In 2014, Ball Watch broke new ground in antimagnetic watch technology with the introduction of its Engineer II Magneto S, a watch that featured an inner shield, made of a patented alloy called “mumetal,” which protected its mechanical movement from the adverse effects of magnetic fields. This year, the company takes the concept a step further with the Engineer II Volcano, which boasts an entire case made of antimagnetic mumetal. I got my first look at the watch this week at the JCK watch and jewelry fair in Las Vegas.
Why “Volcano?” Because, the company says, volcanoes are among the most ideal environments for exploration and research into antimagnetic technologies because of their natural links to strong magnetic fields; volcanoes inspired Ball Watch’s researchers to further develop the magnetism-resistant mumetal alloy beyond its initial usage, as a protective inner “diaphragm” surrounding the movement, and incorporating it into the components of the watch case itself.
The case band of the Engineer II Volcano, made in Switzerland, is made up of superimposed layers of carbon and mumetal. Further playing on the volcano theme, the finished case (45 mm in diameter and 12.4 mm thick) sports a textured carbon look that resembles cooled lava rock. In fact, the watch’s entire ensemble is inspired by volcanic rocks and ash and fiery lava. The dial is predominantly slate-gray, with subtle touches of red. And it wouldn’t be a Ball Watch without the hallmark ultra-luminous H3 gas tubes for nighttime legibility — 15 of them in total here, used in the indices and the hour and minute hands.
The Ball Engineer II Volcano is powered by the automatic BALL RR1102-C caliber, which boasts a COSC chronometer certificate. In addition to its uncommonly high resistance to magnetism, the watch can withstand impacts of up to 5,000 Gs and is water-resistant to 100 meters. It has a screw-down winding crown and a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating. Completing the volcanic look is a choice of either a black rubber strap or a canvas NATO strap in gray and black stripes. The price is $3,700, making it a relative bargain compared to other mechanical watches with high antimagnetic protection. Below is a live shot of the Engineer II Volcano taken at JCK.