Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon AeroGMT II Wright Brothers Limited Edition Watch

Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon AeroGMT II Wright Brothers Limited Edition Watch Watch Releases

The Ball Watch brand is rooted in their ties to American history, namely American Railroads, but that hasn’t stopped them from broadening their focus to a much wider scale. Their new colorway release of the Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon AeroGMT II is a limited edition meant to commemorate the 115th anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ first flight. The AeroGMT II is a pretty classic take on a 3-time zone GMT watch that encompasses a lot of what Ball has to offer. The watches feature a curved external bezel that has green tritium gas tubes inlaid into it and Ball is claiming that this is the only watch with an external bezel that features tritium.

Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon AeroGMT II Wright Brothers Limited Edition Watch Watch Releases

In addition, Ball has used yellow tritium tubes to highlight the hour indices, while the numerals next to them are in blue Super-LumiNova. They have also put a 12-hour scale on the chapter ring of the dial. Lastly, Ball has shoehorned even more tech into this watch in the form of their special crown protection system, a reinforced buckle on the bracelet, and a COSC-certified movement that will resist magnetism up to 4,800 A/m. Ball has made the Hydrocarbon AeroGMT II available in several different color combinations in the past, but the blue and black bezel is available exclusively in this commemorative limited edition of 1,000 pieces.

Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon AeroGMT II Wright Brothers Limited Edition Watch Watch Releases

Whew man, there’s a lot with this watch. I feel like Ball has a tendency to try and check all the boxes they can without necessarily considering how all those elements are going to go together. The numbers all over the dial, bezel, and chapter ring on the Hydrocarbon AeroGMT II are a perfect example of what I mean. Ball has made a watch that is capable of tracking three different time zones at once but laid the dial out in a way that would be very confusing at first glance. Typically with a three-zone GMT, you’ll see normal hour indices, then the chapter ring will have the 24-hour scale, but on the AeroGMT II that is flipped – and frankly it looks peculiar.

Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon AeroGMT II Wright Brothers Limited Edition Watch Watch Releases

Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon AeroGMT II Wright Brothers Limited Edition Watch Watch Releases

Moving away from that aspect, however, I do dig the black and blue bezel, and I really like how they have apparently inset tritium into the bezel. I wonder how robust that will be over time. Would you risk a cracked gas tube if the bezel catches a door jam? I also think Ball nailed it on the size coming in with a 42mm case and a 13.85mm thickness. I would guess that this is going to be a nicely proportioned watch on the wrist.

Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon AeroGMT II Wright Brothers Limited Edition Watch Watch Releases

The Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon AeroGMT II seems to be the next chapter in dual-color-bezel GMTs that we are seeing released this year. These watches are complicated but they also offer a lot of functionality and value for the price. One thing to note is that Ball’s pricing structure is a bit unique. Watches are offered on pre-order for a discount and then the watches are substantially increased once the release date hits. The AeroGMT II is available for $1,970 on rubber and $2,040 on the steel bracelet, but that will see an increase to $3,020 and $3,140 respectively on the official release date. ballwatch.com