Photos Courtesy of BallastSince the dawn of time, men of the seas have been considered another breed; rugged, mysterious and always adventurous. Celebrating the modern Poseidon, Ballast puts history at the heart of their nautically inspired collection of watches that launched this spring.
Dedicated to the crews that serve deep beneath the sea, the latest campaign from Ballast commemorates the life of the few that choose to serve their country by spending time in a submarine. Revealing tales from five real life nautical pioneers, the collection celebrates a new generation of exploration by interviewing crew who have served on submarines globally.
"Each watch is inspired by the legacy of extraordinary submarines and the unique features bring that story to life,” says Ballast President, Drew Deters.
Time becomes everything underwater. Thousands of miles from land, separated for months on end from their friends and family, even the difference between night and day disappears. Typical work days average eighteen hours long. With no Internet, and no means of communication, card games or watching movies become the only options for entertainment. So how do you know just how long you've been submerged? By keeping time of course, with a Ballast watch.
“I don't think anyone really likes to be in a tight enclosed space with no light," says Lieutenant Chris Sergeant, a Staff Training Officer with the US Navy Nuclear Power Training Unit. Claustrophobia is a concern for the elite aboard a submarine. But, over time, like any good team the crew aboard becomes a community, explains Lieutenant Rashad McCloud. "Regardless of background, age, religion, whatever the differences may be, you all kind of meld, find commonalities and get along. It’s a special community; I haven’t found anything like it," says McCloud.
The real worry when submerged hundreds of feet below sea? Rationing. When the food runs out, the ship must return from the sea, even if the mission is not complete.
"You can only take so much fresh food when you leave, and that’s all gone within, I don’t know, 2-3 weeks, so no more fruit, no more vegetables, no more real milk, everything is processed like canned food," says Jay Nattress, who served aboard on the USS Alaska.
For Nattress, options came down to a lot of peanut butter and jelly, and tuna packets with A1 sauce. "Now it makes me sick to my stomach," he says.
While typical submarine patrols last around 90 days, for Lieutenant Adam Kuehne, one mission stayed submerged for 50 days straight, a record in length.
"The first thing you notice when you crack the hatch for the first time is that it smells weird. It’s actually not refreshing, you’d think it'd be refreshing but it’s just different," says Kuehne.
Drawing inspiration from history and the first industrialized submarine introduced in 1903, Ballast wanted to show a harmony between man and machine and build a weapon of sophistication.
With marine-grade 316L stainless steel, mineral crystals and sapphire coating, the collection comes with a range of premium leather and silicone bands and according to the manufacturer is built to be infallible--so you never have to worry, even if your biggest battle for the night is just picking out the right ensemble for a date. Classic in design yet contemporary, features like Swiss and Automatic offer touches to keep the 21st century techie happy.
Built to withstand a demanding day of adventure (submarine or not) the 58 piece collection is crafted on four basic construction principals crucial to land or sea; legibility, functionality, precision and water-resistance.
Pricing on the collection ranges from $350.00 - $595.00. For select retailers visit www.Ballast1903.com.