Ball Watch Engineer Hydrocarbon DevGru: What is DevGru?

Ball Watch Engineer Hydrocarbon DEVGRU. Introduced in 2017, this Ball Watch DevGru with a blue dial was developed jointly with SEAL Team Six members. It is equipped with the Calibre Ball RR1102-SL automatic movement, the SpringLock patented anti-shock system, the Regulator-patented anti-shock system, the day and date displays and is housed in a 42mm diameter case in stainless steel that is water-resistant to 100m/330ft. Photo: © Ball Watch.

What is the common link between a customised German-made Heckler & Koch MP7 with suppressor, a thermobaric grenade and a Ball Watch Engineer Hydrocarbon “DevGru”?

The answer: SEAL Team Six – the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (NSWDG), also known as “DevGru”.

SEAL is the acronym for the Sea, Air and Land special forces of the US Navy. While they can technically be called “commandos”, it is reported that they “disdain” this term, according to an article in The New York Times.

Officially, this Naval Special Warfare Development Group’s mission is to develop new equipment and tactics for the general Navy SEAL unit.

“Unofficially”, SEAL Team Six undertakes extremely dangerous and covert missions that aren’t suitable for conventional military units. This explains why SEAL Team Six is shrouded in secrecy as its missions are highly classified.

Is SEAL Team Six for real? Interestingly, “… the US Department of Defense almost never publicly acknowledges the existence of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, or DevGru, the cover name for Team Six,” as stated in the book, Navy SEALs: Their Untold Story by Dick Couch and William Doyle (as highlighted in the article The Birth of SEAL Team Six written by Sarah Pruitt on

While the Heckler & Koch MP7 firearm and the thermobaric grenade are standard issue weapons for these military operatives, what we know “officially” is that the Ball Watch is a wristwatch jointly developed with SEAL Team Six (DevGru) of the Joint Special Operations Command as this is stated in the brand’s press release. This is a public acknowledgment of the existence of SEAL Team Six by a watch brand and it explains why this Engineer Hydrocarbon wristwatch is named “DevGru”.

Ball Watch further adds in their press release that SEAL Team Six was formed after the 1980 mission failure of Operation Eagle Claw.

In November 1979 during the Carter administration, Iranian students seized the US Embassy in Iran and took more than 50 US Americans, including the Chargé d’Affaires, as hostages.

Operation Eagle Claw was a mission to rescue the US hostages (said to be between 52 or 53 of them) from Iran. However, the mission had to be aborted. The poor state of helicopters that were sent in for the mission was among the reasons cited for the mission failure. [In the end, the US hostages were held for 444 days.]

Thereafter, a decision was made to form a special counter-terrorism unit.

The led to the formation of SEAL Team Six, the US military’s first counter-terrorism unit. It was a totally new SEAL unit devoted exclusively to counter terror.

What special features can one find in the Engineer Hydrocarbon DevGru?

Patrick’s Labs, the first spin-off company of Ball Watch, is a research and development unit that offered anti-shock solutions, notably for a watch that is meant to withstand the extremes.

Among the features is the redesigned regulator-assembly and the addition of a regulator patented anti-shock system for stability in the event of a shock.

There is also a seal system (pun not intended), the patented shock absorption system, fitted around the movement to allow the movement and crown to move slightly while an impact is being absorbed. Included in this system is protective padding to prevent component parts from breakage.

Do note that the flange of the case is designed to be higher than the sapphire crystal. This will protect the sapphire glass from impacts. Another safety feature is the crown protector.

Ball Watch Engineer Hydrocarbon DEVGRU in darkness, illuminated by its 59 micro gas tubes on the hour and minute hands. Photo: © Ball Watch.

There are 59 micro gas tubes containing pure tritium gas (H3). The interior walls of the hollow mineral glass tube are coated with luminescent material which gives off cold light when activated by electrons emitted by the tritium.

The luminescence from this micro gas tubes is up to a 100 times more effective than standard light sources used in watchmaking. This self-illuminating system can last for up to 25 years without the need for any recharge from an external light or energy source.

It was reported that SEAL Team Six has around 300 operators or troops backed by 1,500 support staff.

Now, the big question is: do members of SEAL Team Six wear the Ball Watch Engineer Hydrocarbon DevGru for their missions?

It is not stated “officially” so perhaps it is better to “unofficially” make an educated guess, one big clue being the equipping of anti-shock systems in the Engineer Hydrocarbon DevGru.