This week, Ball watch announced the new Roadmaster Icebreaker, a rugged explorer’s watch.
The watch comes in a 40 mm x 14 mm stainless steel case with a tapered, integrated steel bracelet and hidden clasp. Interestingly, instead of using the 316L alloy that virtually all watchmakers make their steel watches with, Ball watch chose 904L steel, which Rolex is best known for using. The primary benefit of using 904L versus 316L steel is enhanced corrosion resistance.
Another unique, distinguishing element, of all Ball watches, is the use of micro gas tritium tubes (14 tubes are applied on the hour markers and hour and minute hands). The benefit is a longer-lasting glow but at the expense of brightness as typical painted on lume is brighter. It’s worth noting, some Ball watches feature luminescent paint in addition to the tubes but in this instance, it’s only tritium filled tubes.
The dial of the Ice Breaker is available in black, blue, or white, and in addition to hours, minutes, seconds, magnified date displays, there’s a retrograde power reserve located at 6 o’clock.
Driving the functions is an automatic ETA 2897 movement which beats at 4Hz, has 21 jewels, and a 50-hour power reserve. It will be offered in either base or COSC chronometer-certified versions (with a $250 premium for the COSC version). This a marketed as an explorers watch and accordingly the movement is protected against shock to 5Gs, magnetism to 4,800 A/m, and is water-resistant to 100 meters.
The Ball Roadmaster Ice Breaker will be available to pre-order until September 4, 2019, at a discounted price. Retail is $1,799 for the base movement or $2,049 for the COSC certified version until September 4th. Beginning March 2020 each version will increase to $2,099 and $2,399. There are three dial colors to chose from and each is limited to 1,000 pieces. Orders will ship between January 2020 and February 2020 (subject to Swiss product schedule and shipment).