Since their founding in 2003 Bertucci has been focused on creating a selection of high-performance field watches designed with adventure in mind. They recently launched the Ballista series, a new line of tactical watches created for users who want the ultimate combination of toughness, performance, and comfort in their gear. Based on my experience so far, Bertucci knocked it out of the park.
In a release, Bertucci Performance Field Watches’ Tammy McGuire said this line is made up of “professional, tactical watches that are extremely durable and are designed for the rigors of the field” and that unlike “other tactical watches, the Ballistas can be dressed up or down and are perfect for virtually any setting.”
That’s definitely true.
Bertucci Ballista Specs:
- Rugged, stainless-steel case, crown, case back and band hardware with a black ION finish
- Quartz movement for reliable, accurate time keeping
- Hardened sapphire crystal for maximum scratch resistance
- Active Comfort™, ergonomic crown set at the 4 o’clock position to not impinge wrist movement
- U.S. Patented, B-Type, heavy-duty webbing band available in multiple colors
- Equipped with removable, threaded 2mm hex head lug bars
- Three to 10-year battery life depending on model
- 200m water resistance rating
- Date feature
- 12 and 24 hour time dial markings
- Three-year warranty
I received the A-5S Ballista Illuminated for review and liked it immediately. It’s an old-fashioned field watch in appearance and size; substantial and practical. Definitely the kind of thing a special operator of any kind would appreciate. The heavy-duty webbed band was comfortable out of the box, and the watch was already set to the correct date. Setting it was also a straightforward breeze, enhanced by the comfortably-positioned crown at 4 o’clock.
Reviewing outwardly simple quartz watches can be a bit like writing the recipe for something basic like a two-ingredient cocktail; it’s hard to figure out what else to say once the details like specs are written down. But the A-5S Ballista Illuminated model’s best and most notable feature is, oddly, the illumination.
Bertucci’s release accompanying the Ballista launch says that the Illuminated “uses tritium gas-filled microtubes to deliver continuous illumination to the hands and markers for up to 25 years.”
I tend to wear watches to bed, a habit I developed from an old job where accurate time was of the essence, especially if I was working the night shift alone and wanted to snatch a 15-minute catnap. For a time I only wore timepieces with alarm functions and if they buzzed, that was all the better.
None of the Ballistas have that kind of alarm function, but falling asleep with one on then waking with a start (something I do a lot in the Very Weird Year of Our Lord 2020) and checking the time in the dark is strangely comforting. The tritium gas-filled microtubes are strikingly bright, so if you have vision as crappy as mine, reading through a blur is still no issue.
Another plus: After setting the watch with an Atomic Time app, I’ve found it has lost perhaps a second at best in 5 days.
Here’s perhaps one of the best recs I can ultimately give Bertucci’s surprisingly lightweight, practical, yet tough product: Though I collect watches and have more than 40 at this point, I often default to my Apple Watch Series 4. It’s comfortable and if I forget my iPhone, it has LTE so it’s eminently practical. But in the last five days, the Bertucci A-5S Ballista hasn’t left my wrist save to shower.
Rating: Five Stars.
Bertucci Ballista Models and Prices:
- A-2S Ballista (40mm) – $195
- E-1S Ballista (44mm x 55mm) – $295
- A-5S Ballista Illuminated (45mm) – $395