Back when mechanical watches were in their prime, a worldtimer was built for the jet setters, the businessmen and travellers of the world. It gave these privileged people the option to simultaneously tell the time in all 24 time zones around the world by simply indicating the home city; I mean a man who just absolutely has to know the time around the world has to be of significant importance right? These days, the worldtime function is perhaps more relevant than it was back then as even if you don’t traverse the globe on a weekly or monthly basis, there is a good chance you would have to communicate with someone in a different place and time.
Liking the concept of the world time watch and actually liking the design of the watches are two different things altogether. The nature of the watch requires a lot of information to be displayed on the dial and if this is not properly executed, the results can be a messy and cluttered dial, diminishing its legibility. Thankfully, Girard-Perregaux’s latest WW.TC is a watch that I would be more than happy to put on my wrist due to its clean and simple design. The iconic double crowns of the WW.TC at the 9 and 3 o’clock position lends a hand in symmetry but more than that, I really like the idea that even though the two crowns are at opposite ends of the case, they are still connected as a whole (just like even though someone is on the opposite side of the world, we are all still part of the same planet).
In the past GP combined this world time function with a chronograph giving it the name WW.TC which stands for World Wide Time Control. But for this WW.TC they have decided to do away with the chronograph and keep it to the basics. The result is a spectacularly elegant looking watch which follows the design elements of their classic 1966 collection. Where some brands try to fit too much info onto the dials, often cramming all 24 countries in the major time zones (sometimes even more) onto an inner bezel, GP put it on a ring on the dial that is not too cramped yet doesn’t dominate the dial.
The additional crown is used to set the reference city and thanks to some clever engineering from GP can be adjusted both forwards and backwards. Additionally, there’s also a day/night indicator on the 24 hour ring, once again making the function more user-friendly. The movement within the watch is a manufacture automatic movement with an additional in-house module tacked on. Offering two case variations—stainless steel and rose gold—it has 46 hours of power reserve which is comforting to know that the watch will still keep the accurate time for almost two days without use.
This article was first published in the print edition of Esquire Malaysia, April 2017.