The Topper Blog consists mainly of original writing by Rob & Russ Caplan with occasional special contributions and interviews. All photography in the blog is taken at Topper Fine Jewelers , or on location unless otherwise indicated in the photo captions.

BALL For BMW Chronograph

If the Ball for BMW watches look different than the core collection, it's because they are. While BALL CTO Philippe Antille was involved in bringing a mechanical innovation that is exclusive to the BALL for BMW series, the collection has an entirely different designer than the main BALL Collection; Magali Métrailler of Jeager LeCoultre fame. Ms. Métrailler is probably most famous for designing the Master Compressor and some of the Jaeger Memovox models. Gone are the typical elements of railroad fit and finish, such as the RR on the counterweight of the second-hand, the crown, and the clasp, and in its place are design cues taken from BMW cars. In a recent interview with WatchPro, Ms. Métrailler described her inspiration for the collection. She said "The ultimate goal was to create a collection that would reflect the values and designs of both universes." (From Watchpro July, 2013)

This year, the new addition to the collection is the Chronograph, a complication that with its subdials and tachymetre seems well suited to the collaboration.

The Stainless Steel Model of the Ball for BMW Chronograph.

The black DLC case model with a rubber strap.

Though several millimeters thicker than the power reserve model, you can see the same design aesthetic in the case. Like the earlier 2012 models, Ms. Métrailler has taken the design cues in the case of the chronograph from both the existing Ball watches and BMW bodywork.









The dial of the chronograph is very similar to last year's Power Reserve model. Like that model, the features are raised in a 270 degree display format. That display format is a design que taken from automotive displays. On the chronograph, it extends from 10 O'clock to 7 O'clock. Each sub-dial features guilloche work that Ms. Métrailler has stated is reminiscent of the car radiator grilles. Essentially it's the same Guilloche work that was on the Power Reserve model, but it now appears three times. The color and style of each indicator is inspired by both BMW dashboard instruments and Ball Watch dials.

Certain ergonomic details such as the structure and finish of the crown are similar to the buttons found in BMW interiors.


The chronograph pushers and crown of the DLC model.

The Ball for BMW Chronograph features the same tritium gas tubes that one has come to expect from BALL watches.

The Chronograph also features an innovation from BALL CTO Philippe Antille; the Amortizer. This is the feature that causes the rotor to stop on impact. The Amortizer first appeared in the BALL Collection with the Spacemaster Orbital. In the Orbital, the user turned a switch on and the case back off to disable the rotor. Though the case back says the same word "Amortizer" as the Orbital, Philippe has described The BMW version of the Amortizer as the "Amortizer Light"; a second generation of the product that automatically engages when force is detected. Like other watches in the BMW collection, the movement is a chronometer grade. In this case, it is based off of the popular and robust ETA 7750.

At $4,995 retail in their steel or black DLC models, the Ball for BMW Chronograph joins the TMT Limited as the most expensive piece in the series. For those that love the two universes of Ball & BMW, and want to find the model that brings these two worlds together, this is sure to be at the top of the list.

The case back of the Ball for BMW chronograph

The case back of the DLC model of the Ball for BMW chronograph

The bracelet is has the same lines and curves as the other Ball for BMW models

The Topper Blog consists mainly of original writing by Rob & Russ Caplan with occasional special contributions and interviews. All photography in the blog is taken at Topper Fine Jewelers , or on location unless otherwise indicated in the photo captions.