Ball Watch Company, whose history is rooted in the early days of train travel, has taken its watchmaking talents from the rails to the roads, collaborating with German luxury automaker BMW to introduce a new line of watches, called Ball for BMW. The Ball for BMW collection, whose development has been headed up by noted BMW designer Magali Metrailler, is heavily influenced by the aerodynamic lines and ergonomic details of BMW cars and their engines. The line is composed thus far of the Classic, a three-hand model with date; the GMT, with second time zone; and a Power Reserve model. All the watches have automatic ETA movements that have been certified as chronometers by COSC.
The watches feature alternating polished and satin-finished surfaces and screw-down crowns that evoke the detailing on BMW dashboard knobs. The dial designs are also influenced by the cars’ dashboards and the shape of their disk brakes, and each features a BMW logo. The dials’ diamond-cut metal indices contain micro-tubes of luminous H3 gas, a Ball Watch hallmark. BMW’s signature color, Inka orange, is used on the seconds hands and on the power reserve and GMT counters. The watches feature a patented, micro-mechanical anti-shock technology called Amortiser, which absorbs lateral impacts to protect the movement when the watch is on the wrist.
The Classic contains an ETA 2892-2 and has a 40-mm stainless steel case. The dials, which come in blue (pictured), black, silver, or gray, have 12 micro-gas tubes. The watch comes on a tapered stainless steel bracelet or crocodile leather strap with folding buckle.
The GMT model has a 42-mm case, available in either steel or DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon). Its dial has 13 micro gas tubes and is available in black or silver. It has an Inka orange center-mounted hand to indicate a second time zone. The watch comes on a steel bracelet or a leather or rubber strap.
The Ball for BMW Power Reserve is powered by an ETA 2897 and is the only model in the series available in a gold case as well as in stainless steel and DLC. The power-reserve indicator is in a large subdial at 7 o’clock. Its dial has 10 micro gas tubes. Dials options are black or silver for the steel and DLC cases and black or gray for the gold case; strap options are steel bracelet, crocodile leather or rubber.
Ball Watch Company has stated that it intends to expand the Ball for BMW collection soon with a chronograph model and a model housing the brand’s well-known mechanical thermometer function. The Ball for BMW watches — which are packaged with a BMW digital key — are available through a network of exclusive retailers.