Probably inspired by a similarly named family of antimagnetic timekeepers from a Swiss watchmaker, the new Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon DeepQuest (Ref. DM3000A-SCJ-BK) automatic diving watch still has a selling point of its own. Even two of them if you count in the “wow” factor. The first selling point is its impressive water resistance rating of whole three thousand meters (almost ten thousand feet,) which makes it an impressive homage to a true old-school professional diving instrument.
To achieve such an ambitious goal, the team of American and Swiss engineers not only strengthened the crown seal (the usual Achilles heel of most “casual” diving watches,) but also practically reinvented the body of the watch itself.
Like a body of the aluminum Apple Macbook Pro, the case of the new diver is machined from a single block of titanium. This not only made the housing structurally stronger, but also removed a number of tight spots where the salty oceanic water could potentially find its way to a fragile piece of high precision machinery that animates the new Hydrocarbon DeepQuest.
The only hole in the titanium body is on the front part of it. The opening is used to install the movement and then the bezel is directly screwed-in with all the necessary gaskets and whatnot. This sort of design will make the watch more difficult to service, but is still a good trade-off when it comes to security of the mechanism.
The second selling point is the tiny light-emitting gas tubes that are filled with radioactive tritium and retain their glow not for hours, but literally for ages. The tubes not only work as hour markers, but are also installed into the hour, minute and seconds hand. To make the timekeeper even more legible in murky waters, Ball’s engineers additionally illuminated the dial of the watch in blue. Thanks to its short wavelength, this is the last color that a human eye can register at an extreme depth.
The aforementioned unidirectional rotating bezel is also painted with a luminous substance that covers not only the large triangle at “00” minutes, but also highlights the inevitable diving scale.
Like many other recently presented divers, this watch is, too, animated by a good old ETA 2892 automatic caliber, which is equipped with a simple calendar.
I highly doubt the watch is supposed to be used as a real diving instrument (there is a great number of electronic professional diving computers that do the job much more effectively.) However, I am pretty sure that, if such need arises, the new Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon DeepQuest will do its job effectively and will not embarrass its owner by taking an unexpected leak.
The watch is available now at a recommended price of $4000.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4.5/5
Value for Money: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
See also: Deep Blue Depthmaster 3000 Diver
Photos: Ball Watches
Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon DeepQuest 3000M Automatic (Ref. DM3000A-SCJ-BK) diving watch specification
Price: $4000 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, caliber ETA 2892, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 21
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: No data
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case material: Titanium, unibody design
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 43.00 mm
Lug width: No data
Case height: No data
Dial: Black or White
Numerals: No data
Hour markers: Luminous (Tritium tubes)
Hands: Luminous (Tritium tubes)
Water resistance: 3000 meters
Strap: Titanium bracelet with an extension
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective, 5.30 mm thick
Case back: Solid