History of Ball Watches

The railroad system in America had reached significant proportions before there was any real call for uniform and standardized timekeeping across the locomotive industry. After the railroad industry had agreed to separate the nation into four time zones, Standard Time was adopted. Congress sanctioned the concept in 1918. Webster Clay Ball, who was born Fredericktown, Ohio on October 6, 1847, was the first jeweller to use time signals once Standard Time was adopted, and subsequently became Chief Inspector for the lines having brought accurate time to Cleveland. His work is still celebrated and remembered today since his inspection system would eventually encompass three quarters of the country’s railroad system. Fortnightly checks and strict standards were put in place by Ball after a fatal collision occurred between Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway, ensuring uniformity in timekeeping was adhered to. Undeniably, the crash symbolised a point of change. Since then BALL Watch has remained one of the most respected and recognized watch manufacturers in the entire world.

Despite many prestigious watch brands having evolved from the epicentre of watchmaking in Switzerland, BALL Watch Company tells its story from across the pond. The American watch manufacturer is not only recognised as having played an integral role in the standardisation of accurate timekeeping across the United States, but also for the development of its luminous technology, which has set benchmarks across the watch industry.

Ball’s jewellery store first started by using movements sourced from other manufacturers. Here they would be reworked to suit the needs of a particular model then resold to interested individuals. Having started out in Ohio, the company now resides in Switzerland. Its La Chaux de Fonds headquarters is tasked with designing, decorating and assembling all its own movements in-house.

Some of Ball Watch Company’s most popular lines include the Engineer watches, the Fireman watches and the Trainmaster watches. Amongst many technological innovations, the brand can claim ownership of its self-powered micro gas tube. Ball Watch Company use Swiss Laser Technology to achieve this feature. Its long life brightness succeeds standard watch dial luminosity by 100 times, promising a life span of 25 years. Electrons emitted by tritium sealed inside the hollow mineral glass tubes activate luminescent material applied to the interior walls, giving off a cold light for incredible nighttime readability.

Up until the 1990s BALL Watch remained a family run business. After being sold to Asia Commercial Holdings Ltd it continued to draw inspiration from its roots, recalling the milestones of its history to create modern timepieces for the 21st century man and woman. The dial of each Ball watch faithfully adheres to Ball’s original design guidelines, detailing the look and feel of his iconic railway watches. Even down to the shape of the hands and the style of the hour markers around the track, a Ball watch is as true to its founder’s original design as it ever was.