Ball Engineer AeroGMT Sled Driver

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Ball Engineer AeroGMT Sled Driver

Post by koimaster » June 15th 2021, 9:25pm

Ball Watch Co. was founded in the U.S.A. as a provider of railroad watches in the late 19th Century, and while its current home base is Switzerland, Ball often produces timepieces distinctly inspired by or paying tribute to American history and culture, from 2012’s Grand Central Terminal centennial edition to last year’s flag-draped AeroGMT USA Edition. This year, the latest version of the AeroGMT, the brand’s robust triple-time-zone watch, takes its name and inspiration from a U.S. Air Force veteran and his triumphant story.

“Sled Driver” was the nickname coined for USAF pilots — only 92 of them — who have flown the SR-71 Blackbird, aka “the Sled,” a strategic long-range reconnaissance aircraft that flies at high altitudes of speeds up to Mach 3. The Engineer Hydrocarbon AeroGMT Sled Driver is named for one of these elite pilots in particular — retired USAF Major Brian Shul, whose covert-ops AT-28D plane was shot down near the Cambodian border toward the end of the Vietnam War, incurring extensive injuries and burns in the fiery crash that he was not expected to survive. Told he would never fly again during more than a year of recovery, which included 15 surgeries, Shul nevertheless beat the odds, overcoming the injuries and passing all the flight exams to pilot fighter jets, and eventually the top-secret SR-71 Blackbird, for 10 more years.

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