With a strong focus on precision and function, Ball Watch Company has been a leader in certain important categories—including pilot watches. Now, the brand revisits its Engineer Master Pilot watch and makes a few changes to it in an effort to pay tribute to aviation heroes.
The new 43.5 mm stainless steel Ball Engineer Master Pilot II GMT combines vintage elements with modern styling. In fact, the watch is all about luminosity and readability—two very important factors in the world of pilot watches. The indexes and hands are filled with luminescent micro tubes of H3 gas, which requires no external light to be charged (this differs from most luminous materials in the industry that have to be exposed to light before they become incandescent) and is 100 times brighter than conventional luminous paints. To quickly distinguish time and function, the indexes are blue, the numeral 12 and the GMT hand are green and the hours, minutes and seconds hands are orange. The indexes on the rotating bezel are also luminescent green – but painted not tubes.
The two-layer dial features a silver subdial that houses the gas tubes, and a visible top dial with cut outs to make space for the indexes. The bi-directional rotating aluminum bezel – that is ribbed for easy rotation – features gradations for the 24 hours and allow for rapid setting of the GMT hand on the second time zone display. The watch is also fitted with a date indicator at 3:00. It houses a Swiss-made mechanical movement that is visible through the sapphire crystal case back.
The Engineer Master Pilot II GMT is shock resistant to 5,000 Gs’ and water resistant to 330 feet. It comes on either a stainless steel bracelet or crocodile strap with red stitching. It retails for $2,499 and is a great entry-level watch aviation-minded watch buffs.