifespan of a staggering 25 years and do not require an external energy source to function.
Powering the Ball Watch Fireman Victory Black is the calibre BALL RR1103. This movement is based on either the ETA 2824-2 or Selita SW200-1 movement. It has 25/26 jewels, beats at 28,800 BPH and has a power reserve of roughly 38 hours. It is a workhorse movement that has been used for decades and will ensure accurate and reliable timekeeping.
|14 micro gas tubes on hour and minute hands and dial for night reading capability
Ball pairs the Fireman Victory on a 20mm bracelet. The bracelet is similar to an H-Link bracelet and features satin brushed outer links and a highly polished centre link. It tapers gently to a signed butterfly clasp. The distinctive look of the bracelet adds to the elegant feel of the timepiece, making the watch dazzle.
The Fireman collection is Ball’s entry-level offering. However, it is clear that the brand does not cut any corners on anything about the timepiece. It is robust, has a well-finished case and has specifications that punch way above its price tag. The Fireman Victory Black also exudes an air of elegance and charm whilst still retaining its utilitarian aspect which makes it an excellent choice for an everyday watch. Additionally, you’ll never get bored of the dial and that’s a victory (pun intended) in our books.