Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon NEDU
The Swiss made, American owned brand of Ball has been around for a long time making some of the most solid watches on the market. As the company’s logo states: ‘since 1891, accuracy under adverse conditions’; it is immediately clear that Ball watches are made to withstand whatever life throws at it.
The term NEDU is an acronym for Navy Experimental Diving Unit. Currently this model is used by the United States Navy. This model bears the distinction of being the first watch in the world where the helium decompression valve is located at the main crown. While diving for extended periods of time, tiny helium gas bubbles start to accumulate in the case of the watch. If left unchecked, the results can be catastrophic for the watch.
The case measures in at 42mm for the diameter and stands tall on the wrist with a case thickness of 17.6mm. The case is made from titanium which has been alternately polished and satin finished adding depth the design of the watch. The bezel is fashioned from black ceramic which will not scratch. The bezel rotates only in a counterclockwise position allowing for the measurement of elapsed time. As a diving watch, this is extremely important as this can tells the diver whenhe is nearing the ned of his oxygen supply. The main crown and pushers are both screw locked maintaining the astounding water resistance of 600 meters (60 Bars). The pushers and crown are deeply ridged, making for easy operation of both mechanisms.
Apart from being extremely water resistant, the NEDU from Ball is also shock resistant to 7,500 G’s and is protected against magnetic fields up to 4,800 A/m. This watch is driven by a self-winding mechanical movement Ball RR1402-C which is chronometer certified by the COSC. To earn COSC certification, watches must pass a battery of tests, all while still remaining accurate. The chronograph can time any event up to 12 hours with breakdowns of the minutes and seconds. This is one of the few chronographs that can be operated while underwater. Both the day and date can be found at the 3 position in separate windows, while the small seconds register is located at 9 o’clock on this model.
Illuminating this watch are micro gas tubes fitted into the hands and hour markers which are always bright but become noticeable as light quality diminishes. A sapphire crystal is used to defend against nicks and scratches. The bracelet is made from both titanium and stainless steel and is equipped with Ball’s patented folding clasp and extension system.