With the introduction of the Ball Engineer III Silver Star and Bronze Star the American brand shows that it can make a mean pilot watch. Their latest addition to the collection might be called Engineer, but perhaps Aviator would have been a better name. This might seem like a criticism but is, in fact, a compliment because Ball makes one amazing pilot’s watch!
The design approach Ball took was to look primarily at the purpose of this watch. Legibility scores then very high and that is the well-known terrain for Ball with their tritium gas tube technology which doesn’t need to be exposed to the light to be visible in darker conditions. Set in the hands and on the hour markers they aid the bold Arabic numerals which are filled in with Luminova.
The case on the Engineer III is available in two sizes: 40mm for when you like your pilots watches in a classic way, or 46mm for those who prefer an oversized watch. In both cases, you can get the Silver Star with either a black of a blue dial, yet always fitted with an anti-reflective sapphire crystal.
Now the Engineer III is not only a pilots watch regarding looks but also has some technology on board to live up to any expectations that this might give to you. It is anti-magnetic to 80,000A/m, water resistant to 100 meters and shock resistance to 5000Gs thanks to the patented Amortiser anti-shock system.
With the Bronze, Star Ball is also introducing its very first watch made from a bronze aluminum alloy. Especially combined with the aviation design, it makes for an excellent looking watch. With its 43mm case size, it also fits in the right between the two Silver Stars. Inside ticks the same movement as with the Silver Star, Ball Caliber RR1102, based on ETA’s 2836. A rugged movement, mainly known for its day-date windows. I am normally not a fan of them but must admit that with the Engineer III they look very good.
Ball now offers the Silver Stars for a very competitive US$907,- in pre-order and it doesn’t make a difference if you opt for the 40mm case or the 47mm, strap or bracelet. My advice would be indeed to go for a bracelet version since you can always buy a strap at little expense. The question if you should go for 40mm or 46mm is a matter of personal preference and wrist size. The Bronze Star is limited to 3000 pieces and costs US$1.275,- in pre-order. This model is available on a strap only. After the pre-order period prices are raised to US$1.650,- for the Silver Star and US$2.300,- for the Bronze Star. So when this watch calls your name, you might want to strike now.
More information on the Engineer III Silver Star and Bronze Star can be found on the Ball website