Simple, clean and full of details: The Ball Fireman, a budget Rolex Explorer or more?
There are many factors to take into account when it comes to decide your next watch, things outside the purchase itself. Questions such as do I have something similar? is it paying homage to something else? is it overlapping with something I plan to buy in 2 or 3 years time? makes you really think twice. When i decided to buy this piece I already ordered a Hamilton Khaki Pilot ( the one from movie interstellar), my main motivation was that I wanted a sport watch with steel bracelet in 40 mm ( the Hamilton is 42 but I was willing to live with that), with those parameters the perfect watch would be a Rolex Explorer 214270 but I have this weird rule of 1 brand per watch (otherwise I will go crazy) and I already own a Rolex precision which I love. Suddenly I was surfing the net and I saw this beautiful Ball Fireman, I knew the brand as I was close to buy an Hydorcarbon GMT once so I new their reputation is fantastic. I immediately cancel the order for the Hamilton and purchase this. This watch has lots of details which are hidden but together they make in my opinion a great competitor for the Rolex Explorer, allow me to explain. The dial, this has to be one of the most elegant and at the same time aggressive dials I have seen, the way that the markers are placed ( they look like claws or spikes) pointing to the center, then the fact that the markers are Tritium gas tubes makes them even cooler ( the 12 o'clock market is yellow instead of green), then the yellow second hand with the ''RR'' counter balance, a shock resistance movement based on the ETA 2824-2. The back case has a beautiful engraved train and then a signed crown with no crown guards. The bracelet is probably one of the best bits as well, lockable with folding buckle which makes it seamless. Last is the price, this is a sub 1000 GBP watch but I can assure you that it feels as quality as any of my higher end watches, the construction and the case have an attention to detail that many watch brands would like to have. There is an all black version with a cyclops but I think that yellow with no magnifier makes it look apart. After having the Ball Fireman I cannot see myself getting an Explorer, I would probably have to sell my dear Rolex, this lovely Ball and cash to get it and at this moment, today, I cannot justify it. This watch is a perfect all rounder.