Business travel often sounds glamourous, but long flights and jet lag can ruin the fun. One tip is to get into the new time zone as soon as possible and what better way to do that than with a great travel watch.
Nowadays, business is worldwide. Companies in Mumbai are doing business in Memphis and Beijing businesses are regularly trading with Barcelona. Trying to figure out different time zones using a normal watch is extremely difficult, involving mental gymnastics beyond most people (and nearly impossible when jet lagged). As a result, today’s businesspeople need watches that make crossing, or even just figuring out, time zones essential.
Thankfully, watchmakers have been offering travel watches for decades: dual time, GMT, triple time zones and world time zone watches all help with the time zone translation battle.
The following are the best of the best:
1 – Patek Philippe 5930G World Time Chronograph
New this year, one of the world’s leaders in world timers expands its repertoire with this beautiful chronograph world timer.
Price: USD 73,700
2 – Patek Philippe 7130 ladies’ World Time
Finally, the ladies have a world time watch to call their own.
Price: USD 51,000
3 – Rolex GMT Master II
The GMT Master II from the Crown offers a large GMT hand that points to the second time zone.
Price: CHF 8’800
4 – Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Worldtimer
The Seamaster Aqua Terra Worldtimer from Omega displays all 24 UTC time zones, using a fixed city ring around the outside of the bezel and a turning 24-hour disc that makes one full revolution a day.
Price: USD 48,600
5 – Carl F. Bucherer Patravi TravelTec
The Patravi TravelTec displays three different time zones at the same time in a very easy to read and use format.
Price: CHF 10,950 in steel and CHF 14,500 in black.
6 – Montblanc 1858 Geosphere LE Bronze
Montblanc’s 1858 Geosphere in bronze shows world time using two globes, one each for the northern and southern hemispheres, and there is an additional time display at nine o’clock. There is a non-limited version in steel as well.
Price: USD 6,300
7 – Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Chronograph WT
The Polaris is Jaeger-LeCoultre’s sportiest line and the Polaris Chronograph WT combines a world time display with a handy chronograph.
Price: Euro 14,400
8 – Girard-Perregaux 1966 WW.TC
The WW.TC from Girard-Perregaux is one of the best-known world timers on the market and is a cinch to read with its outer rim of cities representing each of the 24 time zones.
Price: CHF 25,100
9 – Vacheron Constantin Overseas World Time
This world timer is one of the only watches that displays all 37 time zones, including the half-hour or quarter-hour time zones some countries use (definitely NOT part of the original time zone plan).
The Moonstruck shows the 24 time zones of the world along with a day/night indicator, so you can know whether it is day or night wherever you are.
Price: CHF 75,000
A Little Time Zone History
In 1884, the International Prime Meridian Conference, held in Washington D.C., standardized time and selected Greenwich, England as zero degrees longitude (the Prime Meridian). Then, based on longitude, the 24 time zones (15 degrees of longitude between each) we use today were established. The U.S. government officially adopted standard time on March 19, 1918. By 1929, most countries around the world were keeping time with this system. In 1972, the majority of the world adopted Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), and now official time zones are indicated by +/- UTC rather than GMT.
Travel Time Quiz (scroll down for answers)
1. How many time zones does the continental USA have?
2. What major countries only have one time zone?
3. True or false: there are some countries that are offset by 15 and 30 minutes?
4. What does GMT stand for?
5. GMT is actually no longer used. What is the new abbreviation?
6. What country has the most time zones?
2. China and India.
4. Greenwich Mean Time.
5. UTC (Universal Coordinated Time)
6. France. Okay, this is a trick question. While the country only has one time zone in Europe, due to all of its colonies it has a total of 12.