The watchmaker has freshened its image with a precision-sport ambassador, while remaining true to its practical roots This year marks a milestone for Ball Watch as it celebrates its 115th anniversary of railroad timekeeping. The founder of the brand, Webb C Ball, made his and the brand's name as the accurate timekeeper of railroad services after he was called to testify about timekeeping discrepancies that led to a train wreck in 1891. It was his input that served to establish watch standards and an inspection system for railroad time services, which was to become the driving force behind standardising the watch industry. In celebration of the brand's association with railroads, this year Ball will launch a Trainmaster Heritage Limited Edition wristwatch. The collection was inspired by a rare 14-carat gold Ball pocket watch with movements developed jointly with Vacheron Constantin. The design of the new watch remains faithful to the original elements of the pocket watch and incorporates the Ball trademark micro gas tubes on the hour, minute and seconds hands and dial for easy reading at night. A white enamel dial bears the mark of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, which was one of the first railroad unions to partner with Webb C Ball. The automatic chronometer is certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Control. Each watch in the limited edition series of 115 pieces has a yellow gold case with an anti-reflective sapphire crystal and transparent case back, and a crocodile leather strap. Each limited edition, which is priced at $43,000, comes with a pocket watch souvenir. Extending the Trainmaster line further is the Trainmaster Power Glow. According to Sean Eav, marketing manager for Ball Watch Asia, the watch is a major breakthrough for the brand because of its easy-to-read linear display. The stored power of the watch is visible through a sliding indicator. When fully charged a solid yellow bar of light with a red tip at one end appears. As power depletes the red tip disappears and the yellow bar begins to fade. Ms Eav said the design made it easier to read than a traditional power reserve display. The glow is lit by Ball's patented micro gas tubes, which require no charging. The watch has a 41mm stainless steel case with a stainless steel bracelet or leather strap and is shock resistant to 5,000Gs. In addition to its association with railroads, Ball has a strong history of creating timepieces for adverse conditions. New this year is the re-packaged Engineer Hydrocarbon Titanium watch. The line was created two years ago as an 'explorer' watch able to function accurately under the most adverse conditions. The new model was designed to meet the technical needs certain weather conditions require, such as those of speed skier John Hembel, who is the ambassador for the model. Chief executive of Ball Watch Francisco Herrera said, 'We celebrate 115 years this year but we wanted to freshen our image. With John we expect to [further] penetrate the market. 'He is already established in adrenaline sports, so that experience should strengthen our image.' The 42mm case is made from titanium and has a unidirectional rotating bezel. Titanium is lighter than stainless steel and more resistant to scratching. The watch has an automatic ETA 2836-2 movement and will keep time in temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees Celsius. The watch's functions include hours, minutes, sweep seconds, day and date. The hour, minute, seconds hands and dial have micro gas tubes at each point for night reading. The watch is shock resistant to 7,500Gs. For speed skier Hembel, for whom a typical warm day on the slopes is about 5C, a watch that won't freeze up or interfere with performance while providing accurate timing is crucial. He has tested the new Engineer Hydrocarbon Titanium at a speed of 210km/h with good results. 'Ball has a history of excellence which suits me because everything I do I do my best,' Hembel said at the fair. He said speed skiing had moved from being an extreme sport to a precision sport so the alignment with Ball was 'perfect'. 'When I ski at [more than] 250km/h I expect it to remain accurate,' Hembel said.