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Trainmaster Cleveland Express Watch

Time wasn't always a fixed notion in the United States. Until the late nineteenth century, when "standard time" began to be implemented via telegraphed signals from the U.S. Naval Observatory, communities maintained their own time—it may have been 6:05 in New York City but 6:13 in Albany. Webb C. Ball, an Ohio jeweler turned watchmaker, was first to use those signals in Cleveland, and he would later achieve wider renown for inventing a system of maintaining consistent time on the railroad, synchronizing conductors' watches with those carried by the crew. Today, the Ball Watch Company extends its scrupulousness to its Trainmaster Cleveland Express, a Swiss-made chronometer with a sweeping second hand and a COSC-certified automatic movement. The face design was inspired by a vintage 1930s Ball desk clock, the blue numerals a restrained flourish on an other­wise modest exterior. A hand-stitched crocodile band or stainless steel bracelet is available. The latter's heft is stalwart—perhaps a nod to Midwestern values. With the handsome and handsomely affordable Cleveland Express, Ball has set a new standard for timepieces at this price level.

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