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Travel Companions

Travel Companions
1 March, 2021

In today’s globalized world, watches that offer a way to display a second time zone can be some of the most functional timekeepers around. Because of this, most brands have found a way to incorporate either a GMT or world- time model into their various collections.  The way that the second time zone is shown varies from watch to watch: some watches boldly proclaim that its owner is a globetrotter, while others are hidden discreetly. Because the diversity of travel-time watches that are out there can be overwhelming, we’ve gathered a few of the highlights released this year, and added one of our favorites from a few years ago.

Omega – Seamaster Aqua Terra Worldtimer -Lost in the celebration over the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing and its Speedmaster accompaniment was the fact that Omega has finally released a more accessible sequel to 2017’s Seamaster Aqua Terra Worldtimer. That limited-edition version, cased in platinum, was Omega’s first attempt at a worldtimer, and it has finally returned to the brand’s catalog in stainless steel and Sedna gold with a few aesthetic changes. At the center of the dial is an attractive laser-ablated titanium map of the Northerm hemisphere, surrounded by a 24-hour ring, that offers more texture and physical attractiveness than the platinum version’s hand-painted enamel design. The stainless- steel model features a blue dial’ the Sedna gold version a white dial. Just as with the 2018 release, inside the watch is Master Chronometer Caliber 8939, a true world-time movement that allows the hour hand to be adjusted in one-hour increments independently of the home-time display. Pricing starts at $8,900 for the stainless-steel version on rubber.

Blancpain – Villeret GMT Date Blancpain added a number of new timepieces to its emblematic Villeret collection in 2019, a new GMT being one of  them. The new Blancpain Villeret GMT Ref.6662 features a 24-hour ring running along the inside of the traditional Roman numerals. A slender hand tipped with a red arrow displays the second time along this 24-hour scale, while hour and minutes are indicated via the Villeret’s characteristic leaf-shaped hands. There’s a date window located at 3 o’clock Fast GMT correction, date adjustment and time setting are all adjusted through the crown. The watch is powered by the manufacture 5A50 automatic movement which has a 100-hour power reserve. The 40-mm case us available in 18K red-gold or steel versions, the former paired with an opaline dial and the latter with a white variation. Both models are available with either an alligator strap or a matching metal bracelet. Pricing starts at $12,000.

Bovet- Recital 27 – Last fall, Bovet was awarded the Aiguille d’Or for the Grand Recital 22 at the annual GPHG awards. What to do for a follow up? Earlier this year, the brand revealed the Recital 27, a timepiece with a seven-day power reserve that can show up to three separate time zones and features an ultra-precise moon-phase that indicates the current phase of the lunar cycle in both hemispheres. The local time is told through the traditional manner via the hour and minute hands extending from the central axis.  The other time zones appear at 9 o’clock with each displaying a time zone chosen from the 24 established zones. Each time zone is further complemented by a day/night disk and 24-hour indicator. To set each additional time zone, there are correctors on both sides of the watch that shift which time zone will be shown. At the traditional 6 o’clock position of the watch, a double moon-phase display indicates the current lunar cycle for the Northem and Southern hemispheres. The case of the  Recital 27 follows Bovet’s sloping “writing desk” design that is a brand signature. Inside the 46.30-mm case, available in titanium or pink gold, is the manually wound Virtuoso II manufacture caliber. Pricing starts at CHF 66,000 for Recital 27 in titanium. F.P.Journe        


  Octa UTC – F.P Journe ‘ s take on the travel-time motif is the Octa UTC, a time piece first unveiled in 2011 that uses a patented system to indicate the second time zone using both a traditional second hour hand and an unconventional graphical representation of the Earth showing the 24 standard, full-hour time zones that takes into account standard and daylight savings time. On the dial, the blue hour and minutes hands (and the date) indicate the owner’s local time. Once the local time is set, the owner positions the second geographical region- indicated by the colorful globe-on “0” for the winter hour. The gold hand, which makes one complete rotation every 24 hours, automatically positions itself at the corresponding time for this region. The +1/-1 graduation positions the specific region for summer hour linked to the geographical location of the user, depending if it is positioned east or west of the chosen zone. There are two Octa UTC watches in the greater F.P Journe Lineup, a model in a matching dial. The movement, Automatic Caliber FPJ 1300-3 offers up 120 hours of running autonomy. Price upon request.

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