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Comparison - World Time

Comparison World Time

A complication with not one but two powers: to simultaneously show the time in 24 time zones and inspire creative dials

The ultimate travel watch, a world timer displays local time as well as the time around the globe, at a glance. This useful complication blends watchmaking expertise with a flair for design. Dials are in keeping with these complex mechanisms - often patented by the Manufacture that developed them and based on the 1884 division of the globe into 24 meridians - sometimes showing a reproduction of the continents which can be abstract or figurative, engraved or enamelled. Twenty-four cities are the ambassadors for the time zone they represent. Once the central hands have been set to local time and the corresponding city selected, the world time function adjusts to show the time in the other reference locations. Below is a selection of eight globetrotting watches, all available from boutiques and authorised dealers.

Frederique Constant, CHF 4,295

A true value proposal for what is one of the most exclusive complications. Frederique Constant is celebrating 35 successful years with a watch that again proves the importance of providing quality and value when developing a new product. Note the attractive dial in shades of chocolate brown.

Heures Universelles

Highlife Worldtimer Manufacture in steel, 41mm diameter, automatic movement, pointer date, 24-hour and day-night indicators for the world time function, leather strap. © Frédérique Constant

Montblanc, CHF 6,700

Following versions in blue, brown and green, this latest iteration, powered by an in-house movement, adopts black and grey tones. The centre of the dial is beautifully decorated with a three-dimensional reproduction of the Northern hemisphere, finished in rose gold and surrounded by the 24 cities representing 24 time zones. A well executed piece at a very reasonable price.

Heures Universelles

Star Legacy Orbis Terrarum in steel, 43mm diameter, automatic movement, 24-hour and day-night indicators for the world time function, leather strap. © Montblanc

IWC, CHF 15,000

The world time complication gets a distinctly sporty treatment. IWC has patented this world-time function combined with a 24-hour scale in an arched aperture. Such a refinement can explain what is a relatively high price, bearing in mind that this is also a limited edition reserved for just 1,500 collectors (or speculators).

Heures Universelles

Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Edition “Le Petit Prince” in steel, 46mm diameter, automatic movement, date aperture, 24-hour display for the world time function, leather strap. Limited edition of 1,500 pieces. © IWC

Girard Perregaux, CHF 15,700

As one of the brand’s creative flagships, the Laureato lends itself to infinite variations, including this superbly modern world time rendition. Titanium, rubber and a minimalist dial font make for a contemporary and well executed demonstration of horological expertise. The result could almost distract from what some will consider a high price.

Heures Universelles

Laureato Absolute WW.TC in titanium, 44mm diameter, automatic movement, 24-hour and day-night indicators for the world time function, rubber strap. © Girard Perregaux

Chopard, CHF 16,300

Like IWC, Chopard can justify the price of its world timer by the limited production of 125 pieces and the manufacture movement inside. The L.U.C 01.05-L calibre provides 60 hours of power reserve and is characteristic of the high standard that runs throughout the L.U.C collection. Hand-finished, it features chamfered bridges and Côtes de Genève decoration.

Heures Universelles

L.U.C Time Traveler One Black in titanium, 42mm diameter, automatic movement, pointer date, 24-hour and day-night indicators for the world time function, rubber strap. Limited edition of 125 pieces. © Chopard

Patek Philippe, CHF 62,000

Surprisingly for a model crafted by one of the great Manufactures, this is not the most expensive watch in our selection, despite being cased in platinum and incorporating a patented world time mechanism. A descendant of Patek Philippe’s world time watches from the 1930s, its blue dial boasts a magnificent hand-guilloché circular motif in its centre.

Heures Universelles

Reference 5230P-001 in platinum, 38.5mm diameter, automatic movement, 24-hour and day-night indicators for the world time function, leather strap. © Patek Philippe

Louis Vuitton, CHF 68,000

A new way of reading world times on a uniquely imaginative dial, where central hands are replaced by two rotating discs to show hours and minutes in 24 time zones. The hand-painted dial references the monograms and other symbols that travellers affix to Louis Vuitton trunks. This winning trio of creativity, the decorative arts and high-flying mechanisms comes at a price.

Heures Universelles

Escale Worldtime in titanium, 41mm diameter, automatic movement, 24-hour and day-night indicators for the world time function, leather strap. © Louis Vuitton

Breguet, CHF 71,000

Another great Manufacture, Breguet presents the most expensive watch in our selection. This model stands apart for its display of reference cites in an aperture, by the sun and moon that indicate day and night, also in an aperture, and by a superb sunburst guilloché dial depicting the five continents.

Heures Universelles

Marine Hora Mundi in rose gold, 44mm diameter, automatic movement, instant-jump date in an aperture, day-night indicator for the world time function, leather strap. © Breguet

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