Around the World The Travel Watch is Flying Back Home
It had vanished as fast as passengers in airports. But the watch with two, or more, timezones is back from its forced sabbatical
It is kind of obvious. When people don't travel, they don't want to buy watches made for traveling. Because after all, that's the idea behind the multiple timezone watch, isn't it ? Well, not entirely. Needing to know what time it is elsewhere doesn't mean you have to be there. Just speaking to someone on the other side of the planet requires that. And that requirement has only been getting stronger as we've massively turned to video-conferecing over the past 18 months. When you're in a conversation with three people, one in Miami, one in Milan and one in Singapore, how can you know which one is about to go to bed and which one is about to have their first coffee of the day ?
L.U.C Time Traveler One Black © Chopard
Still, watch brands decided that this type of watch had (temporarily) lost its target audience. They're not entirely wrong since for a while, all watches had lost their audience. But when demand kicked back in, as lockdowns and curfews were lifted here and there, the international watch wasn't concerned. Until very recently that is.
Bulgari Octo Roma Worldtimer © WorldTempus/David Chokron
First of all, let's mention those who have been courageous enough to launch GMT timepieces against the flow, and against all odds. Chief among them is Chopard. They released a black, ceramized titanium version of the L.U.C Time Traveler One. It's a 250 piece run, but still, it's a run ! Also Grand Seiko didn't stop at making just the one GMT piece. They did several, including this one with a beautiful textured dial, the likes of which are a specialty from the Japanese manufacturer.
Greubel Forsey GMT Earth Final Edition © Greubel Forsey
Then the second wave of new watches arrived, the one that is seeing timepieces gaining their traction and popularity back. This is where Bulgari comes in, as they do so often these days. The Octo Roma Worldtimer is the first new watch of this type to be released in as much as 18 months... The usually busy dial that goes with worldtimers has been made as light to the eye as can be imagined. On the more graphic side, Greubel Forsey is releasing the final edition, in titanium, of the GMT Earth.
Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Hémisphères © WorldTempus/David Chokron
The last launch that deserves a shout-out is the latest version of the Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Hémisphères. The brand is in full overhaul mode as it elebrates its 25th anniversary. It's leaning in a more elegant, pared down and exclusive direction. Its pinecone guilloché pattern, smart assymetry and clever watchmaking construction make this a special one. It's one of the rare GMT timepieces to feature fully independant hours and minutes. The latter are really useful for those traveling to countries whose timezone isn't on the same minute as UTC+0, but also for a more direct and intuitive reading.
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