Today, the world is a cocoon. Our lives unfold across countries and continents as we move about in today’s global world. People are travelling like never before and crossing time zones has almost become a way of life.
As our lives are increasingly conducted on a global scale, it becomes extremely important to keep track of time, which can indeed become a monumental task, more so if you are a busy business traveller! But today’s finest watches are here to the rescue. Modern timepieces provide the global traveller with all the tools that count—right on the wrist.
The connection between timepieces and travelling is an old and established one. Special watches for globetrotters has been a common phenomenon in the watch world. As connectivity improves, the needs of the modern business traveller are also constantly evolving. Besides the practical needs met by travel watches, there is an aesthetic element as well. Watches add a lot to the personality of a person, and when it comes to business interactions, and interactions in formal situations, this is a factor that needs attention. With more and more women travelling as well, brands are rightfully paying attention to this emerging group while designing watches suited to travellers.
What makes a travel watch?
A pocket watch was the original travel watch because it was designed to be portable. Now of course, travel watches marry functionality and style. One of the basic requirements of a travel watch is that it should show different time zones. Watches with multiple time zones are a perfect way to manage time in different areas of the world. These timepieces are extremely functional because they enable the wearer to quickly adjust and understand time while traveling.
For this purpose, a dual timer, a GMT watch and a world timer are suitable complications. While all of them are essentially similar, there are some subtle differences.
A dual timer, as the name suggests shows the time of more than one time zone. Watches with dual time zones have a high utility value by enabling the wearer to independently read two different time zones at a glance. Most will use it to display their home time zone as well as the local time for the place they are traveling.
In simple terms, a GMT watch is a timepiece with a 24-hour format hand that indicates a second time zone in addition to the other hands. It must be noted that this is not just any multiple time zone watch with more than one 12-hour format dial. For a GMT watch, the 24-hour scale is a must.
There is a subtle distinction between a regular dual timer and a pure GMT watch. Although GMT and dual time zone watches often use the same movement, a GMT watch is intended to be set to GMT and left there, while the dual time zone watch is intended to have both zones adjusted more frequently. The idea of a GMT watch is to offer two things: a hand that is always synched to GMT time, so that the time all around the world can be identified, and normal hands for local time. Hence, a proper GMT movement allows the hour hand of the watch to be adjusted independently so that the GMT hand remains set to the Greenwich Mean Time.
Then, there is also the world timer, which, by contrast, shows many time zones at once. The world time complication as we know it today was invented in the 1930s by a watchmaker named Cottier. Timepieces with this functionality are great for international businessmen and world travellers because they simultaneously display the time in all 24 time zones. The outside of the dial features a rotating bezel with the major city in each time zone. This bezel corresponds with a 24-hour bezel, together showing for an organized display of the time in any time zone in the world.
Some brands even incorporate quickset modules that enable the wearer to change the time forward or backward when traveling, while other brands offer patented easy-to-read systems. There are watches for different hemispheres, those that connect to GPS network to tell time with precision, those offering simultaneous reading of world time zones, special world time watches for aviators and special ones for travellers. Today, these timepieces are more user-friendly than ever before.
A problem with the world timer? One issue is that there are more than 24 time zones and not all of them are a full hour apart, so if you find you must frequently visit let us say India, which is GMT +5 and a half hours, you will find the world time watch less useful. So, do take a decision based on your geographical location and the locations that you have to travel to quite frequently.
At the first glance, a world timer may appear a bit daunting, but all it takes is a little time and effort to understand its workings. A quick lesson from the retail expert will do the trick!
While the world time, GMT and dual timer complications are indispensable, some other complications could also be useful. Chronographs are actually really useful when traveling, so it isn’t a bad idea to look for travel watches that do have chronograph complications. It could help time certain events. Do keep into account where you are most likely to travel, since there are some watches that are more relevant for some timezones. For example, one particular subset of world time watches are those with “East” and “West” pushers that allow the time to be advanced or subtracted in one hour increments to make switching the time between various time zones simple and straight forward.
Besides the well known Swiss mechanical watches that have been faithful to generations and lasted across generations, there are the new modern satellite-controlled electronic watches. They set the time and date automatically using GPS satellites, so you never have to worry about resetting your watch in different time zones.
More recently, smart watches have also entered the business watch bandwagon. However, it must be noted that with smart watches, the element of intrusiveness needs to be considered especially in formal business situations. For example, you would not really want blinking screens to interrupt your meetings!
Pilot watches also make excellent travel watches because, by nature, they are designed for traveling. Perhaps they are more specifically, for flying, but pilots clearly travel and have traditionally needed comfortable, legible watches that allow them to keep informed in various time zones.
The look matters
The business traveller must ensure that the watch suits the formal clothes that they would be wearing on the trip. A versatile watch will also transition to the after-work socializing activities. It is true that in many places in the world having a nice timepiece is a prerequisite to having a serious business conversation! Women have undoubtedly made an indelible mark on the global corporate scenario. Travel time watches for women should also meet the criteria of functionality married with beauty.
It is not only the function but also the designs that are talk-worthy. Featuring beautiful, exquisite and classic designs that demonstrate impeccable craftsmanship, these timepieces pay homage to the traveller. A buyer is truly spoilt for choice when he or she has to decide which timepiece to buy!