Worldwide, the Muslim travel market during this time is estimated to be worth more than $150 billion US (Dh550 bn.) and last year the attendance at Mecca topped the 14 Million mark.
Timing becomes complicated during this month – especially so for those who will be crossing the globe. This naturally leads me to the subject of watches, or more specifically, watches designed for travel.
It was in 1884 that the International Meridian Conference in Washington decided to divide the Earth into twenty-four time zones. Soon afterwards watchmakers were scratching their heads, trying to come up with a horological way to deal with the technicalities. After all, travelers need to know the time in more than one place.
The first watches with dual time zones had two separate movements and two dials. Later clutch mechanisms for a second hour hand were invented. Today world timers are some of the most sought-after complications among watch lovers. What follows is my choice of the very best travel watches available today.
The Vacheron Constantine Overseas World Time”Traveling like this, from one location to another, allowed me to witness how each region of the world is different but also very similar. It helped me see how we are all connected and have comparable behaviors. I was grateful to explore these human achievements and discover the know-how and passion of the Vacheron Constantin watchmakers. ”
These are the words of Steve McCurry—best known for his ‘Afghan girl’ photo on the cover of National Geographic, one of the most famous photos of all time.
Vacheron Constantine used him as a photographer for their Overseas World Timer campaign – the perfect match for their international vision.
The watch displays 37 different time zones, including some that are off-set by a half or quarter hour. At the center of the dial there is a 'Lambert' projection map depicting the continents and the oceans in a velvet finish.
Patek Philippe World Time 5930Patek Philippe was one of the original watchmakers to adopt the world time system invented in 1935 by the Geneva watchmaker Louis Cottier.
The current World Time 5930 is very loosely based on a watch from 1940 - the reference 1415 HU. What’s remarkable about the workings of this watch is that when you’re changing time zones, the entire hour hand is disengaged from the movement so neither the amplitude of the balance nor the steady progression of the minute hand are affected.
Besides the technical superiority, it’s also the world's smallest and thinnest world-timer chronograph.
The white gold case and the striking blue hand-guilloched dial center are typical of Patek Philippe’s refined elegance, and there’s a good reason why this is the travel watch favored by the elite.
IWC Timezoner ChronographIWC and air travel go hand-in-hand. The aircraft etched on the back of this model is the Junkers Ju 52. Back in the 1930s this was the aviation technology that brought the world closer together – it was the most common civilian aircraft in the world. It’s a kind of tribute.
The watch itself is a little more modern, of course. The IWC Timezoner allows you to set the time zone just by pressing and turning the bezel. Another useful feature is the “S” marking on the bezel that allows you determine where in the world it’s officially summer.
The Jaeger LeCoultre Geophysique World Time
The Girard Perregaux TravellerGirard-Perregaux first introduced its Traveller collection in 2013. What I love about this design is that the dial is slightly curved, with a plunging rehaut minute scale. In 2014 an upgraded version was released: The Big Date Moonphase.
The moon phase complication in the sub-dial has some noteworthy details too. The image of the lunar surface is forged from mineral glass, and floats between a grey on black Milky Way – the stars are made of silver, and one of them conceals the GP logo.