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Ball was founded by Webster Clay Ball in Cleveland, Ohio.  According to early company documents in 1865 and he began making fine watches in the early 1880's after a train crash in Kipton, Ohio in 1881. He was called upon by the government to create a series of checks and balances for proper timekeeping on the trains, and created a system for certain key members such as conductors, engineers, etc.  All carried timepieces that kept excellent time, were easy to read and as he famously said in 1891 had "Accuracy under Adverse Conditions", a motto we live by today. The system also included a method for keeping the time pieces regulated, many of which have been adopted by the COSC which is known as the foremost testing agency of fine Swiss watches.