Dive Watch Wednesday: Hands-on with the Ball Watch Skindiver II


In 2012, Ball Watch Co. presented the Skindiver in Basel, basically a re-edition of a dive watch from the brand’s past that was celebrating its 50th anniversary at the time. This year, Ball Watch replaces that model with the Engineer Master II Skindiver II (Ref. DM3108A-SCJ-BK), and we at DiveIntoWatches.com had the chance to briefly handle it in Basel.

The most important changes: The case diameter is now 43 mm instead of 40.5 (its height is 14 mm), and the rather unusual split day/date display has been replaced by a date-only display.

Ball_Watch_Co_Master_Engineer_II_Skindiver_II_Dial_Baselworld_2015_regular

To be honest, we would have preferred a black date wheel (or a no-date version to begin with), and even though the new bezel/crown profile is much more refined and should offer more grip, we did like the previous design a bit better because it was closer to that of the original.

Ball_Watch_Co_Master_Engineer_II_Skindiver_II_Profile_Baselworld_2015_regular

Apart from those caveats, the larger size and the reduced dial is a positive evolution and enhances the watch’s wrist presence quite a bit.

Ball_Watch_Co_Master_Engineer_II_Skindiver_II_Date_Baselworld_2015_regular

The uni-directional bezel comes with an insert made of black ceramic, which is filled with luminescent paint.

Ball_Watch_Co_Master_Engineer_II_Skindiver_II_Lume_Baselworld_2015_regular

As you’d expect from Ball, the Skindiver II is also fitted with tritium-filled micro tubes and is therefore an impressive sight in darkness. On the other hand, it is a good example of a dilemma that naturally arises with a watch such as the Skindiver, when a technology-oriented brand such as Ball launches a vintage-inspired model. The same goes for the 500-meter water resistance and the integrated helium release valve at 9 o’clock on a watch that was obviously made for skin diving rather than for use inside a diving chamber.

The caseback features the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve’s emblem, and the movement behind it, Caliber RR1103-C, comes with COSC certification and is most likely based on an ETA caliber.

Ball_Watch_Co_Master_Engineer_II_Skindiver_II_Caseback_Baselworld_2015_regular

The Ball Skindiver II comes with a black rubber strap and a massive steel bracelet with folding clasp.

Ball_Watch_Co_Master_Engineer_II_Skindiver_II_Duo_Baselworld_2015_regular
Ball_Watch_Co_Master_Engineer_II_Skindiver_II_Rubber_Baselworld_2015_regular

No info yet on the pricing, or details on Ball’s relationship with the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve.

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6 Responses to “Dive Watch Wednesday: Hands-on with the Ball Watch Skindiver II”

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  1. bijan

    Questions:

    1. The previous Skindiver has a tritium rating of T (or T100), whereas this new Skindiver II has a tritium rating of T25. However, by looking at both watches, they seem to have the same amount of tritium tubes, both flats (the hour marker) and rounds (the hands). How is it so? Does the new Skindiver II has a lesser tritium brightness compared to the previous Skindiver?

    2. About the bezel, is the new Skindiver II bezel integrated with LumiNova as well like the previous Skindiver?

    3. What will the price be for this new Skindiver II?

    Reply
    • Thanks for the comment. As we are still waiting for an official press release, we unfortunately don’t have the necessary info to answer your questions (and would like to learn more about the cooperation featured on the caseback). It does look like that the new bezel insert still comes with LumiNova however. As soon as we get an answer from Ball, we’ll inform you.

      Reply
    • bijan, as promised, please find below the answers to your questions which were provided directly by Ball Watch:

      1. The Tritium rating of our watches depends not only on the number and the size of the gas tubes but also on the intensity of the H3 gas contained into the gas tubes. Even if the new Engineer Master II Skindiver II has the same quantity of gas tubes with same size as the previous Engineer Master II Skindiver, its H3 intensity is lower, which makes the watch eligible to the T25 rating.

      2. Yes, the bezel of the new Engineer Master II Skindiver II is well made of Ceramic injected with Luminova painting.

      3. USD 2’799.–

      Reply
      • Hi Roger,

        Thanks for the reply, although for Question 1, Ball didn’t actually address my prime question which is whether the new Skindiver II (T25) has a lesser tritium brightness compared to the previous Skindiver (T). From their explanation in which they said that H3 intensity is lower in the new Skindiver II, I imagine that it will be less bright. However, from some youtube videos that I saw, they commented that the lume in this new Skindiver II seems brighter than the previous version, which is why I asked this question.

        Anyway, thanks for the effort to forward my question to Ball. I guess I have to check the lume out by myself when they come out later. Which leads to my next question: When will the new Skindiver II and the rest of the new Ball watches line up going to be available on the market?

        Cheers.

        Reply
  2. dennis

    As a diver and owning many nice dive watches, if this watch is priced
    over $1,000 then i would not consider it, though it, a nice piece.

    Reply
  3. srhardy

    I am a big fan of BALL as they use tritium-filled micro tubes and are built like TANKS! The deepquest in titanium is the best watch ive ever seen and is affordable if you shop around online! The only week point is the swiss movement… Guys we need perpetual calendar moments and a simple way to refirb expensive movements/cases over the usefull like of the product (which is lifetime dude’s)

    Ive posted on the APPLE SMARTWATCH story, with superclones and smart phone tech the SWISS need to get a move on. I hate adjusting my watch every month or so for date but tritium-filled micro tubes at least solve the night viewing problem… Thank you ball, hope you inovate a new movement with perpetual calandar

    Reply
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