Escapement Watch Review: Ball Watch Trainmaster Cannonball

The bi-compax layout of the dial includes a small seconds display at 3 o’clock and a 45-minute chronograph counter at 9 o’clock. Each subdial is snailed and marked with small but legible Arabic numerals.


Below 12 o’clock, an aperture reveals the date. Because the movement is of modular construction, the date sits a little deep within the dial. However, it remains perfectly legible when viewed directly from the front and should not cause too many concerns. At first the aperture appears square, but the upper and lower edges are slightly curved, following the line of the nearby minute rail.

The Arabic numerals encircling the dial are traditional in appearance and include serifs. Interestingly, the upper portion of the number “7” on the dial states the word “BALL” in small, capitalized italics. Indeed, wherever you choose to survey, the dial has subtle design details which bestow delight.

Gracing the perimeter of the dial, a minute track reinforces the symbolic links to railways. Each hour is marked with a luminous pearl and at noon a triangular index features.

The case:

The stainless steel case has a diameter of 43 mm and height of 14.8 mm. I found the scale of the watch very wearable.


Despite the crown being rather large, at no stage did it rub against my arm or hinder free movement of my wrist. The design of the crown has a vintage feel, reminiscent of the crown gracing the top of a 19th century Ball pocketwatch, albeit, in the case of a wristwatch, positioned at 3 o’clock.

The upper step of the bezel, case band and caseback are highly polished. By contrast, the lower step of the bezel and the upper surface of the lugs are satin-brushed. The blend of finishes is very appealing.

An exhibition caseback accords a view of the movement within.

An exhibition case back accords a view of the movement within.

The movement:

The self-winding caliber BALL RR1401 has a frequency of 28,800 vph (4Hz), contains 49 jewels and has a power reserve of 38 hours.

The oscillating mass features Côtes de Genève motif.

Closing remarks:

The Ball Watch Trainmaster Cannonball is a good-looking watch. It offers the convenience of a self-winding chronograph movement and looks capable of shrugging off minor impacts and shocks, courtesy of its sturdy construction. This watch also represents very good value at £2590 (as of July 25,.2014).

I particularly like how the watch references the past, capturing some of the design elements of the Ball Watch Company’s pocketwatches from the 19th century. However, this watch has been tailored to suit modern-day life, designed for wearing on the wrist and imbued with a palpable robustness, making it worthy of consideration.

Technical Specifications:

  • Model: Ball Watch Company Trainmaster Cannonball 
  • Reference: CM1052D-L1J-WH
  • Case: Stainless steel; diameter 43.00 mm; height 14.80 mm; water resistant to 5 bar (50 meters); sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds; date; chronograph.
  • Movement: Caliber RR1401, self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 vph (4Hz); 49 jewels; power reserve of 38 hours.
  • Strap: Crocodile leather strap presented on a steel pin buckle.
  • Price: £2590 (as of July 25, 2014)

(Acknowledgement: I would like to thank CW Sellors Jura, for kindly providing access to this remarkable timepiece.)

No Responses to “Escapement Watch Review: Ball Watch Trainmaster Cannonball”

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  1. Ronald Echols

    It’s 09/13/2021 and I just bought this watch.
    It was on sale for < $1200 I don't know how old it is?
    It maybe 5 years old?

  2. Anderson Yew

    Hi, I stumbled upon this post when I was researching my current Ball watch cannonball. Not sure if you can help enlighten me on one aspect of the dial, which has the words T25 printed on. What does it represent?

    • The T-25 is an indication of Tritium gas being used to illuminate the markers in the dark.

  3. Debashish

    I really enjoyed your report immensely, as I like your style of writing.

    But I am not happy about the quality of the pictures, so please improve its quality.

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