Last fall, as the watch world was steadily preparing for the holidays and we at WatchTime were holding our WatchTime Live event, Swiss-headquartered Ball Watch Co. unveiled the latest addition to its tool-watch-focused lineup, the Engineer Hydrocarbon DeepQUEST II. Launched on the heels of several other notable 2020 releases, like the Engineer Hydrocarbon Original and Engineer Master II Diver Worldtime, the model display’s the brand’s ongoing dedication to making uncommonly robust, professional-grade dive watches.
Not only is the timepiece quite robust-looking overall; it’s also got lots of highly legible and tactile features throughout. Its case is constructed from a solid titanium monobloc, measures 42 mm in diameter and stands relatively tall on the wrist at 15.5 mm thick. In line with the tool watch positioning of the model, it opts for brushed finishing throughout, with only slight hints of polishing — in parts of the bracelet, a few faceted accents on the case, and the crown. The sharp angled lugs connect the sturdy case to the wrist via either a three-link titanium-and-steel bracelet or a textured rubber strap. On the right side are a pair of angled crown guards partially protecting the aforementioned screw-down crown, which has an “onion” design and is deeply grooved on the sides for a powerful presence. The crown also includes a helium-release valve integrated directly into it, which is one of Ball Watch’s signature features for its dive watches.
Surrounding the dial is a lume-accented 60-minute divers’ bezel with prominent steel extensions for each 10-minute mark, and highly tactile teeth to assist in its unidirectional motion. The prominent bezel helps secure the nonreflective-coated sapphire crystal which in turn protects the legibility-focused black or white dial underneath. The dial’s elongated minute ring, in a style commonly found on dive watches, is accentuated at each hour with an applied rectangular marker and a square luminous dot. Breaking up this design are large rectangle-constructed Arabic numerals at the 12 and 6 o’clock position, and a small date window at 3 o’clock. Like previous models, including the Engineer Hydrocarbon Original, the DeepQUEST II uses both Super-Luminova paint and 24 micro-gas tritium tubes, which together assist in timekeeping under dark conditions. The hour and minute hands are partially skeletonized, while the seconds hand is tipped with a green rectangle.
Opposite the dial is a solid caseback engraved with a stylized seahorse-and-scuba-diver motif, with watch descirptors along its edge. Behind that caseback ticks the Ball caliber RR1101-C, which is a brand-finished version of the ETA 2892-A2. The automatic movement is COSC chronometer certified, antimagnetic to 4,800 A/m, shock resistant to 7,500 Gs, and holds a 42-hour power reserve.
The monobloc titanium case imparts the watch its extreme water resistance of 1,000 meters, or 3,300 feet. Considering this along with the tactile grooves throughout and the highly legible dial it’s obvious that the Engineer Hydrocarbon DeepQUEST II is clearly built for and geared toward the professional diver. This type of sturdy construction is likely to make the watch very appealing for dive-watch enthusiasts, especially those who prefer a professional-grade model, especially considering the novel technical advancements that are hallmarks of Ball Watch and few others — notably the helium-release-valve integrated crown and the superb dial legibility resulting from the use of micro gas tubes.
It goes without saying that this watch’s design — with its chunky case, deep-grooved crown, large-toothed bezel — is not the most “traditional” one we’ve seen lately. The watch will have a “niche” appeal to a very specific consumer market, and Ball, which has been designing unusual watches for some time, is certainly aware of this, and playing to the interest of its hardcore fans rather than casting an expansive net to the wider market. For those fans who do take an interest, they will find here a watch quite ready to accompany them on their next mission, or shall we say, their next “deep quest.”
The Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon DeepQUEST II is currently available directly through the Ball Watch Co. online store now, with rubber-strap models marked at $3,649 and metal-bracelet models priced slightly higher, at $3,749.
To learn more, you can visit Ball Watch’s website, here.