10 Things You Didn’t Know about Ball Watch Company

Ball Watch Company is an American manufacturer of watches. However, it is interesting to note that said manufacturer has existed since 1891, meaning that it has had a role in a number of historical events of note. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Ball Watch Company:

1. Founded By Webster Clay Ball

Perhaps unsurprisingly, BALL Watch Company was founded by a man named Webster Clay Ball. Initially, Ball was a jeweler who had gone on to become a watchmaker, which is a related field. In fact, it is interesting to note that the BALL Watch Company sprouted from the seed that was Ball’s jewelry store.

2. Ball Was Chief Time Inspector

Nowadays, we take a lot of things for granted. For example, we know that we can count on different clocks from different regions to show the same time so long as they are situated in the same time zone. However, that wasn’t the case in the not so distant past, as shown by how a stopped watch resulted in a horrific train crash in Kipton, OH, which was what resulted in Ball being made Chief Time Inspector.

3. Ball Was Responsible For Two Things

As Chief Time Inspector, Ball was responsible for a couple of things. First, he was responsible for establishing standards for the precision of the timepieces that would be used by the railroad companies. Second, he was responsible for coming up with an inspection system that could keep said time-pieces running as they should be.

4. Ball Started Out Using Watch Movements From Other Watch Businesses

Initially, Ball’s jewelry store sold watches that used watch movements made by other watch businesses. In further detail, it would buy watch movements from other watch businesses, work on them to make them perfect for their needs, and then sell them in their own watches to interested individuals. This was in addition to the jewelry store selling other watches that were purchased outright from other watch businesses.

5. Ball Focused on Developing Watches For Railroad Use

Considering Ball’s position as Chief Time Inspector, it should come as no surprise to learn that he went on to play an important role in developing time-pieces for use by the railroad companies. Since the railroads played a huge role in transporting people as well as products from place to place in those times, this means that he did much to make them that much safer to operate.

6. Established RR Standard Certification

Ball established the RR Standard, which saw a fair amount of use by the railroad companies. To receive certification for the RR Standard, interested individuals had to meet a number of criteria, which ranged from the physical characteristics of the time-piece to the accuracy of the time-piece, which was of course, of paramount importance.

7. No Longer Based in Ohio

Naturally, the Ball Watch Company started out in the state of Ohio. However, it is no longer headquartered in said state. In fact, it is no longer even headquartered in the country, seeing as how it is now based out of Switzerland, which is famous for Swiss watch-making.

8. Family-Owned Until the 1990s

Ball’s family continued to run the Ball Watch Company for decades and decades after his death in 1922. In fact, they continued running it right until the 1990s. Then, they sold the right to use the name, though it is interesting to note that the new company still makes time-pieces for railroads in addition to a wide range of other products for other customers.

9. Has Six Collections

In total, the Ball Watch Company now has six collections. Its origin can be seen in the names of collections such as the Trainmaster and the Conductor. However, its other fields of focus can be seen in the names of other collections such as Fireman and Engineer Hydrocarbon.

10. Now Sells Swiss-Made Mechanical Watches

Nowadays, Ball Watch Company sells mechanical watches of Swiss origin. This makes sense, seeing as how the Swiss retain a reputation for excellent watch-making, which is something that has been built up over the course of centuries. However, it is interesting to note that the founder’s criteria for the accuracy of time-pieces were so respected that they actually inspired those of other parties such as the Swiss Official Testing Institute.


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