The Ball Hydrocarbon NEDU initially caught my eye for two reasons. One, it’s a beautifully constructed watch. And two, for many years I was the lead creative director and copywriter on the U.S. Navy’s advertising account.


So when I saw that Ball had a watch named after the Navy Experimental Diving Unit, I was already hooked.


First, the details:



◆ Automatic caliber BALL RR1402-C
◆ Chronometer certified COSC


◆ Patented Helium System
◆ Underwater operable chronograph with accumulated measurement up to 12 hours
◆ 21 micro gas tubes on hour, minute, chronograph second hands, dial and buttons for night reading capability
◆ Hours, minutes, subsidiary seconds, day and date

Shock resistance

◆ 7,500Gs

Water resistance

◆ 600m / 2000ft


◆ 4,800A/m


◆ Titanium
◆ Ø42mm, height 17.3mm
◆ Top ceramic luminous unidirectional rotating bezel
◆ 3.7mm anti-reflective sapphire crystal
◆ Patented crown protection system


◆ Stainless steel and titanium bracelet with patented folding buckle & extension system


◆ Black or Blue


The NEDU arrived in a wonderfully impressive case, complete with a diving buoy.


But the real star of the show immediately made its presence known, and felt. It is a thick, rugged work of startling sophistication.

The black dial is striking, clean and offers hours, minutes, sub seconds, day and date along with a central seconds hand for the chronograph measure and a maximum resolution of 12 hours.


A collection of micro gas tubes deliver startling visibility in restricted light. No matter the hour of night, you will always know exactly what time it is. Comes in handy at a movie theater when you’re stuck watching a romantic comedy and literally counting the minutes.


The stainless steel and titanium bracelet includes Ball’s flawless folding buckle. Not surprisingly, the design of the bracelet allows it to be worn over a diving suit.


After a week of wearing the NEDU, I can say it has inspired many looks and comments, all of them positive, even envious.


As I will be traveling to Tahiti next season, it will be great fun to put the NEDU to the test in those crystal clear waters.


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