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REVIEW: The New Ball Trainmaster Power Reserve>>>>>>>

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Published on 09-14-2009 06:32 AM

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Review of the Ball Trainmaster Power Reserve
By: John B. Holbrook, II

When the newest crop of Ball watches arrived on my doorstep, the Trainmaster Power Reserve was the first one I pulled out of the box and played with - I'm generally not one for complications-for-complications-sake type watches, but I am a sucker for a power reserve complication. So right away, this watch drew me in and I've gotta say, there's a lot to like here - have a look:

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I can't remember the last time I reviewed a watch that has a dial which blends both functional and aesthetic considerations quite so smartly - if there was Oscar for "This Year's Best Watch Dial" I'd nominate the Trainmaster Power Reserve.

Ball starts out with a gorgeous white enamel dial, and paints on large Arabic numeral hour markers. So right away contrast and legibility are high. And while I normally don't care for Arabic numerals, I have to admit they really work well as done on the Trainmaster Power Reserve. The hour, minute, and second hands, as well as the power reserve pointer are done in blued steel. Again, from a functional point of view, they're a smart design choice from a contrast and legibility standpoint. But using black or even silver hands on this watch might have made this into a "ho-hum" dress watch. The blued steel hands make the dial come alive, and have the affect (along with the red used in the power reserve indicator) of making the watch much more versatile as a watch you could wear with a suit or jeans. Here's a close up of the dial - note the "RR" symbol in the second hand - just marvelous. Also note the way the Ball cleverly made the words "Ball & Co." out of the 7 o'clock dial.

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In the close up, you can better see that Ball uses their self-powered tritium gas tubes in the hour, minute, and second hands as well as tritium gas dots above each hour marker. I really like the orange dot at 12o'clock, and the orange tipped 2nd hand. Functionally, it's just a good idea to help you orient your eyes on the dial in the dark. But there's no denying the "cool" factor as well. So as you can see from the photo below, the Trainmaster Power Reserve has excellent low-light legibility - something you rarely see in dressier watches:

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Turn the watch over and you'll see through the sapphire case back the gorgeously decorated ETA 2897 used in the Trainmaster Power Reserve. The ETA 2897 is a variant of what many (myself included) feel is the best movement ever created by ETA - the 2892. The ETA 2897 is a 21 jewel, self-winding mechanical movement with a power reserve of approximately 42 hours, and a beat speed of 28,800 BPH. While many watch companies use ETA movements, few order them with premium level of decoration which has been applied to the movement in the Trainmaster Power Reserve. Perlage has been liberally applied throughout much of the bridgework, and Geneva striping has been applied to the rotor, as well as blued steel screws and gold lettering work throughout:

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Attached to the 41mm stainless steel case (50m water resistant) of the Trainmaster Power Reserve is a gorgeous genuine crocodile leather strap, padded for comfort. I've not seen any better on watches costing 10x the asking price of the Trainmaster Power Reserve.

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Equally impressive is the case matching stainless steel deployant clasp used on the Trainmaster Power Reserve:

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The closer you look, the more you'll be impressed with the manufacturing quality of components used in the construction of the Trainmaster Power Reserve:

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The more Ball watches I review, the more I'm convinced they're really designing watches with the true "WIS" watch enthusiast in mind. They really, really get the details right - particularly so with this new Trainmaster Power Reserve. Blued hands, premium movement decoration, deployant can even tell that thought went into the size and shape of the crown on the Trainmaster Power Reserve. I came away being completely impressed with both Ball and their Trainmaster Power Reserve. Especially for the modest asking price of $2,399.00. To get all this watch has to offer for a price well under $3000.00 is truly impressive. Great job Ball!

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Support WATCH TALK FORUMS by purchasing the Trainmaster Power Reserve from one of the authorized dealers who advertise in the Ball Forum of WATCH TALK FORUMS!
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**Photos & Text Copyright 2009 WATCH TALK FORUMS. No part of this report can be reproduced outside of WATCH TALK FORUMS without the expressed permission of John B. Holbrook, II.

This article was originally published in forum thread:

REVIEW: The New Ball Trainmaster Power Reserve>>>>>>>
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