About time: multiple personalities
Boys (and, let's face it, grown men, too) are forever asking themselves which superpower they would most like to have. The majority play it safe and go with the ability to fly. A strange minority plump for X-ray vision. The connoisseur of superpowers, though, is more likely to consider things such as teleportation or, even better, self-duplication, à la Marvel Comics' Multiple Man, making real the maxim many hands make light work.
That ability to be in many places at once may seem like a dream but with a multiple-time-zone watch you can at least pretend, and these days more and more brands are putting out attractive options.
Carl F Bucherer introduced the Patravi TravelTec FourX in 2011 and the latest update (right) brings incremental improvements to an already great watch. What's new is the material mix, with titanium rubbing shoulders with ceramic, rubber and 18-carat rose gold.
To return to the time-zone theme, however, the central conceit of the watch is a busy dial displaying three zones. It's a display that takes a bit of getting used to, with its semi-skeletal face and rush of numeral indices.
The case is sized at a huge 46.6mm and the watch's in-house CFB 1901.1 calibre movement pumps out 42 hours of power, which not only drives the three time zones but also a chronograph and date indicators. The watch is water resistant to 50 metres and comes with a sporty black rubber strap. Prices for the Carl F Bucherer Patravi TravelTec FourX are available upon request.
Clerc is a brand not many people will be familiar with, which is surprising given the statement pieces it is adept at creating, such as the new Hydroscaph Steel GMT (below right). In essence a diver's watch, the Hydroscaph Steel GMT stands out thanks to its in-your-face design, water resistance to 1,000 metres and innovative bezel-winding mechanism (a pullout latch that turns into a turnkey). The 44.6mm steel case is chunky and gives the illusion of having an octagonal bezel. The dial design is dominated by two indicators that are distinctly different in layout and colour, which may not be to everyone's taste but gives prominence to the 24-hour second-time-zone display. At the six o'clock position is the industrial-looking power-reserve indicator, which tops out at 47.5 hours. As one would expect from a dedicated dive watch, the strap is a lovely soft black rubber. The Clerc Hydroscaph Steel GMT is priced at HK$61,000.
Our final multiple-time-zone watch is the Alpina Worldtimer Manufacture (below left). A pilot's watch from Alpina's Aviation collection, the Worldtimer is a nicely designed, practical and, best of all, affordable world-time watch. It was created in association with Cessna and PrivatAir, two companies indelibly linked with jetset travel, so there's a bit of glamour attached to it.
The watch has a 44mm stainless-steel case that houses an in-house AL-718 automatic movement with a 42-hour power reserve. The world time indicator is big and bold in the traditional sense, with a 24-hour disc that gives day-night indications and marks the time in 24 cities.
Additional features include a date indicator at the six o'clock position and a black crocodile leather strap. Limited to 8,888 pieces and coming in a special gift box along with a scale model of a Cessna plane, the Alpina Worldtimer Manufacture is priced at HK$27,000.