Best world time watches money can buy

Wherever you are in the world, you’ll always keep track of the hour with these globally-minded timezone watches.

August 14, 2016

Chester A Arthur is not a name that makes Americans go weak at the knees. The New York lawyer was American President from 1881 to 1885, the 21st man to fill the position, but doesn’t take up too much space in the history books.

However, in 1884 he presided over a meeting that changed the way the world works to this day. The International Meridian Conference in Washington DC drew 41 delegates from 21 countries to discuss how and where the longitude time zones of the world should be arranged to help navigation and transport.

After much discussion, the world was sliced up into 24 time zones, each spanning 15 degrees longitude. On October 24, 1884, Greenwich Meantime in London was decided as the official prime meridian and the zero degree mark of longitude.

Today as we travel more and more, and with families and colleagues scattered across the world, the need to know time in foreign climes is greater than ever, meaning that world time zone watches are a key sector in horology. Plus, knowing when not to call your global CEO because they’re asleep could be pretty beneficial for your career.

A. Lange & Söhne, Lange 1 Time Zone

The beauty of this watch from A. Lange & Sohne is the amount of information that’s been loaded onto the dial without it feeling cluttered, hard to read, or plain old ugly. An offset main dial shows the home time, while in the bottom right hand corner is a sub dial showing world time as well as a mini am/pm display. The world time is altered using a push piece at 8 o’clock that nudges the outer ring forward in one-hour increments.

Price on request;

Baume & Mercier, Capeland 10107

This automatic worldtimer keeps you abreast of the time in 24 time zones around the globe, from Anchorage to Santiago. Each destination is written in beautiful font on the white dial that measures 44mm. Baume & Mercier’s timezone piece comes in a red gold case with an 18-carat red gold pin buckle.

AED 69,000;

Jaeger-LeCoultre, Geophysic Universal Time

A striking world map in gold with cities in red and blue font really catch the eye of this piece from Jaeger LeCoultre that is inspired by the brand’s introduction of the Geophysic line back in 1958. A mobile disc on this intricate dial enables the reading of times in 24 destinations.

AED 93,000;

Patek Philippe, World Time Chronograph Ref. 5930

A colour scheme of blue and silver adds real panache to this timezone watch from Patek Philippe. The brand has only ever made one world time chronograph before, in 1940, so this is something of a fresh approach. Telling the time in 24 destinations with legible dials that also indicate day or night, while maintaining a slim timepiece is a feat of engineering. And with its hand-guilloched centre, it looks pretty great too.

Price on request;

Vacheron Constantin, Overseas World Time

This piece from Vacheron Constantin incorporates three discs to keep the traveller up to speed on world time. A map is central to the dial, surrounded by 37 city names, which is itself enclosed by a day/night ring. The Overseas World Time is available with a silver, blue or brown dial.

AED 140,000;

Glashütte Original, Senator Cosmopolite

A mind boggling piece of watchmaking has enabled this watch to tell the time in two places at once covering 37 zones. If travelling west, the crown is turned anti-clockwise, if travelling east, it’s turned clockwise to reveal the IATA city code in a window at 8 o’clock. A day/night indicator provides more help, as does a 72 hour power reserve that features a new automatic 89-02 caliber.

AED 180,000;

Breitling, Transocean Chronograph Unitime

Brietling first introduced its Unitime watch in the 1950s and it’s still helping travellers today to catch planes – or fly them. A turn of the crown on this model rotates both the disk bearing the time and the disk carrying the names of 24 cities. The 46mm watch with a new Cailber 5 movement has a 70 hour power reserve so it will last a long journey.

AED 36,000;

Montblanc, StarWalker

It’s not only watches that keep track of world time – this pen will come in handy for writing postcards on your travels. The Montblanc StarWalker may sound like the cousin of Luke Skywalker, but when put into action it feels more like the kind of kit that belongs to another movie hero: James Bond. Just a twist of the cone that’s marked with destinations sets the pen to the time zone in which you find yourself, and in turn tells you the time in other world cities. Made from solid titanium, the lightweight and masculine pen has a ruthenium-plated gold nib featuring a laser-engraved world map.

AED 21,300;

Seiko, Astron GPS Solar

A simple, uncluttered dial features a small sub dial at 8 on this solar powered watch that features a powerful GPS antenna. Featuring the recently launched Caliber 8X22, a limited edition version of the watch seen here has a mother of pearl dial, which sucks up the sunshine to create power. A push of the button tells the time in 28 destinations around the world. 

Price on request;