We take an in-depth look at the BALL Watch Engineer Hydrocarbon NEDU, a professional timepiece offering improvements over its predecessors which was born directly from the needs of underwater divers.
Recently we’ve been writing on a number of water-based topics from swimming with an Olympian to the most effective way to conquer the English Channel, and this trend is continuing with this piece on the Engineer Hydrocarbon NEDU from the BALL Watch Company.
Back in 2020, BALL Watch launched the first edition of the Engineer Hydrocarbon NEDU, and eight years later they are continuing to refine and improve it to reach their ultimate goal of creating the best divers watch they possibly can.
Working in murky depths is one of the most dangerous jobs you can do, and people plying their trade in this field are constantly providing feedback to the watchmaker with suggestions on how to make their working environment simpler. BALL Watch has taken this on-board and to address users needs have introduced some improvements to this renowned timepiece.
Some of you reading this are probably not familiar with the acronym NEDU. It stands for Navy Experimental Diving Unit. NEDU is a specialist part of the US Navy and is responsible for the operational diving and decompression rules for the US Armed Forces.
NEDU’s experiments have enabled new procedures and new equipment to develop and increase diving safety, applying the “Safety First” principle. In particular, it established the decompression timetables that are a vital reference for all divers. Similarly, at the end of the 19th century, BALL Watch played a pioneering role in watchmaking by laying down chronometric standards which continue to be used as the reference today.
About the Engineer Hydrocarbon NEDU
Although the watch looks like a smart modern chronograph, this watch holds some secrets, namely every aspect of the timepiece has been designed for its use by professional divers for whom each second may be of crucial importance.
One of the most important aspects of a professional divers watch is the ease of use. The clever people at BALL watch have paid particular attention to the rotating bezel and its ergonomic contours, which ensures precise handling even when wearing diving gloves.
The bezel is chromed pure black ceramic and is extremely resistant to corrosion, ultraviolet rays and scratches. Its unidirectional rotation is designed to reduce accidental movement when monitoring decompressions stops and time underwater. The bezel also benefits from oversized numerals helping with visibility and luminous paint on the bezel indications.
The Engineer Hydrocarbon NEDU is guaranteed to a depth of 600 meters thanks to the rugged construction of its watertight case which is 17.3mm at its thickest. It also benefits from an automatic helium release valve incorporated into the crown; this improves the chronograph’s water resistance even further.
The design completely eliminates any potential surface harm, such as warping under the effects of water pressure. The crown is fitted with a patented protection system used on all Engineer Hydrocarbon models, helping to avoid any unintentional manipulation of the timepiece.
Powering the piece is BALL’s RR1402-C automatic movement. It has COSC certification and is capable of measuring elapsed time for up to 12 hours.
When working in a dark environment, legibility, and the ability to instantly gather information from a timepiece is paramount. The dial’s indexes and hands are naturally fitted with luminous microtubes of H₃ gas. This state-of-the-art Swiss technology—the iconic signature of all BALL watches—requires no external source of light or energy while being up to 100 times more efficient than conventional luminous paints.
Another specific feature of this model is the two chamfers cut into the case flange supporting the bezel; they act as drains to facilitate the outflow of any water that may become lodged between these components. This ingenious addition conceived by BALL Watch also helps combat any possible corrosion effect. The Engineer Hydrocarbon NEDU is protected from shocks with a force of up to 7,500Gs and magnetic fields up to 4,800A/m. All these protection measures and systems make this a truly robust chronograph.
The new NEDU features a revamped bezel framing either a black dial or the brand-new, gradient blue dial; these colour combinations create a technologically advanced overtone to this already robust model. For added creativity, the case back of this new model is handsomely stamped with a diver motif to honour the NEDU’s official emblem.
The Engineer Hydrocarbon NEDU is available with an obligatory rubber strap. However, if you’re after something a little different, perhaps for more formal wear, a stainless steel and titanium bracelet alongside BALL Watch’s patented triple folding buckle is available. The extension system allows the watch to be easily seen and safely worn on the wrist, even over a diving suit.
Engineer Hydrocarbon NEDU – Where and how?
The timepiece is available to purchase now via the Ball Watch online store: https://shop.ballwatch.ch/en/DC3026A-NEDU and is also available via the watchmaker’s network of approved retailers.
- Engineer Hydrocarbon NEDU on a stainless steel and titanium bracelet is RRP £3,580.
- Engineer Hydrocarbon NEDU on a rubber strap is RRP £3,490.