Ball's 2011 lineup of wrist watches includes a compelling mixture of both very modern watches, and those which are retro inspired. One of the latter is this Trainmaster One Hundred Twenty - a watch that is meant to celebrate 120 years of Ball watches. The story of the brand is linked to the American railroad industry. Ball watches were among the original innovators of an on-time and safe railroad system.
The Trainmaster One Hundred Twenty is a classic looking timepieces with modern components typical to the brand. The most noteworthy of which is the very shock resistant and antimagnetic case (here in 18k rose gold and 39.5mm wide), as well as use of tritium gas tubes in the hour markers and hands. These tubes are filled with a naturally glowing material for perfect darkness reading for about two decades before the light begins to dim.
The dial of the watch is slightly domed and comes in gray or silver with 18k rose gold hour markers and hands. The watch has a sapphire crystal and is attached to brown or black crocodile strap. Inside the Trainmaster One Hundred Twenty is a Swiss ETA 2892 automatic movement.
Ariel Adams publishes the wrist watch reviews site aBlogtoRead.com
Oddly enough I don't think of racing when I think of firemen. Then again, if a fireman is on his way to a fire emergency I assume he/she will be racing there. Never thought about it like that. Perhaps I am thinking about it too much. Ball watches has released this new 40mm wide steel timepiece with a lot of influence from Jaeger-LeCoultre. Tritium gas tubes make the dials bright at night while the style is very boy-racer. I can see these timepieces being a good compliment to a souped up Japanese sports car. Especially the models on the perforated rubber strap with stitching.
Inside the watches is a Swiss ETA automatic movement - likely a 2824. The watch utilizes a (now rare aside from Rolex) "cyclops" magnifier crystal over the date window. In addition to the rubber strap, the watch also has a steel bracelet option. I am usually a big fan of ball watch bracelets, but I am not sure I like this one. Price for this Ball Fireman Racer watch should be pretty reasonable at about $2,000 if I can guess properly. They are available now.
Ariel Adams publishes the luxury watch reviews site aBlogtoRead.com.
Ball has been segmenting their collection in two main directions. Rugged sports watches, and attractive, though sensible men's watches with a more classy twist. I would say that this Ball Engineer II Arabic COSC II falls in the latter category. Though I have no idea why "II" needs to be in the name twice. While the Engineer collection is usually part of their sporty line, this one feels a bit more dressy. The polished bezel and center link on the bracelet help with that look.
Available in a textured white or black dial, the faces have horizontal line patterns and a combo of Arabic and baton hour markers. Each is filled with tritium gas tubes for exceptional darkness viewing. The Dauphine hands also have tritium hour markers in them. Sized at 40mm wide, the case is sensible in size. Inside the watch is a Swiss ETA 2836 automatic movement with a day and date complication. The two indicators are separated - so the day of the week indicator is at 3 o'clock, while the date is moved to 4:30. As the name of the watch implies, the movement has been COSC Chronometer certified. A good looking watch overall, this timepiece is a highly functional watch for the crowd that doesn't always want to wear a sporty looking timepiece (though they are still interested in something masculine looking). Look for this new watch out from Ball soon.
Ariel Adams publishes the luxury watch reviews site aBlogtoRead.com.
Some tout it as the poor man's Girard-Perregaux ww.tc watch, but there is nothing "poor" about Ball's new Engineer Master II Diver World Time watch. While it technically is placed in their diver's watch collection and has the type of durability you'd expect from such a pieces, this is a great watch for travelers. In addition to the ring style GMT indicator, you can get the time of anywhere in the world at a glance (as well as whether it is day or night there). There is also an internal rotating bezel that is of course necessary on a diver's watch.
Set in a 45mm wide Engineer Master II Diver steel case, the watch has a sapphire crystal and is water resistant to 300 meters. Inside the watch is a specially modified Swiss ETA 2836 automatic movement with the GMT ring complication in it. Ball calls it their caliber 965 The watch also has the day of the week and the date indicators. Like all Ball watches, the Engineer Master II Diver World Time watch is fitted with a number of tritium gas tubes in the hands and hour markers for effortless (no light charge) night viewing. Ball watches have the most powerful tritium gas tubes available in watches in the US. There are also 55 tubes in the watch.
The timepiece was inspired by Ball brand ambassador Guillaume Nery, the accomplished freediver. The watch caseback has an engraving meant to honor him. Ball will offer the Engineer Master II Diver World Time on a steel or rubber strap. Price should be a few thousand dollars, for this very cool, and highly useful timepiece.
Though the art of social dance is a tradition forgotten by many, in Vienna, ball season is alive and well.
Every year, more than 300 grand balls are held. Ladies and gentlemen in gowns and black tie assemble to waltz, see, and be seen in some of Austria's finest venues, including the Imperial Palace. I had the pleasure of attending once such ball this year, The Coffeehouse Owners' Ball, held annually at said location with a guest list of over 5,000.
The Coffeehouse Owners' Ball, like most balls in Vienna, is open to the public. Just as every child in Vienna is taught social dance as a school requirement, every single person in Austria is eligible to attend most balls, simply by buying a ticket. Table seating and drinks come at an additional cost, as do carriage rides, fabulous dresses and other associated expenditures, but in Vienna, you'd be a fool not to attend at least one of these important societal gatherings each year -- and if you're a tourist, it's an experience you will never, never forget.
A typical ball evening begins with dinner, as one must prep for a late night of dancing. Then, most guests head to the ball venue around 7:30 PM to see the opening ceremony -- though I'm told "professional" ball goers, or people who've been attending several balls per week for years, tend to skip the ceremony and arrive at 11 or so when the real "party" starts. Depending on which ball it is, the ceremony may be less or more lavish. The Coffeehouse Owners' Ball included not only singing, dancing, and speeches by dignitaries and, of course, coffeehouse owners, but a presentation by Austria's most accomplished debutantes, who must apply and audition for a coveted debut slot at one of the larger balls.
Once the ceremonies are completed, the ball begins. At the Coffeehouse Owners' Ball, Professor Thomas Schäfer-Elmayer, Austria's etiquette expert, announces "Alles walzer!" or "Everyone waltz!" -- and that they do.
These solid wooden spheres are so surely going to start conversations in your home they're even named Conversation Wooden Spheres. It doesn't say what kind of wood they're made of, but the woodgrain is clearly visible and they appear to be left natural in order to let it shine through. Sitting one (or a couple) of these large spheres in a room will bring a nice touch of contemporary, warm, and natural energy to an atmosphere. Suggested placements include everything from groupings next to the furniture or fireplace to sitting on top of a mantel or coffee table. Do you suppose they're truly a sphere and are apt to roll away randomly from their assigned spots? That could be dangerous! Available in 2 sizes, 10" and 15" diameters, $98-$239.
The AGK Ball lounge chair was designed by Andre Agassi and Stefanie Graf and is part of a complete Agassi Graff Collection that includes furniture designs for indoors and out. Geometrical and appearing to "float on air" (I don't know if I would say that), this lounge chair is made of hand-shaped, welded, powder-coated, weather-resistant steel wire that is hand-wrapped in dark brown polypropel synthetic rattan. And the seat cushion, of course, also comes in weather-resistant fabric, shown here in cream. 45"x45"x35"
Who knew that a big bunch of white plastic balls could come together and make such a beautiful lighting fixture? It seems all the best creations are surprisingly simple, though, so this should be no exception. Designed back in 1969 by Verner Panton the Ball Lamp Pendant it's also known as the Wonder Lamp. The white balls are suspended on nylon strings, which makes them look like they're floating around the bulb inside and provides a warm diffused light. The Design Within Reach description mentions that the balls "bounce against one another with a satisfying tap," which is cool but I can't think why you'd be knocking your lamp around to end up hearing that sound, unless I'm missing something. Currently on sale for $998.
We all have things that consistently appeal to us, and I always find myself drawn to art that represents the seasons. These 4 Tree of Enchantment Glass Orbs, designed by Stephen Kitras, are hand blown with a "trunk" in the center that branches out into the orb. Meant to represent winter, spring, summer, and fall, spots of jewel tone colors form the leaves of the trees (or in the "winter" one it could be snow) in corresponding colors like greens for spring and browns/golds for fall. The whole set would look beautiful hanging together in a bright window, or one alone switched out every few months. 6" diameter, $45 each.
We already saw designer soccer balls from Takashi Murakami and a whistle chair/sculpture for armchair referees, but Paul Smith has a whole line of products that he developed in celebration of the World Cup. First up is his take on a football, made of fake crocodile skin colored with bright hues. Unfortunately, unlike the Murakami balls, it is not intended to be used as more than a novelty and should not even be taken outdoors. This isn't a problem if you want to toss the ball around while watching the game on TV, though. The ball is £169.