The advent of Ball watches was one that was provoked by tragedy, particularly the Kipton Disaster that took place on April 19, 1891. The incident involved two trains colliding after one of the train engineer’s watch had stopped. The disaster led to the death of eleven people including the engineers of both trains.
To prevent similar future disasters, railroad officials commissioned Webb C. Ball, a jeweler and watchmaker, to be their Chief Time Inspector. Since then, Ball watch has been one of the most respected watch brands in the United States. Every detail of Ball timepieces, from the style of the numerals, the shape of the hands, and the design of the dial, faithfully follows the same design guidelines set by Bell for the standard railway watch in 1891.
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