The 2011 Ball Storm Chaser DLC Glow Chronograph (ref. CM2192C-P1J-BK) may be the answer for those looking for a watch that glows, um, all night long. Even if it is an endless, life-draining polar night, you will never have to worry about your beloved timekeeper losing its brightness: the mildly radioactive gas that is stored inside its micro-tube will have enough own energy to keep glowing for ages.
Although Superluminova (and other lumes of this sort) looks spectacular the first couple of minutes after being exposed to bright light, its luminescent properties usually degrade fast. So fast that you will barely see the timekeeper’s reading after a couple of hours of total darkness.
Sometimes it can become a serious problem if you don’t have a source of light handy or a mobile phone in your pocket.
The solution to this problem is tritium.
This gas, although barely radioactive, naturally glows in the dark and doesn’t depend on external light sources (you don’t need to “charge” it like Superluminova.) In fact, the tritium-filled tubes can emit light literally for years without losing their properties.
Most of the watches that are equipped with tritium tubes are of a military kind (like, say, the recent BOMBFROG BT25 Tactic tritium automatic diver) and may appear ugly to some.
However, there are other models on the market that, while certainly not “dressy,” can be worn with plain clothes. One of them is the new Storm Chaser DLC Glow.
Equipped with 66 luminescent gas tubes (60 of them serve as hour markers and the rest decorate the whole six hands,) the Storm Chaser DLC Glow will offer you superb readability even if you plan to live in a cave for the next ten years.
The watch is powered by the well-known ETA Valjoux 7750 chronograph movement and offers such standard functions as hours, minutes, seconds, day, date, chronograph and tachometer.
Since the gadget is named after the famous reality show produced by the Discovery Channel, it is also equipped with a telemeter (or the “rangefinder” as they prefer to call it.)
The function works simply: when you see a flash of lightning, start the chronograph and when the first roar of thunder reaches your eardrums, press it again and you will know how far away from you the lightning struck.
Of course, you have to factor in the natural lag of your reflexes and the time that it takes for the chronograph to start operating and all that, but, considering the fact that sound travels at an average speed of only 340-something meters per second, the error will not be fatal (figuratively speaking.)
By the way, besides the telemeter, there is also a special engraving on the Storm Chaser’s back that depicts one of the Doppler on Wheels radar trucks that are used by the Center for Severe Weather Research led by Joshua Wurman and used to study tornados and hurricanes.
The Storm Chaser DLC Glow is supplied in a black PVD-coated stainless steel case 43 millimeters in diameter and is limited to 1999 pieces.
Photos: Ball Watches
Ball Storm Chaser DLC Glow (ref. CM2192C-P1J-BK) specification
Price: $3600 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, caliber ETA Valjoux 7750, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, day of the week, chronograph, tachymeter, telemeter (rangefinder)
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case: Stainless steel, black PVD coated
Size: 43.00 mm
Lug width: 20.00 mm
Hands: Steel with tritium tubes
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black leather strap with buckle or stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective, curved