These days Ball watches are an easy buy. Well-made mechanical Swiss watches that tend to fit the bill nicely and their prices are more fair than inflated. Ubiquitous tritium gas tube illumination ain’t bad either. Ball’s core design ethos is split between original designs, al la Engineer Hydrocarbon creations, as well as faithful homages. This new Fireman Classic 40mm is among the latter. It isn’t the first time anyone has given a nod to Patek Philippe, and this latest Ball watch is their interpretation of the the Patek Philippe 5107 from a dial design perspective.
While the Patek will be only about 37mm wide on your wrist, the Fireman Classic is 40mm wide making for a nicely-sized dress watch. Hour indicators and dauphine hands are as close as Ball can get to the Patek look while incorporating tritium gas tubes on the face. You’ll find the tubes neatly placed in the hands, as well as oriented vertically as the lume points on the periphery of the dial. The case is rather durable as well being water resistant to 100 meters (with screw-down crown) and rather shock resistant.
Ball will offer both a black and silver dial version of the Fireman Classic, as well as a steel bracelet or leather strap. The text also seems to suggest that a rubber strap will be offered – making for an interesting intersection of sport and formality. While the hour markers and hands are highly polished, unlike the Patek Philippe, the Fireman Classic opts for a mostly brushed steel case. At 11.3mm thick, the case is thin enough to be under a sleeve most of the time. Inside the Ball Fireman Classic 40mm is a Swiss ETA 2824-2 automatic movement. No word on price yet, but no doubt it isn’t up to Patek Philippe level investments. A good combo of features indeed for those who love this style of watch. On, and there will be a ladies’ version as well which is 31mm wide. More on the Fireman Classic after Baselworld 2013. Price is $1,399 on a strap and $1,499 on the bracelet. ballwatchusa.com