BALL Watch Company Trainmaster Standard Time Automatic Series


A timeless watch model to celebrate  130 years of standard time

To mark the 130th anniversary of the adoption of standard time in the United States, the Ball Watch Company unveils a new classic, timeless model: the Trainmaster Standard Time watch. Before the adoption of standard time in 1883, time was set depending on the position of the sun. This resulted in every city having its own time zone, making the synchronization of railroad timetables extremely complicated. From 1883 onward, U.S. railroad companies put in place a new system to divide the nation into four time zones. This change led to the disappearance of over 70 official time zones, and has continued as the officially accepted system to the present day.

In 1883, BALL Watch’s founder, Webster Clay Ball, was the first jeweler in Cleveland, Ohio, to use the time signals emitted by the United States Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C., bringing accurate time to the residents of the “C-Town”. Since he displayed the first chronometer of the city in his store window, people got into the habit of setting their watches there, giving rise to the expressions “Ball’s Time” and “on the Ball”, used at the period to refer to the absolute correct time all over Northern Ohio. In 1891, Webster Clay Ball was appointed as Chief Time Inspector by the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway Co. The unreliability of the watches used on the railroad networks made traveling by train a perilous business, and the introduction of a system of controls and inspections had become an urgent priority. Webb C. Ball laid down standards of quality, accuracy and design for all the watches used by the railroad. To ensure the greatest possible accuracy of each employee’s watch, a list of approved timepieces was submitted to the workers and compulsory inspections were made once every two weeks for comparison with standard Washington time.

Inspired by the pocket watches of the 19th century, the retro style of the Trainmaster Standard Time model plunges us into a universe that is immune to the whims of fashion. An updated version of the classic, simple and reliable timepieces of yesteryear, this is a watch that is totally in keeping with the Railroad Standards introduced by Webb C. Ball throughout the United States. The Trainmaster Standard Time model is a subtle combination of a vintage style reminiscent of the 19th century railroads and the cutting-edge technology used in contemporary watchmaking. The case in 18k rose gold and the crocodile leather strap highlight the luxury aspect of this timepiece and make it a model that is the epitome of elegance. Although its case is relatively moderate in size, with its 39.5mm diameter, its understated graphic style and materials as well as the wide opening of the dial make it a timepiece of unrivaled legibility. To confirm the accuracy of this timepiece, the official status of “Automatic Chronometer” attributed by the COSC (the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute) has been delicately inscribed on the watch’s dial. The form of the Arabic numerals, the enamel-white dial, the characteristic cut of the hands and the subsidiary seconds dial at six o’clock are all features inspired by the brand’s first fob-watch models worn by railroad employees. As a break with the spell of time, the words “BALL & Co.” have been styled to form the number 7 to make this timepiece truly unique.    

In order to ensure perfect time reading even in total darkness, Ball Watch Company’s own revolutionary luminous technology is also found on this model. 14 3H luminous micro gas tubes have been added to the hour and minute hands, and also to the hour-markers on the dial. These micro-tubes do not require any outside source of light or power and are up to 100 times brighter than the use of conventional luminous paint. The watch’s sapphire crystal case back enables the user to admire the BALL RR1105-C Swiss mechanical movement. The hour, minute and seconds at 6 o’clock as well as the date functions found on this model make it a truly indispensable classic timepiece. 

Today, more than ever, BALL Watch is continuing its journey and asserting its role as a key protagonist in the exploration of modern time and the evolution of watchmaking history.

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Trainmaster Standard Time Automatic Series
Ref. : NM3888D-PG-LCJ-WH


  • Automatic caliber BALL RR1105-C
  • Chronometer certified COSC


  • 14 micro gas tubes on hour and minute hands and dial for night reading capability
  • Shock resistant to 5,000Gs
  • Water resistant to 30m/100ft
  • Hours, minutes, subsidiary seconds and date


  • 18k/750 rose gold
  • Ø 39.5mm, height 10.5mm
  • Anti-reflective convex sapphire crystal
  • Convex sapphire crystal case back
  • 18k/750 rose gold crown


  • Crocodile leather strap with standard buckle

Dial: White enamel Trainmaster