Although the 2014 Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Hunley Automatic Diver (Ref. PM2096B-S1J-BK) still features that “polarizing” patented crown guard system as previous iterations of the watch, it is still one of the most elegant members of the growing family. As refined as a diving tool can be, it is also not expensive sporting a price tag around $1000 lower than that of an IWC Aquatimer.
The 2014 Ball Engineer II Pioneer Chronometer (ref. NM2026C-L4CAJ-BK) delivers all the usual treats from the watchmaker that was founded in America, but later moved to Switzerland. The compact, deliberately simple body would look good on almost any wrist, its dial is high-contrast and easily readable even to older persons with poor sight. However, if your idea of a dress watch doesn’t include more than two dozen glass micro-tubes filled with a mildly radioactive, self-glowing gas, you may find this timekeeper slightly difficult to adapt to.
Ball Watches has released the facelifted version of the Ball Fireman Storm Chaser Pro (ref. CM3090C-L1J-BK) during the Baselworld 2014 show. The refreshed watch features a finely executed telemeter scale and packs within its medium-sized 42 mm stainless steel body the same cal. RR1402 automatic chronograph movement, but now looks a lot more elegant than the previous iteration of the timepiece. It’s almost as if Porsche has released its current-gen Cayenne performance SUV with its gorgeous exterior and plush interior without sacrificing all the off-road goodness of the first-gen model.
Just wanted to give you a brief heads up regarding a new offering from a small American watchmaker Deep Blue Watches. They have just updated their Daynight range with a Deep Blue Daynight T100 GMT Chronograph. Still capable of withstanding the water pressure of up to 50ATM, it can now be used by especially busy combat divers and other special forces operators featuring not one or two, but whole three time zones. Well, sort of.
Just in time for the holiday shopping season (and to officially mark its 130th anniversary), the American company offers its automatic Ball Trainmaster Standard Time (ref. NM3888D-PG-LCJ-WH) that attempts to combine vintage style with contemporary technology in the same compact case.
The limited-edition Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Spacemaster Captain Poindexter still makes quite an impression with its massive body and a bold face with broad, pointy hands that look like they were inspired by some super-sword from one of those Final Fantasy series of videogames.
The 2013 Luminox Tony Kanaan Valjoux (Ref. A.1188) limited-edition chronograph offers a strong blend of an unusual, aggressive-looking body combined with a bullet-proof automatic movement and offered at a fairly competitive price.
Here comes another good one from the young American watchmakers. The semi-professional Deep Blue Daynight Recon T100 White Automatic diver gives you an easily recognizable (although not terribly unique) design with elegant dial sporting the brand’s signature luminous tritium tubes and an impressive water resistance rating of 500 meters.
The American brand Deep Blue has introduced a (more than) affordable diver to its vast collection of tool watches. Currently offered at only $399 (the normal price is $499, shipping is not included in both cases), the new Deep Blue DayNight T100 OPS Diver features a rugged exterior design that somehow reminds me of Luminox timekeeper combined with a water resistance rating of 500 meters and an easily readable dial with twenty flat tritium tubes of different colors. Unlike the usual Superluminova or other chemical compounds, the mildly radioactive gas that fills the micro-tubes keeps glowing for at least twenty years without any need of being recharged, which makes it a perfect choice for those keeping their collection in boxes stashed in a chest of drawers while sleeping in their preassigned Vault-Tec shelters.
For the upcoming year, the American watchmaker has updated its military-styled Atacama series. Soon to be offered as Luminox Atacama Field Day-Date 1945 (ref. A.1945), the quartz-powered gadget is noticeably larger than the previous version and now features a slightly facelifted, more sober-looking dial.
The automatic Deep Blue Daynight Recon 500M is one of the most attractive “diving tools” on the market if you don’t count in the last year’s CALDIVER 500 “complication” model. Rated for 500 meters of water resistance, it features a case, which is not only robust, but also dressy in its own rugged way, and a unidirectional 120-click rotating bezel with the usual submersion timer. That, as well as a nice combination of their signature tritium tubes on hands and hour markers, and Superluminova-painted indices and minute marks on the ceramic bezel inlay, makes the Daynight Recon not only easily readable but also a real pleasure to look at!
Usually associated with ‘tactical’ timepieces that come in durable and feather-light polyurethane bodies, from time to time the watchmaking specialist introduces similarly specced timekeepers packed in dressier, stainless steel bodies. Though designed with us, civilians, in mind, the new Luminox Mariner Series 6250 family still features an almost unrivaled nighttime legibility thanks to the use of T25-type micro-tubes filled with mildly radioactive tritium gas.
The 2012 Luminox Deep Dive 500M 1500 Collection (refs. A.1512 & A.1513) is a minor facelift of their 2011 Deep Dive LLT military-style diver, but with a less tactical, more civilian touch to it. Instead of the stealthy black body, the latest version sports a satin-finished steel body and a more traditional rotating bezel that now sports a painted aluminum insert. Still, the watch keeps the signature features of the earlier model with its patent-pending bezel locking system that also acts as a crown protector and sports the same impressive power reserve rating of whole 50 ATM.
The formerly American and now Swiss-owned brand Luminox, a company that still sells watches for the U.S. military and law enforcement agencies, has recently expanded its “Colormark” line of diving timepieces with the snow-white Luminox Navy SEALs Colormark Whiteout (Ref. 3057.WO) model. Although clearly designed to be worn with snow camo, the watch still looks good enough with a pair of blue jeans, especially if you color key it to white sneakers or, at least, white socks.
Luminox has finally updated the Original Navy SEALs 3000 collection with a totally black model. Sporting a black carbon-reinforced polycarbonate body, the 2012 Luminox Original Navy SEALs 3000 Blackout (Ref. A.3001.BO) has its dial, as well all inscriptions, repainted either black or very dark grey. Its nighttime legibility (the main feature of any “tactical” watch) remains unharmed, though, thanks to 15 LLT micro-tubes that are filled with light-emitting tritium gas.