The final chapter of the “Ball Mini Marathon” has arrived. Being able to test such a variety of great Ball watches, there is no reason why this project shouldn’t end with a blast.
So, the watch that is going through my adverse, inhouse conditions is, the Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon DeepQUEST.
Since the first time I saw the DeepQUEST, I knew I needed to get my hands on this bold and beautiful beast. Ball is known for going the distance when it comes to design and technical abilities, and with this monocoque marvel, they have made a watch that probably will outlast humanity.
The case, machined from a solid piece of titanium, is part of the Hydrocarbon series. Alongside the use of tritium tubes and dots in their watches, Ball, with this series, has come up with a design that is truly recognisable and distinguished. The crown guards are beautifully shaped and lies tight around the crown.
Talking about crowns, the massive crown on the DeepQUEST completes the quality appearance of this watch. Being much larger than your average crown, it operates very smoothly and precise. Being a heavy-duty diving tool, the crown’s seals are strengthened to avoid leakage when used during deep dives.
When setting the time and date, you will get the feel of how soft it turns.
The specs of this watch are quite impressive. The water resistance is set to a whopping 3000 meters. I know for sure that I will never blow those charts, but it’s intriguing to know that this timepiece can go to such vast depths without cracking.
To achieve this, the DeepQUEST is machined from a solid block of titanium, onto which the bezel is directly screwed. It is fitted with a helium release valve at 9 o’clock.
The domed sapphire’s thickness measures a staggering 5,3mm. When looked at from an angle, the sapphire bends the light, making it look like liquid. Being in love with “liquid” dials, home made or the real deal, it is fantastic to observe its appearance from different angles and light settings.
Beneath this massive sapphire crystal, it’s all about easy reading. Black, white and polish metal creates great contrast and when the light hits, the details sparkle as gems. The dial has a vintage look, with the chapter ring lying flat, on top of the dial. It has 15 tritium-filled tubes, 12 on the hour markers and three on the hands. The tubes on the markers have a polished steel base that works as small mirrors when the light hits. The numerals are set to the “back wall”, outside the chapter ring, visible only when looking from an angle. It’s a nice feature that keeps the dial clean and as simple. The only feature that breaks the symmetry, is the date window at 3 o’clock. This might be a lot of information about small details, but these are also important to complete the design of this watch. Combining very rugged looks with tiny, exquisite details doesn’t always end well, but with the DeepQUEST, Ball has nailed it.
The unidirectional, 120 click bezel is reinforced with eight screws, fastened on the outer edge. The insert is made of titanium with white markers and numbers, applied with traditional, “paint” lume that shines in bright blue. The bezel feels very solid and operates just as expected. In the beginning I had to do some small, mental adjustments since I am very fond of black bezels with white details.
The bracelet on this watch is made of titanium, with stainless steel inner links. Being a rugged bracelet, it is very comfortable. It’s connected to the case by two pairs of screws on each side, that make the large end links fit very firmly. The lug width is 21mm and the length is just over 53mm. Being a big and robust watch, the shape of the lugs makes it almost embrace the wrist. The bracelet is tapered and measures 18mm at the narrow end and it’s fitted with diving extensions in both ends of the solid folding buckle that holds it all in place. If bracelets aren’t you cup of tea, the other option is a black rubber strap with standard buckle.
The movement that makes the DeepQUEST run with high accuracy, is the COSC certified RR1101-C. The base for this movement is an ETA2892.
This is the last watch that will be reviewed in the Ball Mini Marathon. Being one of the watches that has made a really big impact on me, without ever seen it in real life, it is a bit sentimental to sum it all up.
This bold, beautiful, technical masterpiece is not made for me… Even how much I want it to be, my (damn) chickenwrist is refusing to accept it. I have tried to adjust the bracelet to find the exact fit, but for some reason it is not there. I cannot, under any circumstances, wear a watch that doesn’t fit 100%. Using my pink perlon on this watch would be disrespectful, not only to the DeepQUEST and Ball in general, but I think I would become the biggest laugh in the world of watches. I haven’t tried the rubber option, which would be my only hope.
I love the presence of this tool! From the shape of the titanium monocoque Hydrocarbon-case, the massive sapphire crystal, the deep, black dial with sparkly details, the lume, the rugged crown, the 3000m water resistance, the 7500G shock protection, the accuracy and the supreme quality feel, from top to bottom.
I have tried many watches that haven’t fitted my wrist, but never before have I been emotional about it.
To describe it the best I can, I get some of the same feelings that I got watching “Blue Valentine”. A sad love story that surely wouldn’t end happily. I will not compare myself to Ryan Gosling, and certainly not compare the DeepQUEST with Michelle Williams, or the other way, but it hopefully gives you the feeling I have with this watch.
To sum it all up, it has been both a pleasure and heart-breaking to test this stunner. Getting to meet the watch I have had a long-distance crush on, only to discover that I am not made for it.
If “it’s not you, it’s me” would ever be an honest way to go, this would be the occasion. There is nothing wrong with the watch, at all, it’s just me, my mind and my fragile chickenwrist.