Ever since 1884, when the world accepted a system of 24 official time zones, travelers have battled the clock with increasing consternation. In today’s jet age, the struggle to keep track of time both at home and on the road has only accelerated—along with our itineraries—providing an impetus for watchmakers to offer an old-fashioned mechanical solution to a very modern problem.
Left to right: Chopard Dual Tec, $11,170 (800.246.7273); Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 XXL Chronograph (available in GMT model not shown), $19,500 (877.846.3447); Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Grande GMT, $17,750 (800.552.8463); Lana Marks alligator briefcase, $20,000 (212.355.6135)
Clockwise from top left: Glycine Airman 9, $3,675 (212.688.4500); Breitling Navitimer World, $5,350 (800.641.7343); Bulgari GMT, $6,300 (800.285.4274); Vogard steel Licensed Pilot, $6,100 (203.778.0518)
The multi-time-zone watch is one of the few complicated watch genres that addresses contemporary lifestyles rather than paying homage to historical technical masterpieces. The latest travel watches range from designs with an additional hand to those with extra dials. So-called world timers indicate all 24 time zones, and GMTs—which are ostensibly designed to track Greenwich Mean Time—can be adjusted for any time zone. And for the true road warrior who barely can keep track of where he is at any given moment, some travel timepieces incorporate compass elements. Now if only someone could come up with a watch that eliminates jet lag.
Left to right: Blancpain white gold Villaret Dual Time, $13,500 (877.520.1735); Van Cleef & Arpels steel Monsieur Arpels Alarm, $6,800 (800.822.5797); Daniel Roth steel Metropolitan world timer, $10,250 (866.372.6344); Lambertson Truex Soft Kansas watch box, $995 (at Bergdorf Goodman, 800.558.1855)
Arnold & Son Longitude II Arctic limited edition, $7,500 (212.688.4500); Officine Panerai Black Seal Compass, $4,850 (877.726.3724); Lambertson Truex leather Carry All, $175 (212.604.9494)